Golden Rule of Customer Service

Golden Rule of Customer Service:
Give What You’d Like to Get


Clip name: RP-FH141-97

In just two days I’ve had two customer service experiences at opposite ends of the spectrum.

At the fast food joint promising to “have it your way,” the gorgeous young girl taking my order couldn’t remember for two seconds what “my way” was. I had to repeat everything several times, yet when she read back my order an item was still missing. Though they were out of a number of items, she continued to take orders as though they were available.

Recently, a friend backed into my car. Her insurance company’s handling of the claim was definitely on the opposite end of the customer service scale. From the initial phone call to the final follow-up, their message was one of assurance: “We want to fix the damage promptly, at your convenience, and to your satisfaction so that you can put this behind you!” Then they did.

This got me to thinking about the “Golden Rule of Customer Service.” I Googled it and got lots of solid answers, but here’s what it looks like to me:

First and most obvious: Treat your customers the way you dream of being treated. That looks different for different people, businesses, and situations, but it boils down to the fact that each of us wants to be important enough to be noticed, heard, and valued. I want sales people to stop talking to each other, look me in the eye, and make me the center of their attention. I want them to behave as thought it’s urgent that I leave satisfied. After all, I actually pay their salary.

Second: Don’t promise what you can’t or don’t intend to deliver. If you say you’ll call me back, then do it. I don’t like to expect delivery by someone’s birthday when it isn’t going to happen. I’m an adult who can deal with the facts. If it can’t be done, just politely say so, and I’ll make an intelligent choice to continue with the transaction or make other arrangements. Your helpful alternative and honesty will bolster my confidence that you’re looking out for me.

Third: Often there’s an opportunity to give more than a yes or no answer. When asked, “Do you have this in green” the answer might be no, but asking a few questions might give you a clue to finding something else that satisfies the need – an “ above and beyond” service. Your products might be the same as your competitors’, but your service can be unique. Work for your customer as though you highly depend on his or her satisfaction, because you do.

And fourth: I like it when I get what you say you offer. If your company projects the image of caring, speed, or quality, then that’s what I want to get. Be what you say you are and more, not less.

“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”1 I think that sums up the “Golden Rule of Customer Service” quite nicely.

1 “Douglas Adams.” Xplore Inc, 2013. 21 May 2013.

Quality: It’s All Relative

What’s Your Definition?

It seems that just about the time you get used to something, there’s an upgrade that makes the old standard feel lame. Remember when static-strewn, B&W TV went to jaw-dropping color? Then we were impressed by cable, soon made passé by satellite, and now HD. Why is something amazing one year and outdated the next? Because quality is relative.

The same thing has happened in the stock footage world. The first footage we painstakingly shot, selected, telecined, cleaned, and color corrected was SD, for goodness sake! That was over twenty years ago and, at the time, it was remarkably beautiful. Then came HD and as camera manufacturers had major breakthroughs, that old SD standard of “quality” was (though still beautiful) outdated. Those first advancements in technology took years to achieve. Now it seems that the quality-standard bar is raised every month.


Wavebreak Media WBM-FH116-56

With all this rapid change, what really defines quality stock footage? A 5K resolution? An R3D file? Not really. Resolution is only a piece of the picture.

For Artbeats, quality is the entire package. It means utilizing the best equipment and crew and choosing worthwhile, versatile subject matter, the right vantage point, and the best framing. It means waiting all afternoon for the light to change or shooting the same ridiculous elk over and over until they do something worth seeing. It means getting up before dawn to rig an airplane, getting sick and kissing the ground after filming on an extremely turbulent flight, de-rigging, and starting all over again the next day. It means taking footage from days and days of shooting, diligently cataloguing every shot, selecting the very best, and individually color correcting each clip (but not being offended if you choose to purchase a raw file and do it yourself). It means inspecting each finished product so that you, our customer, can instantly download what you need in time to finish your project without worrying that the footage will be unstable or there will be luminance changes or other flaws that slow you down. And for us, quality also means standing behind what we do and supporting you throughout the process.

We’ve actually been accused numerous times of having footage that’s “too pretty”. We understand. Not everyone’s looking for pretty and perfect. Sometimes it’s just not realistic enough and doesn’t fit the project.

Well, the good news is that we have that, too! We have producers all over the world who provide us with interesting, realistic, unusual footage that isn’t always “pretty” – and they’re very good at it! They use a wide variety of cameras, from HD cams on up. They travel to unique places and have rare opportunities to capture real life. Many of these producers also supply us with “pretty” – but some are great shooters of “just what I was looking for!” And because supporting you is part of our definition of quality, we stand by all of our footage to ensure its usability.

What’s your definition of quality?