Be Amazing to the Customers You Have, to Get the Customers You Want

Vulnerability. It’s something that most of us have to work hard at. After all, don’t we all want to appear that we have the right answers? But in reality, no one has all the answers. Not even the most successful CEO. The best leaders are the ones who aren’t afraid to show that they don’t have all the answers. They actively seek out advice, insight, and ideas from others. Why? Because allowing others to see that you actually don’t know it all shows true confidence. It shows wisdom. And it shows bravery. And these are qualities we all want in our leaders.

But the value of demonstrating emotion at work transcends the leadership team – it’s an important trait for everyone. After all, the best frontline employees are the ones who have empathy for others and feel comfortable relating to the people they serve. Peter Shankman touches upon this and more. Read on to learn why Peter believes treating people right can have major business impacts.


Scenario 1: Guy walks into a bar, goes up to the first woman he sees, and says, “You don’t know me, but I’m awesome in bed.” The woman throws her drink in the man’s face and turns back to her friend.

Scenario 2: Guy walks into a bar, and just sits and chills with a drink. A woman across the bar notices him and turns to her friend – “That’s so-and-so! I’ve read about him – He’s a really nice guy – One of my friends used to date him, and said he was awesome. I know he’s single, and you’re single. You should totally go talk to him!”

Which Scenario Would You Prefer?

The same thing happens in business. When I walk into a Morton’s Steakhouse, I know I’m going to be treated well, because they’ve built a history of treating me well. As such, I’ll bring friends there every single time, and suggest Morton’s nonstop. Same thing with United Airlines. They treat me incredibly well, and I’m a super-frequent flier, so I’ll go out of my way to give them my business.

In my new book, Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans, I discuss exactly how to make your company as great as Morton’s and United. Here’s how it starts:

Let’s make a pledge to stop telling the world how awesome our business is. Let’s pledge to stop using social media to broadcast the fact that we think we’re amazing, because, let’s face it, who really believes how great you are, when you’re the one who has to tell them?

Instead, let’s grow our customer service for the better. Let’s take examples from companies that are doing it right, and teach our employees how to have empathy, how to care, and how to be human beings in the service of human beings. Or, as The Ritz-Carlton puts it, Ladies and Gentlemen in the Service of Ladies and Gentlemen.

Let’s stop focusing on fixing problems once they wind up on Twitter, but instead focus on preventing the problems in the first place. Just because you’ve given your customers the ability to complain to you online doesn’t mean that should be the norm! The norm should be creating such amazing experiences, that your customers can’t complain to you online, but rather, can spend all their time online telling everyone they know how amazing you are!

Let’s face it – We’re moving to a world where everything we do, everyone with whom we interact, and every business from which we buy, will be in our network. How we’re treated will determine the sentiment of that interaction, which will determine where that company ranks in our online (and offline) world. Treat your customers well, they’ll be around forever, and they’ll see you constantly. Treat them poorly, and you’ll simply be a footnote in their browsing history.

This year, let’s pledge to do better, and to understand that the real art of social is letting everyone else do it for you.

Peter Shankman doesn’t know how to sit still, and he blames that on his ADHD. But he blames his ADHD for all of his success. A three-time startup entrepreneur with the same number of successful exits under his belt, Peter believes that to be the best, you simply have to be better than everyone’s expectations, and in the world of customer experience, that’s not hard to do.

Peter is perhaps best known for founding Help a Reporter Out (HARO), which changed how journalists gather news and how public relations is done. He’s the author of four books, two of which are bestsellers, including his latest, “Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans” (

A born and raised NYC public school kid, he still resides in Manhattan with his wife, 2-year-old child, and 15-year-old cat, and when he’s not flying around the world giving speeches, or competing in Ironman triathlons, he’s jumping out of planes, as a licensed skydiver with over 500 jumps.