Customer service is the deciding factor in the success and failure of any business. Sure, you need reserve capital, a good location and a quality product or service that is in demand. However, I would like to speak on the important issue of customer service which can be translated to use in the classroom or personal relationships with others.

Notice that the successful sales person usually has a smile ready to go to greet their customers. Who wants a sour face, an angry face, rolling eyes or an impatient look waiting to welcome their customers? No reasonable employer wants that employee for their customers or their business.

I believe that the smile that we look for which identifies a friendly face is something that we can use wherever we go. For example, some students in school or siblings at home will complain at the way someone looked at them. It was not interpreted as user friendly. This is a common complaint at home: "Mom, she looked at me ugly." This type of complaint can be made by any child or teenager to get that other person in trouble.

In reality, what damage does that "ugly look" really do? The answer is that the damage can be as much as you allow it to be. You give up control of yourself when you react to someone's missing smile or unattractive look. Some kids or teenagers may interpret that unkind look as something more than what it is. Maybe it is an "I hate you" look or it may be an "I do not like you" look. Honestly, who cares? Yet, kids, teens and even adults sometimes care more about that hurt or hate that is communicated in that "ugh look:" more than they should.

I pointed out that you lose control or give up your power to that person giving the "ugh look" because that is what we do. By letting that person make you react you are letting that person push your buttons for free and at will. From that point on it will bug you or bother you every time you see that "ugh look" again.

"I am going to get that fool. Did you see the way he/she looked at me?" These words are spoken more often than not in any high school or junior high school with real action taken because of the importance given to that "ugh look." Our kids and teens react before really thinking sometimes.

Let us return to the customer service line. We all want to be treated well. We want niceness in action and attention, and kindness in looks. Do we reciprocate? That becomes a good question that we all must answer. Honestly do you give the same treatment that you want to receive? To me there is an answer: "Treat others the way you want to be treated."

I get concerned that youngsters sometimes react negatively to the way that their fellow students or acquaintances look at them. Let us remember that the "ugh look" does not pay our bills or put food on our table for nourishment.

Furthermore, it does not take anything away from you unless you allow it to. Usually it is your power that you give away when you allow yourself to react. This is a topic worthy of review with your teenagers or young children. After all, our children do learn from us.

When you give a greeting smile it becomes reinforced with the positive reflection of your own self-image. Give good customer service. Get good customer service. Excellent customer services makes for a better business whether it is monetary or spiritual rewards that you get in return. Who wants a smile?

Joe Santos Medina is a resident of Robstown. Readers may contact him via email at