Secrets You Need to Hear from Customers

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Keynote Speaker and President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training


Over the years; we’ve heard a lot from our clients – YOUR CUSTOMERS. Here are a few you’ll identify with. Take heed.

#1 – Customers are Grateful for the Chance to Vent

Repeatedly, we’ve had clients thank us for the opportunity to tell us how they were mistreated. They wanted to tell their stories to someone who would listen. They seemed pleased for the opportunity to get even.

#2 – The Viral Syndrome – It’s Real

Years ago, customers would tell jokes about a company who gave poor customer service. Customers were venting their frustrations about their last bad customer service experience and making jokes out of the experience. Today they just don’t go back.

Today they only need go to the internet and vent. Woe to businesses that offend their customers with poor service. These organizations become the butt of today’s new era of jokes! And sadly, it’s carved in stone and remains there forever.

#3 – The Memory of an Elephant; Customers Don’t Forget

When customers tell me about their experiences, we hear a lot of: “This happened three years ago,” or “Let me tell you what happened five years ago.” One woman recounted dealing with a local bank from 20 years ago – a bank that was absorbed by a bigger bank and no longer exists! But she’s still angry from that long ago.

If businesses are counting on customers to forget rudeness or ineptitude, don’t ‘bank’ on it!

#4 – “You’re Not Going to Believe This” (A common comment.)

Customers can be in shock when they’re treated poorly. Several clients have emailed me, “You’re not going to believe this!” and “I can’t believe how they treated me!” and “Can you believe what he said to me?”

Those abused by poor customer service can never seem to accept the fact that it happened. They remain shocked and continue to agonize! Shaking their heads and wondering “how that can happen?”

#5 – No Return, No Deposit

Many complaining customers indicated they won’t go back to an offending store or company. One customer (and his father before him) had been buying a certain brand of battery for years that had proven to be a great value. On one occasion, they were at the store and the clerk wouldn’t honor a $5 coupon. The customer told the clerk he wouldn’t be returning to the store ever again; to which the clerk simply said, “OK.” (Remember it’s not always what you say; it’s HOW you say it.)

Others have emphatically told us they’d never go back after their aggravation. No return means no deposit (of future sales).

#6 – FREE Advertising; The Kind You Don’t Want

Most customers who vent to us, or anyone, about their poor customer service experiences, assured us they’d told their family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else who’d listen about the bad service incident. They seemed enthusiastic in denouncing the offending organization and urged as many as they could not to patronize them! I’ve been on an elevator where a ‘stranger’ gets on and starts to rip on the doctor’s office he just came from because the staff was rude and unpleasant. It happens.

#7 – Hell Hath No Fury Like a Customer Scorned

Ain’t that the truth!

Thanks for reading and thank you for sharing.


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Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a featured speaker at franchise, association, and corporate meetings around the world. A popular TV guest, she appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as hundreds of other radio, television and print outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The author of 9 books on her chosen topics, Nancy helps corporate America improve their communications with their customers & co-workers. You can see her 9 books here. For more information, log on to Nancy Friedman's website or call (314) 291-1012. Oh yeah you can email her at Nancy is a recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame Award - St. Louis Small Business Monthly