How do you show respect for customers

Respect: Appreciation for customers

What does respect or respectful behavior in customer contact mean?

It is important to every customer that the company respects them. This is also clear to the company. However, practice shows that companies do not always succeed in expressing the desired appreciation for customers.

Case study:

The secretary of an entrepreneur receives a message: A customer wants to unsubscribe from the newsletter by telephone. Since every customer has the option of reliably unsubscribing from the newsletter with one click, your request is superfluous. The secretary still forwards the message to her manager. The latter takes note of the request, but does not answer the customer for the time being. Instead, he posts the following via his Facebook account:

“I just received a message that a customer would like to unsubscribe from our newsletter. I called back and told her to fax me her request ... #digitalfail "

A classic example of not expressing your appreciation for the customer. Imagine the customer reads the post. Even with the name replaced, she could see that the post is related to her request. So it is definitely not a good idea to publicly make fun of customer inquiries. You can only earn a customer's appreciation and respect by being respectful of them.

Appreciation towards customers through respectful behavior

In communication theory, respectful behavior means that you are people

You should absolutely adhere to these three aspects if you want to express your appreciation for customers. This is the only way you can earn his respect and recognition.

In the case study, none of the three aspects is given. The entrepreneur takes no account of the customer, who probably just overlooked the “leave newsletter” button.

In addition, respect and appreciation in social media are generally ambiguous topics. Other users have the opportunity to comment on the post. Often people respond without having fully grasped the facts or - and so it was with the above post - further disrespectful statements follow:

  • "That can also be done by registered mail!"
  • "If my carrier pigeon has actually already arrived, I probably wanted to unsubscribe from the newsletter ;-)"

How would you react if the company, which should show understanding and appreciation for customers even with such inquiries, publicly ridiculed your inquiry?

Appreciation towards customers through a respectful mindset

Respect is a central value in our society today. Logically, this also applies to customer communication. How to increase your appreciation towards customers Not the entrepreneur has shown in our case study. If you analyze the facts in more detail, you will notice that it is not just the published post, but rather the mindset behind it that is the problem of appropriate appreciation towards customers.

It may be that it is a matter of course for the entrepreneur that you can unsubscribe from the newsletter with one click. But it wasn't for the customer. She certainly has other things on her mind than unsubscribing from the newsletter, overlooks the corresponding button and would therefore like to unsubscribe from the newsletter with a simple phone call.

If small inquiries like this lead to such disrespectful behavior, what is going on in the head of the entrepreneur if something really happens that doesn't his Corresponds to ideas or something that doesn't his Requirements are sufficient. What happens to the appreciation for customers? Is customer orientation also falling by the wayside?

You can't buy respect, you have to earn it.

In conversations with customers, it is therefore important to express appreciation for the customer again and again. How do you want to do that as an entrepreneur if you just keep looking what is best for you? Respectful interaction means that you communicate with your customer in such a way that - despite the primary goal of asserting your own interests - you do not neglect the customer's views, at least look at them with a certain minimum of attention, in order to increase your appreciation for the customer To express.

Argue with respect

René Borbonus writes in his book Respect! "It is very helpful if we put ourselves in the thoughts of the other person." Would you be happy if your service provider would make fun of your request in public? It would have been more respectful to respond to the customer in a friendly manner and politely inform her that there is a much easier method of unsubscribing from the newsletter - and you or your company will be in a completely different light. Use the customer's (unnecessary) request to your advantage. By treating customers with respect, you ensure that your company is valued.

So you can take advantage of such requests. But why do so few do that? Borbonus writes: “First and foremost, we behave disrespectfully for a very mundane reason: carelessness. Most of the time we don't even notice when we approach others without respect. ”In that case, you would subconsciously negatively influence the appreciation of your customer. This may be true here and there, but our case study is clearly a different type of disrespect.

We act disrespectfully because we don't care whether the other person sees it or not.

With regard to this question, Borbonus refers in particular to the negative influence of various media. “Wrong role models have made disrespect also socially acceptable. Dieter Bohlen, for example, tears apart young people with fragile personalities in front of running cameras and open microphones. Because there, appreciation towards customers plays a central role.

In our example, would you continue to sympathize with the entrepreneur after he publicly poked fun at a customer inquiry? Borbonus draws a simple comparison to politics: "If the politician does not respect a certain voter, why should he respect the others (and me)?"

Appreciation towards customers

Think before you accuse someone else of having acted senselessly, maybe they just didn't know any better. No reason to put yourself above him. Keep your composure. Use the situation in your favor by providing answers and collecting sympathy points. Show respect and understanding to others. It's the only way you can earn your customers' appreciation.


If it is ultimately a really stupid, pointless and unnecessary request, that is by no means a reason to publish it. Because in this way you are making a fool of yourself and not just the customer.

Book recommendation:

Respect releases energy and demonstrably makes people and companies more successful and healthier. But why is there often a lack of respect and people behave disrespectfully - although disrespect can be avoided?

You can find more on the subject in the book by René Borbonus:

Respect !: How to gain respect with friends and foes