In business, most decision making goes something like this...problem/opportunity arises, a path is chosen that solves it while satisfying the most people. Of course, the most people aren't always the customer. It's far easier to focus on solving internal problems first, than worrying about the customer. If this weren't true, we wouldn't have counters, automated call centers, or websites that don't work. We wouldn't have accounting processes that frustrate people. And, we wouldn't make people stand in lines without talking with them.

The best customer service organizations don't allow the wrong filters to cloud their judgment. They focus on customers first and everything else second. The companies who make it a priority to be the best at caring for customers don't use efficiency, market share or production goal filters to decide how to treat people. They use these instead: family, friends and home. Companies who care for people like they were friends and family and who welcome people like they were coming into their homes are far more successful than those that don't. It's the old and simple rule...treat others how you would like to be treated. Except, in order to be the best, you need to be fanatical about it. Anything less, and you might as well choose a different path.

Of course, it's no surprise that most of the hotels, restaurants, movie theaters and car repair shops that pull this off are small. There are exceptions. But, not many. Unfortunately, a by product of becoming successful and larger is that you stray toward the wrong filters. So, if you can figure out how to get big and remain win.