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Imagine if one of your good customers said that times were tough and that they had to cut their next order by 30%.  Would you even think of giving them 30% less of your usual best effort?  Would you think of giving less than your brand promise – or your commitment to quality and customer service?   I doubt it. On a recent flight home from a speaking engagement I met a flight attendant who delivered atrocious customer service.  It was obvious she hated her employer. Apparently, for her airline to survive they had to cut salaries by 30%. Even though the airline is still losing money every month, she still thinks it is unfair.  Her comment to me was this, “They cut my salary by 30%. I’m going to do 30% less.” Sometimes a company has to make tough decisions just to stay afloat.  In this rough economy, she should be lucky she has a job.  It was obvious that her anger was interfering with her responsibilities. First and foremost, she was there for our safety. Second, she was to take care of the passengers in a manner that was professional and pleasant. After all, she was on the front line, and the face of the airline. She will eventually quit or get fired. And then she’ll find another job. I already feel bad for her next employer.


At the individual level, every employee needs to be an extension of the sales or marketing department, regardless of their job, their pay, economic challenges etc.  It is a job requirement; a non-negotiable responsibility.  The same goes for the entire company.  Look to help your customers through tough times.  If they aren’t buying as much, be thankful for what business they do give you.  Continue to deliver the highest levels of service, as you have always done.  Use tough times to build relationships.  Increase confidence as you prove your value as a partner, not just a vendor.  Be it an individual or an entire company, this is your chance to be amazing! Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at Connect with Shep on LinkedIn. (Copyright ©MMXI, Shep Hyken)

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