What not-so-recognizable actor at a movie premiere or member of a celebrity’s entourage hasn’t heard those dreaded words: “Are you anybody?” Ethan, an assistant to a very famous, Academy Award-winning movie star (who asked to remain anonymous) told me about the experiences he has had with some of the personnel in the shops on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles.
“I walk into the store and they won’t even give me the time of day. Then, they find out who I work for and they can’t do enough for me. They’re offering me coffee, a comfortable chair, bringing out samples, and basically fawning all over me.”
Unfortunately, this experience is not uncommon in the world outside of celebrity either. Too often salespeople or service personnel fall all over themselves for certain customers and dismiss others, however subtly, whom they deem unimportant to their business. Regardless of who you perceive them to be, everyone who walks through your company door deserves the same respect as your best-paying customer.
One way to do this is to assume that everyone is your best customer!
Don’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge people by their appearance, lack of fancy clothing, etc. In an increasingly casual world where business owners and entrepreneurs where gym clothes to work, or have tattoos and piercings, you could be missing out on profitable relationships by dismissing someone because of your perception of them.
And, really, it’s not about profit – it’s about respect. It’s about being authentic with your customer service and treating others as you would wish to be treated. When you assume that everyone is your best customer then everyone is treated with an equal amount of respect.
Finally, if anyone ever asks you the terrible question: Are you anybody?
Look them in the eye and tell them what Marilyn Monroe taught us: “Everyone’s a STAR and we ALL deserve to twinkle!”
Donna Cutting, CSP is the Founder & CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc. and the author of two books on customer service including her latest, 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers. Part of this article is excerpted from The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red Carpet Customer Service (Wiley, 2008). She leads a team of experts who help organizational leaders engage their people to deliver an exceptional customer experience. To download our free report, 21 Days of Thank You, to help you show appreciation to your INTERNAL customers, fill out the form on the right side of each page of our website.