You’re angry. You just went to a high-rated restaurant that has been the talk of the town. Your food was expensive, as expected. It tasted excellent, but you weren’t blown away. You walk out of there scratching your head. What could have been better? Then, BOOM, it hits you.

The service.

You weren’t greeted or seated in a friendly manner. It took 20 minutes to order a drink; the food took four times longer. Not one time did a member of the restaurant staff come over to apologize or try to make your experience any better. You think, “Why did this restaurant get five stars?”

You turn around and walk back into the restaurant and scream at the managers like it was their personal fault. You cause a small scene. You tell them about the experience you had, hoping they’ll offer to compensate your next experience if they ever want you to return or write a positive review. It’s really a verbal threat.

But, what you didn’t think about when you had this average experience is, “how did I just deal with that?”

Often, bad customers have no idea they’re in the wrong. The key to recognizing those actions and turning them around is simple: don’t operate on autopilot. Good customers are self-aware throughout every exchange with vendors, knowing that their feedback and reactions can truly help – or harm – the organization or company they’re addressing.

This doesn’t only apply in restaurants – it happens in businesses. Business owners and vendors should observe the behavioral patterns of any bad service they receive to make sure they’re not providing that to their own customers. Because in any service-based situation, the way you’re treated is a part of the overall experience. It’s not enough to just sell a good product. The customer experience must be factored in as No. 1.

As a customer to any business, too many think that launching a vehement reaction or treating the company poorly will somehow win the battle for better service. Some think it’s motivational. Wrong. How many people got what they wanted by constantly battling, pushing and yelling at people?

Here at Metis, we call them vendor abusers. The definition: Client contacts that question every move, don’t trust you to do your job, verbally abuse your team or take their internal stress out on you because they think they’re paying you to handle them no matter what. Even when you are doing your job, meeting your goals and you’re pushing the client’s business forward.

The problem that these “vendor abuser” types don’t realize – just like an angry customer yelling at a restaurant manager – is they are acting like distractions instead of motivators. In my experience, they hold providers back instead of making us better, and let us work harder to deliver excellent service. And, above all, they keep us from providing an above-average experience and creating a happy environment.

So, next time you’re on a call with the cable company, in a restaurant or talking to one of your company’s vendors, and you aren’t happy with the quality of service that’s being delivered, ask yourself: “Is the way I’m about to react going to be beneficial to the goal I’m trying to accomplish?” “Will what I’m about to say make this place better?” “Will I make a difference through my delivery?” Every service industry fields complaints all the time, but you can turn those complaints from noise to constructive feedback by acting in a way that demonstrates a legitimate need for the vendor to change.

Thinking about how you affect other people, especially from a day-to-day working relationship, is half the battle. The best people to work with are the ones that act as a team to accomplish an overall goal, respect one another and treat each other with respect and kindness. Remember that next time you choose to react poorly to a service.