Thursday, November 03, 2005

Give Your Customers A Front Seat...In honor of a Great Woman - Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks is an amazing woman.

Her life reflects the grace and power of why customers should take a stand. She is a type of customer that refuses to sit in the back of the bus when she's paid to sit in the front and could anyone blame her.

If you paid the same fair as all the other customers wouldn't you want to have the same great experience? Well Rosa Parks experienced a classic example of what happens when we forget that the customer is King.

Now a whole nation entrenched in bad customer service had to take a back seat. You see the customer refused to sit in the back of the bus after a long hard day at work and who would blame her. She walks past the front row seats which are designated "Whites Only" and sits in the middle of the bus. She knows that if the front seats get full and whites enter the bus she will have to give up her seat and sit in the back.

One things for sure Rosa Parks knew that all customers should be treated with dignity and respect. But she was arrested and treated worse than someone who did not pay, as if she had snuck on the back of the bus. But that's not what she was trying to do. Rosa Parks just wanted the bus driver to leave her alone and allow the customer to sit where she freely wanted to sit.

The bus driver should have been thinking (we love to see our customers smile). He should have said "Mrs. Parks welcome aboard today! You look a little tired. So why don't you just have a seat near the front so you don't have to walk so far when it's time for you to get off. And here's a bottle of water".

But can you believe it was against the law for Blacks to sit in the middle section seats if all the "White Only" seats were taken in the front? The only seats they could sit in with out having to get up were the seats in the back of the bus.

Well if there is a front seat available for your customer never give them a back seat...unless they ask for the seat in the back. And never make laws or policies that will eventually treat customers unfairly.

That day Rosa Parks only wanted to experience Great Customer Service and a wonderful ride as she looked out the window. But that was far from what she received that day. When she refused to sit in the back and chose a seat near the front of the bus, she was removed by police.

Can you imagine paying the same fare as everyone who got on the bus that day and then being verbally disrespected by the bus driver? Well I can't imagine for the life of me how humiliated Mrs. Parks must have felt that day. And it wasn't the first time that the bus driver barked out orders to his customer to move. but I'm so glad she said enough of this bad customer service I'm not going to the back of the bus today. In honor of Rosa Parks I'd like to say we all have a lot to learn from the life of this ordinary but extraordinary woman.

Yesterday Mrs. Parks casually slipped into a place in history and today she grasped the attention of the entire world. And her life story is a customer service lesson in why it's important to "Serve The Customer With Passion".

So the moral of the lesson is the next time you're thinking of fussing at your customer and then asking them to take a seat in the back... wise up and "Give the Customer a front seat".

to learn more about this extraordinary woman take a peek at these links.