How comfortable are your employees in dealing with customers who come from different backgrounds and cultures? For those of you in retail, the holiday season is upon us unleashing a flood of new customers into stores where they have never before been. For example, a 50-year old father may want to buy his 18-year old daughter some clothes for Christmas. He´s not only out of that store´s demographic, but he´s a "guy" as well. Will he feel welcome when he walks into a store targeting young females? Will that store´s employees ignore him because he´s old? (I call someone who discriminates due to age a "generacist." It"s as wrong as racism.)What about ethnic and cultural differences? Are you sure your employees provide the same fair treatment to everyone? (Except your biggest customers-it´s okay to provide favored treatment to them.)
Do your employees know that not all "rich" people wear expensive clothes or drive expensive cars? For that matter, do they know that some people who do dress and drive expensively are dead beats or shoplifters?
If you´re going to offer legendary customer service, you need to ensure that your employees do not discriminate against any person or group because of their difference. Even the perception of discrimination can start a word-of-mouth campaign that could turn into a boycott against your company and damage your sales.
When you´re building your customer service policy, be sure that fairness is built in. Don´t take it for granted. Everyone has their prejudices, some worse than others. But like bad attitudes, they need to be checked at the door of your business.
For example, you or some of your employees may believe that homosexuality is wrong. That´s a personal belief that has no place in a professional setting.
Conversely, you can reach out to certain groups by focusing your marketing at them. Not only can your advertising reflect diversity, but your community involvement can reach out to those groups as well.
Finally, it´s a very good idea for your employees to reflect your community´s diversity.
Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.