Service Provider Corner: Do Unto Others

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Mike Urban owns and operates Urban Automotive, in Oakville, Ontario. You can reach him at [email protected]. Photo Mike Urban

Have you forgotten the Golden Rule for building solid relationships?

Navigating today’s service industry is far from a walk in the park. As a shop owner in the automotive industry, you’re no exception. Dealing with people day in and day out can be a challenging endeavour, even for the most patient individuals.

In our modern North American society, we live in a world dominated by social media. It seems everyone is eager to share their opinions about businesses online. If someone has a negative experience, it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll rush to platforms like Google, Facebook, Yelp, or others to voice their opinions.

I once scoffed at the power of Google and the Internet, believing that you can’t trust everything you read online. I’d humorously ask, “You honestly believe everything you read on the Internet? Do you also believe what’s written on public bathroom stalls?”  


Needless to say, over the years, my perspective has shifted drastically.

Today, we all encounter self-proclaimed “Google mechanics” regularly. These individuals diagnose their vehicle’s issues based on information they found from a Google search of symptoms. Handling such situations is an art form because if not managed correctly, it can lead to negative social media reactions. 

So far, I’ve only discussed external customers. However, most of us also have employees who work with us and with each other daily. Conflicts inevitably arise, leading to the dissolution of business relationships, often due to irreconcilable differences. In these cases, some individuals may resort to social media to discredit our businesses.

So, what can we do? While I’m no psychology expert, I’ve managed to foster successful relationships with clients and employees over the past 20 years through one simple rule.

You’ve probably heard of the “golden rule.” It’s a principle I learned from my parents at a young age and one that transcends religious beliefs. Simply put, it states, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Communication counts

Setting religious beliefs aside, the essence of this saying is crucial. Successful relationships start with communication. If you can put yourself in the other person’s shoes and view the situation from their perspective, you can often find a resolution. 

So, the next time you find yourself in a confrontation, take a moment to ask yourself how you’d want someone to react if you were in their shoes. What is the real reason they are causing the confrontation in the first place? Could it be that they have had past experiences in their life that have jaded them? If you cannot figure out what their problem is or figure out what will make them happy you could always simply ask them. What will make you happy? What can I do to resolve this? In most cases, you’ll discover a solution that benefits both parties involved, regardless of the situation. 

Remember, communication and empathy are keys to success in any relationship. Following the concept of the Golden Rule might be your secret weapon for turning a potentially negative review into a positive one. Once you master this concept, the real strength lies in sharing it with your team and creating an award-winning culture that, without a doubt, will produce positive social media responses.



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