- The Golden Rule is just plain Good Customer Service. Don't be rude to your customers, they are your bottom line. If you care, they will like your services more regardless if you are running a store, call center, or even if you are a civil servant. General rule of thumb: Treat others how you want to be treated.
- The Golden Rule is just plain Good Management. A good manager will ensure that her employees or associates are taken care of [breaks, lunches, restroom breaks, etc] and doesn't mock or scoff at those under them when they come with a real concern.
- Listen to those around you. Sometimes the best ideas come from customers or even employees. Remember, you have two ears and one mouth - to listen twice as much as you speak. Don't just hear their words, but really pay attention to them. Even if it isn't feasible to do what they are suggesting, you are in the very least showing that you care enough for their opinions to hear them out.
- Being combative when somebody criticizes gets you nowhere. All you are going to do is alienating those around you and making yourself out to be the bad guy. It is completely unnecessary. Be professional about your objections and how you deal with people. Customers will always find something to complain about and employees will always find something about you - be it how you handle yourself and or the business, or even just on a personal level.
- Favoritism, nepotism, and anything like it is a huge no no! Giving favored positions to only certain people without any real cause is one more step towards a hostile work environment and promotes jealous behaviors. Never mind it feeds the rumor mill. Moreover, it is incredibly unethical - unless that person actually deserves the position, reward, or favorable scheduling. Be aware, however, if you do reward a person with something for their efforts, it might be better to make it clear why you are doing so instead of being cloak and dagger about it.
- Be professional at all times, regardless of what is going on around you. Bad moods, bad days, and bad customers are not an excuse to take your emotions out on others around you. Keep that temper in check and remember that you don't have to take those people home with you [normally!].
- Appearances are important, so maintain, maintain. The art of a good presentation is in how well it is crafted, but also in how it is presented. One simply does not take a client to a garbage dump to sell them prize winning cakes. In just the same way, your business must be clean as possible and free of bad odors. If smiles cannot be met at the door, then a professional expression. That goes double for meeting with a manager or supervisor. If the manager looks like he just ate a crate full of lemons, then nobody will want to do business with him. Your attitude is every bit a part of your presentation.
- Good products equal good income. If you can maintain a good product - be it customer service in a call center, teddy bears on the assembly line, or even canned veggies on a store shelf - then you can guarantee people will tell other people and you will continue to get good business flow. It is just smart business. Maintain quality over quantity, but if you can have both, that is even better!
- There is such a thing as a bad customer. Learn to recognize and deal with them. In the old days there was an expression 'The customer is always right', except, it is not actually true. You cannot permit them to abuse your employees, nor steal, nor cause a belligerent stink. Some of these people have had a bad day, I understand that, but it is necessary to do what you can to placate them unless it is blatantly the wrong thing to do. A bad customer is one who is just trolling and looking for a fight. He is the kind of man who likes to scam you, or even outright shoplift by hiding smaller items within larger items to get them for free. They are the kind of people who are just spoiling for a fight and begin to verbally abuse [or physically assault! Don't let it get to this point!] you and your employees. If they will not leave the premises upon request, kindly offer to call the police to have them removed. There are a lot of things you should do for continued business and sales, but accepting abuse is not one of them.
- Power trips are not a good thing. Remember your employees and associates are more than tools to be used, they are real human beings with feelings. Lording your authority over them only makes you hated and viewed as childishly arrogant. It loses you respect, rather than garnering it. He who rules with an iron fist will find himself breaking his own hand. This is the epitome of a hostile work environment if you ask anybody else. It is highly important that you keep yourself in check every bit as much as you have to ensure your workers are kept in check. For the most part, with a few exceptions, people are fairly compliant and willing to work without the whip cracking over their heads.