Customer service is at the heart of any business. You may have the best product or service in the world but if you cannot respect the customers you serve then you are going to struggle.
Recent news articles about the controversial decision for US states to allow businesses to choose its customers based on their own personal values sends a shiver down my spine. In the UK we are protected as individuals by clear anti-discrimination laws.
It throws the question of the responsibility of business owners into question. If I decide to open a business do I get to pick and choose our customers? Well that depends where you live, clearly in some parts the US, yes. In the UK, no. It’s quite simply against the law when you are basing that decision on the characteristics of a person.
By opening a business to the public requires you to serve all parts of that community. It’s a fundamental basic of business operation and if a person has such strong beliefs they cannot bare to serve someone who does not fit with those beliefs then they should think twice about opening a business.
As responsible business owners we know that in our daily activity we will meet people from all walks of life, with differences of opinion. We welcome free speech but we also welcome our right to protect the vulnerable members of our community. I personally look at the value a business and its owners have as a basis for my purchase decisions.
Our position is quite clear; we support equality with empathy. You’re individualism is what makes you unique and our society a varied and exciting place to live. I do not have to agree with everyone but I choose to respect another person’s right to have their own set of values so long as it does not cause physical or mental harm to others.