If you have rented a car more than once or traveled anywhere recently you've likely been the victim of a tired and underpaid customer service rep. It's during times like this I admire Zappos for their CS model, and recently I thought about the few core things that organizations should think about when training their employees to interact with customers.
1) The customer is not always right, but they are still your customer. Work with them. Learn from them. Learn with them. LISTEN.
2) Think before you talk, and be yourself. Again, LISTEN.
3) Don't be afraid to say sorry. Seriously. Someone once told me the first rule of PR is to never say sorry or admit fault. I'll take my chances and do the right thing.
4) One single customer usually belongs to many different communities.
5) This customer will tell people about their experience. At the coffee shop, at the hockey rink, or on twitter or facebook. It could be 1 person, or it could be thousands of people.
We live in a time where customers are very impressionable. Their experiences with brands are scaled through social apps, like FourSquare, Instagram, Twitter, FB, Yelp, etc. In my opinion there should be more of an effort put towards training and hiring front-line reps to truly show compassion and listen to their customers. For this to happen more organizations need to put CS higher on the list of their core values.