Customer service Marketing

The Ten Foot Rule of Customer Service (or Avoidance?)

As a business professional specializing in employee-customer care, I know many companies tout the “Ten Foot Rule” of Customer Service – whenever employees come with ten feet of a customer, they’re supposed to stop what they’re doing and give their full attention to that customer.

As a consumer, I also know that many employees have their own version of this rule – they try to steer clear of coming within ten feet of a customer. And if they do get close, they avoid eye contact and turn in the other direction. Sadly, some employees also observe this practice with fellow employees who are their “internal” customers.

Forget the excuses for bad customer service. The bottom line is the ten foot rule and other prescribed practices won’t be effective when simply issued as top-down edicts. Organizations that want their employees to serve customers in this way need to provide the training, tools, and reinforcement (including measurement and reward) that enable and encourage effective customer service.

It’s something to think about. How do employees apply the ten foot rule in your organization: do they step up to serve customers or do they turn tail and hide?