Tip 21: Take the high road

Mistakes, disagreements, and conflict sometimes happen. The key is not to let them spiral out of control or to get lulled into doing what’s best for you at the expense of others. Take the high road. It may not always be easy, but you will certainly be appreciated for it.


  1. Delta Airlines had a glitch on their website once, and tickets sold for super super cheap. Instead of canceling those tickets, Delta honored them. They took the high road and quite a few customers benefited from the mistake. But Delta will probably benefit even more for caring more about their customers in this instance, than their own bottom line.
  2. A while back my credit card company had a security breach. They recognized the issue quickly, and sent out a new card with a new account number. But they didn’t stop there. Because sensitive information for many of their customers had been compromised, the company offered a year of free credit monitoring as a means to safe-guard against potential unauthorized used of my credit card. The company didn’t have to do it, and I’m sure that credit monitoring wasn’t cheap. But the company chose to take the high road to go protect its customers.


  1. When it comes to taking the high road, put yourself in your customers’ shoes instead of the business owner. Always consider how you would want a company to treat you or a loved one. Use that as the driving force behind how to handle a situation.
  2. Be so committed to doing the right thing and doing right by your customers, that it becomes expected of you. Create that culture within your organization – even with your partners who don’t directly work with you. When you make taking the high road a habit, it takes less “thinking” to do what’s best for your customers.

Application for your business

  1. Write down a company that you felt took the high road when it came to dealing with you or people you know of for a certain issue. How did your view of the company change as a result of their actions on that issue?
  2. When having to make a decision about taking the high road in your business, write down what needs to happen for you to be proactive in addressing the situation for your customers.

Previous tips

  1. Act like you want your customers to stick around
  2. See your customers as individuals
  3. Use the sweetest sound in any language
  4. Remember your customers’ names
  5. Pay attention to your customers
  6. Engage your customers
  7. Get to know your customers
  8. Listen to your customers
  9. Don’t let your customers hear the sound of crickets
  10. Get feedback from your customers
  11. Remember their love for peanut butter
  12. Understand your customers’ needs
  13. Remember special occasions
  14. Be personable
  15. Trust your customers
  16. Fix it when you mess up
  17. Fix it when you’re customer thinks you messed up (but you really didn’t)
  18. Let your customers know how you feel about them
  19. Write your customers handwritten-notes (love letters)
  20. Show gratitude