A customer service manifesto for every small business serves two purposes. It gives every employee a standard to which they can strive to meet and a roadmap to adhere to while interacting with each customer. It further sets customer expectations through a public declaration. If the company does not set expectations for customers, they will set their own!

Any manager can start formulating their manifesto by asking three questions:

  1. What would you want as your own customer?
  2. What is the most important things my customers expect from the company?
  3. What do I like or hate that other businesses offer as their customer?

A customer service manifesto for your company should publicly include these elements:

1. We will deliver on what we promised. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. You also need to ensure that you can keep this promise and still make a profit. Promises that loose money over the long term typically fade.

2. If you are dissatisfied with our product or service, we will listen attentively to all your concerns. You may not always be able to solve them, but you promise to always listen to them.

3. When things go wrong, we will be easy to reach in an economically feasible manner. One of the biggest frustrations for any customer is to have an issue and not be able to talk to a live person through the telephone or web chat.

4. We will resolve your issues in a reasonable manner or give you a refund. Never be stingy with refunds. In the long run, it is many times the least expensive alternative and it totally disarms customer complaints.

5. We will admit when we made a mistake. It’s the magic words all customers want to hear: “We made a mistake”. These words are a salve for any issue.

6. We will empower our employees to solve your issue at the point it occurs. Companies must give employees the power to solve exceptional situations with customers and not always pass it to a manager.

7. We will make it easy to end our business relationship. Too many companies force a customer to get on the phone with the business in order to end the relationship. Make it easy for a customer to leave and they have more of a chance of actually returning.

8. We will not charge separate nuisance fees or surcharges. There is nothing that gets customers more upset than added surcharges. Price products and services profitably so extras can freely be added to a customer’s purchase.

9. When we decide to change something in our agreement (raise or lower our prices, alter our hours, drop or add a product), we will tell you in advance in a very public way. Changes should never come as a surprise to customers if trust is to be maintained.

10. We will not fill your e-mail with marketing material you don’t want to see. We will make it easy for you to opt in or out of information that we send. Ask the customer how and when they want to be communicated with and never ever sell their contact information.

What should be in your customer service manifesto?


Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He is a small business motivational speaker, writer, and radio host. Barry can be found at www.barrymoltz.com