Here's a little something for those readers of this blog who have some form of customer service responsibility.
That means everyone.
Yes, you read this correctly. Even you.
It's no longer 'somebody else's responsibility' to defend your organisation when customers start complaining or leaving in droves.
Everyone working there potentially has something personal to lose - from a poor 'reputation by association' and being 'tainted' in the job market, to a pay freeze and losing a job.
It's all too easy to promote a company's values and service ethos on a website and in expensive marketing campaigns. There are thousands of advertising agencies out there, which can come up with a catchy slogan and produce a slick video to help perpetuate the delusion that everything is alright.
When it comes to good customer service, too many organisations appear to have their heads stuck in the sand, with managers and staff content to insulate themselves against complaints by forcing people to jump through hoops to resolve an issue. For the cynics among us, it may suggest that these systems are installed to frustrate the customers into giving up and going away.
Customers are fighting back, though. This is why many are turning to social networks - primarily Twitter and Facebook - to get heard and often vent their spleen.
Encouragingly, although perhaps too publicly for some, an increasing number of organisations are getting wise to the fact that customer service should be brought into the heart of any organisation's operation - whether they're selling something tangible or if they're selling a service or ideal.
In today's infographic from Salesforce.com. there are a number of popular myths about customer service which could have a significant, negative impact an organisation's reputation.
Thoughts on customer service, communication and, of course, reputation management.