Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at the 2017 Colorado Lean Summit in Denver. One of the themes that came through in every presentation (including mine), was the importance of treating people…well…like people! Not numbers! Not as ‘transactions’, or as ‘work items to be completed’, or as ‘lifetime dollars’, but as actual human beings! Human beings with wants, needs and feelings. Human beings who need the help that our services provide. So, this morning, here’s an easy way to help you figure out if your company and service reps are thinking about your customers as human beings. Take a trip to the service gemba and look and listen carefully. Do your service reps refer to your customers by client number? By transaction type? Or by their name? What’s on your daily management boards: number of transactions to be completed? Dollars attained? Anything at all that references the fact that behind these ‘numbers’, real people – your valued customers – exist? I’m interested in hearing about what you find! Because, in order to treat people, not just as valued customers – but as the valued human being each of our customers is – we need to think of them as human beings first!