If you want great customer service, eliminate any filters between the customer and the owner.
Mark Cuban (broadcast.com now Dallas Mavs) taught me this by example. Any customer of either company, be it a business customer or a basketball fan, can complain to Mark directly via email. He reads every one of them. That changes EVERYTHING among the vendors and employees.
When you are on a flight and an attendant is rude, do the other attendants report this? Do you think that the rude attendant thinks there will be any repercussions for her attitude? Dozens of filters between the customer experience and management are one of the biggest causes of “I don’t care” style service or bullying. Every time I get mistreated as a customer, I look around and notice that the employees are practicing a code of honor (we are in it for ourselves) driven by a lack of true accountability.
Recommended: Post a sign at your company’s front door with the name, email address and phone number of the owner or senior manager. Let the customer know that if they have any problems, talk to the Big Cheese and it will get fixed. You can also require an addition to employee’s email signature with the same information. You can also require them to hand out the Big Cheese’s business card to any new customer. You do this and you’ll see everyone’s attitude change. Accountability has that effect.
PS: If you are not an owner or senior manager, forward it to one that needs to read this.