Various comments on my last post — Don’t Fire the Customer, Fire Yourselves!showed that many use the phrase “fire the customer” as a display of power.

Leadership for Super Customer Experience: Turn Off the Power! Image via Istock.

In the aftermath of abusive customers or the challenge of clients who constantly change their minds, some leaders and business owners use that damaging phrase to validate the organization’s position and use it to re-motivate frustrated and demoralized teams.

Yet, the power playing approach leaves a trail of trouble for the teams, the customer service culture, and the company’s reputation and brand.

Turn Off the Power for Superior Customer Experience!

Power struggles establish the dynamic as right vs. wrong.

Customer experience is about perspective and connection.

Power words, like “firing”, conquer & crush.

Customer experience is about awareness, empathy, uplift, and success.

Power-based motivation like “employees first, customers second” sets up a win/lose mentality.

Superior customer experience is about win/win!

“When you lead and serve for power, get ready for a power failure!” There is no greatness in either/or.

Turn off the power struggles, power words, and power-based motivation. If you want to use power, give it to your customers to give you free feedback — communicated with basic respect.

Turn on the listening and learning. Turn on creative exploration for effective problem solving. Turn on innovative thinking for customer satisfaction. Turn on the honest diplomacy to set limits in abusive situations. Turn on the joy of delivering superior customer service.

Lead a culture of excellence for improved performance based in continuous learning — not in power.

How will you ignite the customer service greatness in your organization?

I welcome your perspective in the comments section below. And I am ready to help you the way I have helped countless others in the last 23 years.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Leadership success: Think Balance Beam Not Mountain Top
Super Customer Experience: Customers & Us in Harmony

©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

There is a phrase becoming popular in the customer service world that threatens both the customers and all of us in the profession. It’s a phrase we need to decry and banish from our vocabulary especially in the powerful world of social media.

The phrase we need to remove is: “Fire the customer!”

Superior Customer Service: Remove Threat of One Phrase Image by:Quinn Dombrowski

This threatening phrase:

  • Diminishes our integrity instead of building trust
  • Undermines our caring purpose rather than succeeding through care
  • Broadcasts selfishness and greed vs. radiating greatness
  • Declares customer service to be a power struggle instead of a partnership
  • Makes all customers who read it more defensive instead of cooperative
  • Teaches a new generation of customer service professionals a skewed view
  • Projects a tug-of-war mindset rather than a winning collaboration

Are there times when we can’t meet a customer’s need or expectation? Sure.
Yet how we part company — and speak about — echoes our brand throughout the global reach of social media.

For those business owners proudly using the phrase “fire the customer” all over Twitter, Facebook, and beyond, it’s worth a moment to consider an alternative.

The times I have not been able to continue with a customer, I have said:

“Although I cannot meet your needs and must pass on this opportunity, I wish you success …”

I am not “firing the customer”, as the current threatening phrase likes to power tout. I am firing myself! How we say things in difficult moments affects the future of our brand.

Current customers and social media tell future customers what we believe; they wonder how we will treat them. Every tweet, every post, every statement tells the world what we think of customers as a whole.

Customers talk about us too; what they say is actually up to us!

I vote to give superior customer service — not to be superior over customers. What do you want customers to say about you and your brand?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Free Your Mind to Give Superior Customer Service in Difficult Situations
What Do We Want Customers to Feel, Experience, and Remember?

©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

Do you know what the colors of your clothes are saying about you?

Is your website and brand logo appealing and attractive to your potential buyers or users?

Do you have a favorite color?

Color is a form of non-verbal communication and if you do intercultural business, you need to understand the effect it has on the interpretation of the messages you send to people from different cultures.

The Meaning of Color 

There are two ways in which colors acquire meanings:The natural universal association like green for vegetation and psychological and emotional association or color symbolism based on individual experiences, cultural norms and values.  For example black is for funerals in most western countries while Chinese use white as the color of mourning (see table).
Reference: The Psychology and Meaning of Color in Email and Websites, Aug 2011

Red Yellow Green Black White
China    Good luck, celebration,    happiness     Nourishing     Exorcism, Adultery    Youth,the color for young boys    Funerals
United States   Love, passion, danger,     stop, rage     Hope, hazards,        coward-ness   Spring, go,St. Patrick’s Day,    Christmas Funerals, death, antagonists, Halloween    Weddings,        purity

More about color meaning and cultures: Empower Yourself Going Global With Color Psychology.

Color Psychology

Color has a powerful subliminal and subconscious effect on our physical and emotional well-being. For example if you enter in a mall decorated only in black, gray and white, would you be inspired to buy nice clothes, make-up or even drink coffee? Maybe not.

