Customer Experience Repeat Daily: Love the Customers Not the Rules

I have written before how rigid rules ruin customer service and customer experience. Well, once again loving the rules instead of the customers has created a disastrous customer experience. This time the headline is about American Airlines and how they treated a blind customer with a service dog. Please everyone in customer experience repeat daily …

Customer Experience Repeat Daily: Image is American Airlines jet.

Customer Experience Repeat Daily: Love Our Customers Not the Rules. Image by Bill Abbott via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by Bill Abbott via Flickr Creative Commons License>

Customer Experience Repeat Daily: Love the Customers NOT the Rules

In the case of American Airlines and the blind customer, the airline staff made a classic error that we see repeatedly. Employees become frustrated and dogmatic when customers advocate for their own needs. They make it worse when they quote rules to justify their frustration. The better choice? Show care. Seek, find, and communicate options.

Everyone working in customer service and customer experience faces the challenge of balancing rules with showing care. You can easily balance these two with emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and people skills.

  • Be aware of your frustration before it shows. Replace it with empathy. Your frustration tells customers you wish they would go away. Your empathy tells them they matter. To be great in customer experience repeat daily, I can show customers care and follow the rules.

  • Believe in your authority; don’t flaunt it. Flaunting your authority says that you are focusing on you. It is an immature approach to interaction. Develop a more mature approach. Realize that when customers advocate for themselves they are not challenging your authority. They see a gap between what you are saying and what they need. If you flaunt your authority even more, you widen the gap. To close the gap between you and customers, communicate “we” not “me.”

  • Think options vs. yes/no. When customers see you looking for options for them, they experience care. As you advocate for them, they can relax and stop pushing.

  • Be proactive. Spot special needs and offer care before customers experience a problem. Showing care proactively builds tremendous trust. It replaces the us/them struggle with customer cooperation.

Customer experience repeat daily: Balance rules and care.

Customers want to hear, you’re the reason we are here. What can we do for you today?

Leaders, do your employees know how to do this without throwing away all the rules? Or is their allegiance first to the rules and then maybe to great customer experience? If it’s the latter, they will come across as loving the rules and not the customers.

Solution: I have a special interactive workshop that will train your employees on how to show care without throwing away all the rules. We even cover how to respond to customers without saying the rules are. Contact me for specifics and customer testimonials about this workshop.

To start, ask yourselves do you want to love the customers …

and the rules?

and adhere to the rules?

and work within the rules?

What do you think?

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

Related Posts:
Customer Experience: Rules Need Not Stop Great Experience
Customer Experience Leaders: Remove the Never Ever Rules

©2017 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 for permission and guidelines. 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.


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4 Responses to “Customer Experience Repeat Daily: Love the Customers Not the Rules”

  1. Ellen Weber says:

    Awesome insights here Kate, and you build a case for a healthy humanity! One can transfer each of these reminders into a graduate class also. Thinking of my leadership class, “Lead Innovation with the Brain in Mind,” where it’s students first – grades and rigid rules second. That formula tips the brain’s chemical and electrical system in the direction of growth and discovery! Thanks Kate, and have an awesome day, where you and your brains come first, and the rules you follow lead you to new peaks! Ellen

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Ellen,
      Love the extension of my original idea to your “brains first and rules follow!”

      Always grateful for your insight.

      Many thanks,

  2. There is the golden rule treat people the way you want to be treated has always worked for me. Not always easy dealing with different people but being good at what you do will make you stand out in a customers eyes.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Sabrina,
      The golden rule has value and yet the platinum rule gives customers what they truly want — to be treated the way they want to be treated vs. how we want people to treat us. It creates unparalleled memorable service!

      Many thanks for your contribution to this post.

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