Yesterday, my flight was cancelled. I spent a long time in a ‘holding area’ with passengers from two international flights, waiting to be released to pick up our bags. A small group from another airline, already cleared, was told to “make your way around ‘the herd’” by the other airline’s representative. As you can imagine, already tired and frustrated, many people took exception to being called a ‘herd’. This reminded me, that how we think of – and talk about – our – or others’ customers – is extremely important. No matter what the circumstances, or if they are our specific customers or not, all are valuable human beings. Referring to them as ‘a herd’ or ‘offenders’ (for not wanting to follow internal processes) or ‘unreasonable’, (for wanting what they want), two other recent examples I’ve heard, is never okay. The words we use create our thoughts and actions. We always need to think of, and speak about our customers, in the most respectful ways. It’s the first step to treating them that way.