Color stimulates all our senses and as a result it has an effect on all our purchasing decisions. People make decisions based on their emotions and then justify them with logic. So it is essential that you are aware of both the positive and negative impact and response of each color on the emotions. There is no such thing as a bad color, just colors that are more suitable for your particular business purpose in order to get the response you want.

What does your personality color say about you? (reference: personality colors )

This again depends greatly on culture. Here an example that matches most Americans:

  • If your favorite color is red, you are action oriented with a deep need for physical fulfillment and to experience life through the five senses.
  • If orange is your favorite color, you have a great need to be with people, to socialize with them, and be accepted and respected as part of a group. You also have a need for challenges in your life, whether it is physical or social challenges.
  • Lovers of blue have a deep need to find inner peace and truth, to live their life according to their ideals and beliefs without having to change their inflexible viewpoint of life to satisfy others.
  • Lovers of black have a need for power and control in order to protect their own emotional insecurities.

Colors In International Marketing

When you want to do business globally check the meaning of colors for each country. Color symbolism impacts businesses and personal brands through website or blog graphic design, consumer product development, packaging and corporate identity. The significance of some colors is universal. Other colors, however, have meanings that shift in various cultures.

Online advertisers should be very careful about cultural differences in color symbolism since color is the first thing that is noticed on a web site or banner, even before the person understands the language or what the message says. A miss-match between colors and meanings in a  web site content can potentially ruin the marketer’s objectives.

The customization of color pattern for each country is becoming more and more critical as the population profile of Internet users is shifting rapidly. Latest statistics for 2011 regarding internet users show that Asia has the most internet users accounting for 44% of all users world wide, Europe 22.7 % and North America 13.0%  (Click for Reference).  The top 3 languages spoken on the internet is English with 26.8 % of users Then Chinese with 24.2% and Spanish 7.8% Reference: (Click for Reference )

In an increasingly competitive, global, interconnected and saturated market,
communication needs to be carefully targeted. Few companies have a brand that is powerful enough to generate same response world-wide. For most companies it is important to understand what the impact of communication and color use will be on the targeted group. Therefore it is not only important to understand its meanings but also to find easily applicable rules for translating them.

A very good example of color customization is McDonald’s. The company has different website designs and colors for each country. For example the site for Japan is yellow and for Egypt is red.

How to dress for a job  interview 

The first impression you make during a job interview is the most important one. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing and color has probably the greatest impact. Recruiter must remember you for who you are and not for your outfit.

Men’s Interview Attire: In the united states, men should wear a suit  with solid color – navy or dark grey. Tie color and pattern should be conservative and non-distracting, for  example, dark blue and dark red with subtle patterns — stripes and dots are preferred. Shirt should be white or pale blue.

Women’s Interview Attire: Suit navy, black or dark grey. Coordinated blouse: white or ivory any light tone that matches your suit is appropriate. Light make-up and perfume.

More about dress for success in the corporate world: Dress for Success.

Whether you are going global or local, use the magic power of color for your success.

Guest Blogger Bio
Anne Egros http://zestnzen.woprdpress.comAbout Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach, at Zest and Zen International LLC
Anne  Provides Global Business, Career, and Expat Life Coaching Services For International Executives and Managers. Pharmaceutical Doctor (PharmD) with 20 years of international experience as business manager in Fortune 500 Companies. Anne worked as an expat for 20 years: US, Japan, Europe, APAC region. Fluent English, native French speaker. Please contact if you have questions Email:

View all posts by Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach »

Customers remember moments. The truly memorable customer service moments move them to tell others about you, your products, your customer service. How would you make yours truly memorable – in a positive way of course?

Be unique and different within the context of your brand.

Customer Service as Memorable as a Baby Image by:atduskgreg does that at the moment of arrival! What is CD Baby? It started as a one person business in a garage and grew up to be the largest distributor of independent music. It’s run by musicians and their creativity shows even before you play the CD.

Here’s the memorable packing slip that arrived with the CD:

Thanks for your order with CD Baby!

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterward and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, March 3, 2011. We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby.

In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We miss you already. We’ll be right here at, patiently awaiting your return.

Kudos to CD Baby. They make it memorable in ways that connect and enhance their brand. Notice how often people share stories of a baby, a picture of a baby, a video of out of unique behaviors of a baby. (If you don’t believe me, check out how many baby videos have gone viral on YouTube).

CD Baby uses the theme of caring for a baby to show how much they care for you the customer. They also make it truly memorable with a bit of outrageous humor. The story telling gives them the chance to repeat their company name in a memorable yet non-annoying way. This is no cost creative caring that makes customer service as memorable as a baby!

What stories will you share here about truly memorable customer service that you have received? I will be right here waiting … sigh.

Yours in service,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, delivers customer service, teamwork, and communication workshops, keynotes, and DVDs filled with true stories that teach memorable lessons. See this site for more information.