Customer Service 101

Adam Graham takes a fresh look at the Congressional leadership’s dismissive attitude toward the raucous town hall crowds. What we are witnessing, he says, is a fundamental ignorance of the first rule in customer service: “The Customer is always right.”

Those of us who have worked customer service know well that many Americans get quite nasty when things go wrong. Those who are getting out of hand at town halls have likely gotten out of hand over not getting tomatoes on their salad. But it never occurred to me to tell a customer irate about his computer warranty that he was being un-American.

Most customers kept it under control and often said: “I’m not mad at you. You didn’t create this problem.”

At town hall meetings, however, voters are talking to some of the people who helped create the problem. Yet our members of Congress think they are the public’s masters, not their servants. Customer service representatives from every industry in this country may have to field the wrath of people dissatisfied with the product, the service, or the company policies, but members of Congress apparently should be immune from such wrath by virtue of them being members of Congress.

In 2010, the customers just might take their business elsewhere.


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