(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Have you ever heard that phrase from someone? “Sorry, it’s not my job?” I think most of us have and that is one reason for the decline in service in many businesses.

Over the years, “putting the customer first,” has fallen by the wayside. Being an hourly employee means you get virtually no customer relationship training.  You are trained how to perform tasks and that’s it.

Anything above and beyond is cost prohibitive in the eyes of the business owner. But is it really?

How, “It’s Not My Job” Should Work

Employees should be taught to be “self-employed” in their jobs. How would employees treat customers if they actually owned the business in which they are working?

Since they really can’t technically own the business they can take personal ownership of their particular part of the business.

Taking the time to express this thinking process to employees can really improve the level of customer loyalty an employee delivers that a business needs to survive.

What Should A Customer Expect?

You don’t walk into a Walmart or other big box discounter expecting too much in the way of personal service. Low prices are the draw, not someone to help you find a screwdriver.

But every now and then you do find someone who will put down what they are doing and perhaps walk you over to the products you need.

Shouldn’t that be normal common courtesy? Just being nice to people and helping them out? Don’t parents teach “please” and “thank you” anymore?

How Much Extra Effort?

Does it really take that much more to use a person’s name? Perhaps take a moment or two to show them where to find what they want?

Does that type of behavior have to be covered in a class? Shouldn’t that be our personal rule rather than and exception?

On the other hand if you are going to behave in a disrespectful manner to an employee then they have every right, in my opinion, to blow you off.

They are not your slaves or your servants. And your purchase does not allow you to treat them as such. What you give is what you should expect to get in return.

And please don’t forget that if you bring some sort of complaint about an employee’s attitude to a manager your attitude is probably on camera and audio so your behavior along with the employee will be clearly evident.

Some Final Thoughts

A business owner here in Bozeman has a hiring rule that I really admire. “Hire for attitude; train for skill.”

You can’t teach someone to be polite and courteous at work if his or her natural personality is to be rude and pushy outside work.

That type of employee should not be someone you want interacting with your customers.

Business owners have an obligation to give employees the freedom to go above and beyond when necessary — to stretch their job description if necessary. To take ownership of their job.

Taking care of the customer and employee — its just good business.

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