Prevent The Lousy Customer Experience

In all our efforts to create a compelling customer experience, one misstep can result in the loss of customers and even our reputation in the marketplace and community. That might sound extreme, but one incident can become the often-told story that grows into a nightmare for everyone involved.

Long before the worst scenario develops, we can put some safeguards in place to ensure that the prospect who finds us becomes a valuable, faithful customer. Instead of spending time and energy correcting mistakes and solving product quality issues, we will deliver superior service at every stage of the customer experience.



Mistakes Should Be Rare

Everyone involved would be better equipped to avoid mistakes when we identify the common touchpoints with our customers. When we make assumptions, the customers notice what we overlook:

  • Poor communication – Customers want clear and concise answers. In writing and the spoken word, vague or confusing language can cause misunderstanding or frustration. In the earliest days of a team member’s experience, written scripts can provide the words that communicate clearly.
  • Long wait times – Customers do not want to waste time waiting on hold, or standing in line. Everyone on the team plays an important role in rescuing every customer from an unnecessary wait. Training reveals the acceptable techniques for removing obstacles for the customer.
  • Lack of Personalization – The sweetest sound anyone can hear is his /her own name. Without overuse, greeting our customers by name is one of the ways we can make them feel special. Emotional connections start in the simplest ways. Businesses that avoid treating customers like a number and instead strive to understand their needs and preferences are on the path to winning loyal customers.
  • Unresolved Issues – Problems will arise in business. Customers expect every issue to be understood accurately and then, resolved promptly and efficiently. Businesses that promptly address the customer’s problem will stand out in a mass of uncaring entities. Answers are sweet music to the ears of any customer with a issue.
  • Lack of Empathy – When a customer encounters an issue, the future of the entire relationship is on the line. Whoever handles the customer’s situation while connecting with that customer at the emotional level will become the most critical team member in that moment. Empathy is identifying with the customer’s feelings and conveying understanding without uttering the words.
  • Inconsistent Experiences – Every time a customer approaches your business in person or over the phone, the entire team has a chance to Wow that customer. Each encounter must have predictable touchpoints. Even the way the customer is greeted sets the tone. When the customer receives what is expected, the foundation is laid to exceed expectations. Consistency is essential to the customer experience when anything less leads to confusion and disappointment.

Businesses that focus on connecting with the customer emotionally will strive to understand the needs and preferences associated with the goods and services offered. Training is the investment that transforms employees into team members who care beyond doing the tasks associated with a job. Empowerment is the team’s most valuable resource in the effort to provide exceptional customer service and create processes that prioritize the customer experience.




Preventing the need to address frustrated customers is critical to creating a positive customer experience. The strain on businesses to fix non-stop problems is draining the annual budget and setting an unsustainable trend. Customers are weary from the constant battle against issues that remain unresolved. The only real answer is to return the product, complain about the service and hope to find a better provider the next time.

In large organizations, fully 30 percent of the annual budget is spent in the massive support organization that exists to address post-sale issues with products and services. American businesses have trained the customer to expect problems with product quality and poor service delivery.


Everyone on the team can take action to prevent the need for post-sale support because we make customers happy on the first contact:

  • Focus on Product and Service Quality – A good product or service will stand out in a marketplace full of average to poor quality offering. Great customer service is the foundation of a positive customer experience. Businesses that prioritize the quality of the products or services will exceed customer expectations.
  • Provide Clear and Concise Information – Customers are willing to learn how to use a product when the information provided is understandable and useful in application. Interaction with an individual is demanded because the written documentation is outdated or unclear. Businesses that provide all the necessary information upfront, such as pricing, features, and benefits, will avoid confusion and frustration for the customers.

  • Streamline the Customer Journey – Customers come to a store or website with an expectation of the steps required to make a purchase. Once the steps become too difficult to navigate, the prospect will leave without making a purchase. Every necessary step in the process must be clear because anything else encourages the customer to leave. From browsing products to purchasing and receiving the product, the customer expects to find answers and avoid issues that create the need for additional support.
  • Train Employees — The fine art of customer service has become rare in the American marketplace, and those who embrace the finer points will stand out in every way. People are people the world over. We all know how we want to be treated, but how many of us are finding that employees who interact with customers receive training to provide exceptional customer service. From the greeting at the door to the exchange of funds in a purchase, the entire team must be knowledgeable, friendly, empathetic and able to handle any customer inquiries or concerns promptly.
  • Use Customer Feedback – When was the last time you phoned and customer to find out about his/her experience with your team? The amount of information offered in response could change the way you guide your business. Sometimes, a customer will offer a brilliant idea for your next product or service offering. Such insight could increase the value of your business and allow you to take steps that you never dreamed were possible. When customers are involved, there is no need to guess what is necessary to keep them happy. Just ask!

  • Offer Incentives and Rewards – Creative approaches to this idea are becoming harder to devise. Not all customers are interested in carrying another membership card.  Customers who visit your store or website might appreciate lower prices, shorter lines or better quality. Before implementing another program in an attempt to compete, you might want to have people fill out a suggestion form.


A positive customer experience is essential for the business that wants to thrive in any competitive market. With some attention to what matters most and the willingness to Ask More Questions, your business could move out in front of your competitors. Doing the basics every day is essential for avoiding the kinds of customer experiences that cause those valuable customers to leave and never come back.


“The best customer service is if the customer doesn’t need to call you,
doesn’t need to talk to you. It just works.”

~  Jeff Bezos