Customer Service Leadership is the Real King

We often hear “the customer is King.” I don’t believe it.

First, many customers do not behave like Kings... Second, in certain cultures, the King was revered but also feared.  Hardly the best metaphor to bring closeness between your customers and your staff. Solid customer service leadership simply calls for a different approach.

Third, the idea of a King implies that everyone else is not. I don’t see the benefit of putting your customers on a throne if it means you and your team must live below them. Perhaps it makes more sense to say “the service provider is King.” I mean this in the most responsible way, especially if customer service leadership matters to you.

A benevolent King once travelled his realm in the disguise of a common man. He went to see for himself the quality of life his people experienced each day. Upon his return he made the changes required. If the streets were dirty, he had them cleaned. If a government office was ineffective, he had it fixed. If the people lacked some important goods or service, he arranged for needed improvements. This was customer service leadership in action.

Key learning point to customer service leadership

If you were the benevolent King or Queen, reigning over your service domain, what changes would you make for the better?

Action steps to customer service leadership

Search your organization in the disguise of a customer. Visit your company website. If it's slow or confusing, get it fixed. Call your service department. If the help is not personal and pleasant, make it so. Access your information hotline. If you find a telephone tree more frustrating than functional, take out your royal shears and prune it. You’re the King when it comes to customer service leadership.

Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “UP! Your Service” books and founder of UP! Your Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit
Ron Kaufman
Ron Kaufman

Ron is one of the world’s most sought-after educators, consultants, thought-leaders and customer service speakers in achieving superior service. He is the author of New York Times bestseller ‘Uplifting Service’ and 14 other books on service, business and inspiration. Ron is also a regular columnist at Bloomberg Business Week and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today.

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