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Want to be good at customer service? Be mediocre.

It’s not too hard to rise above the competition these days. When you’re out and about doing your errands or eating at a restaurant, how often do you walk out the door and think, “That experience really made my day!” When you do those miniature mystery shops of your competition — you do that, right? — do you take many notes on how you can improve based on the great service or customer experience you had there? Probably not.

Most businesses today just suck at customer service. Customers are lucky if they walk out of a store or restaurant and aren’t furious; being content or happy just often isn’t in the cards at all. So if you want to be good at customer service, all you have to do is be mediocre, right?

Wrong.

I have no idea why the business climate has become such that employees put little to no effort into making their customers happy. But instead of lamenting the state of things, let’s be the change we wish to see, shall we? This can easily be built into your customer experience management.

Hire people with good attitudes and infectious personalities — especially managers. Skills can be taught and trained; disposition cannot.

Reward good behavior as much or more than you punish bad behavior. Positive reinforcement goes a long way.

Create a work environment and company culture that makes your employees excited to be part of the everyday operations and success of your business. Are you doing everything you can to ensure that your employees look forward to coming to work?

Apply the Golden Rule to everything you do: Treating your employees with respect, and let them know how important they are in everything your business does. Impress upon your managers to do the same. Negativity and apathy are contagious. But the good news is that so are positivity and engagement.

It actually isn’t hard not to suck. It just requires an attitude shift. So don’t just strive to be the lesser of two evils next to your competitors. Work to blow them out of the water. Kill the competition with kindness — toward your customers.