Customer Experience: Customers & Us in Harmony | #CX #CustServ

As more executives and leaders consider customer experience as an economic driver, the one challenge they must overcome is internal company thinking.

If you look throughout the organization, ask “have we accustomed and trained the employees to think about the company, about the customer, or both?” Do our operations and processes account for both?

In my consulting work to these many of these executives, the void we are trying to fill to improve customer experience is harmonic thinking. Internal thinking misses the mark. Thinking only of the customer and not the company business goals has its risks. Addressing both breeds success.

Customer Experience: Customers & Us in Harmony Image: Istock

From the top to the front line teams, there is one message all must live, think, and deliver on every day:

Customers & Us in Harmony!

Harmonizing company and customer interests continues to be the one constant in business success. It may sound old and hackneyed yet it’s now at the forefront as a competitive advantage in this new customer experience economy.

5 Most Telling Moments to Build Harmony With Customers

  1. At the First Meeting.

    Listening and collaborating during the first meeting lays a base for harmony with customers. This is your chance to show them you believe that customer focus makes good business sense.

  2. During the First Impression of Your Products/Services.

    This may not be during the first meeting and it deserves a special focus. During this moment, you are at risk of trying to impress customers with the worthiness of the products and services. It often comes across as one-sided and non-harmonic. When the customers expect you to listen and collaborate, build harmony rather than prowess.

  3. When They Give Feedback.

    Customers give feedback to be heard, to achieve different results, and/or to help you create a different customer experience going forward. Avoid responding to each feedback point with reasons why the current state exists. Instead, listen to their points, clarify if necessary, and then ask yourself, “how can we make this happen?”

    How each of your employees reacts when hearing customer feedback is a telling moment for the company. It tells the customer what you truly care about — your company or them.

  4. When They Have Changes in Leadership.

    With business to business (B2B) activity, a change in customer leadership is a key moment to build harmony. Not only does it set you on a positive path with new leadership, it shows the company your true flexibility in handling changes. This speaks volumes about your long term value and reliability.

  5. When They Have a Crisis.

    There may be no greater bonding moment with a customer, than to deliver in harmony during a crisis. Can you work with them when they are very upset? Can you pull your diverse company teams together — in harmoony — to solve the customer’s crisis? In B2B, can you rally various teams in their company to find a solution to the crisis?

    Solve a crisis and you become known as the go-to company because you eliminate risk in their minds. Gratitude, loyalty, and profits are your bonus!

What gets in the way of harmony between customers and us?

  1. A strong focus on operations instead of meeting the customer’s needs. There’s a difference!

  2. The need to be “right”. It stops collaboration. Strive to be excellent, not right.

  3. Fear that harmony delivers less than singular thinking. It’s a feeling not a fact. Collaborate.

  4. Customers who don’t believe that providers will work in harmony with them. Show them!

What else blocks harmony and great customer experience? What would you add to this list?

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

©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please first email for terms of use. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading morale, employee engagement, leading change, 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.

14 Responses to “Customer Experience: Customers & Us in Harmony | #CX #CustServ”

  1. Jeff Toister says:

    Very good suggestions.

    To answer your question – the biggest obstacles is our natural orientation. People naturally see things from their own perspective. It takes concentration and effort to see things through a customer’s eyes.

  2. Shep Hyken says:

    Great article. My philosophy is that what is happening on the inside of an organization is felt on the outside by the customer. I’ve never actually thought of the concept as everything being in harmony – but I like it. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful insights.

  3. Khalid says:


    Harmony! I see it in all of your posts (feedback from a regular customer you can say :))

    If I’m to add to this, I would share with you a practical experience with our local HP agent’s account manager. The harmony you are talking about Kate do exists when I deal with this account manager as a business customer. Unfortunately this harmony is not sustained when he goes on leave and I start to deal with his replacement! His replacement is not even close to him in personal interactions. He has no background about the company I work for and it takes me ages to explain to him what we have until he is able to serve me. There is no harmony between us at all. Not sure what’s wrong with this agent but I thInk there is a serious mismanagement between both account managers.


  4. Ted Curtin says:

    Great post Kate!
    Thank you for focusing on the internal challenges companies often face when trying to improve the “Customer Experience”. So many organizations stumble upon internal structures, policies, and even management that can easily lose sight of the reason they’re in business in the first place.
    If you’ve read my published articles at or, or simply followed my posts at you’ll often hear me call out companies that still treat customer service and the customer experience as an after-thought. To be fair, it’s often more difficult for legacy companies to readjust their focus, but it’s critical in order to compete with newer companies like Amazon, Google, and Zappos where everything they do takes the customer experience into account first.
    Tony Hseih of Zappos famously proclaims that Customer Service isn’t a “department” – It’s the foundation of our culture. The resulting brand loyalty and customer retention rates they enjoy speak to the results.
    Unfortunately, this approach can’t start in Marketing or even Sales. Effectively creating a truly collaborative, customer-centric approach must start at the head of an organization and carry forward through accountability and regular evaluation.
    When all business decisions take into consideration, how the results affect the customer experience, you have true organizational alignment.
    That’s the kind of Harmony that translates into happy repeat customers and increased profitability!
    Ted Curtin

  5. Kim Proctor says:

    Great ideas Kate, I like the word harmony a lot. One idea I’d add to creating and keeping harmony is consistency. This is about regularly caring about customers and offering a consistent experience for them; plus, regularly addressing customer and business needs and speaking about both in internal meetings. The business scorecard needs to include both metrics – customer metrics and operational metrics. Thanks for the blog Kate.

  6. AprilS says:

    I think there are so many things that can get in the way of harmony. I agree with those above that consistency is one of the keys to keeping harmony. A big part of harmony in a customer experience is the person providing the customer service has to be in harmony themselves. One bad day, something bad going on in the office, or even just not feeling very good can result in people breaking the customer service harmony.
    It’s important to take the time to breathe deeply and remember that you are there to help people and focus on maintaining your personal harmony to ensure everyone is happy.

  7. Kate, great blog! Thanks for sharing your perspective. Of the steps you outlined for building harmony, frequently number 4 becomes a missed opportunity for many companies. Whenever a contact changes within the company or the customer, it’s so important that a new relationship is built. New contacts put business relationships at risk very quickly. As far as blocks to harmony, there are too many politics in business. This is nothing new, but when executives are trying to either protect or build their turf, generally, the customer and the company suffers. Richard Shapiro, The Center For Client Retention @richardRshapiro

  8. It is so important for the employee and the customers to have harmony in order for clients to remain faithful to their company. By not working between customers and employees there is lost business and revenue. I really liked the list of five times that it is critical to make those connections. There are definitely situations in which there are key times to really harmonize with your customers.

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