Customer Service Transparency: Remove the Shadow of Fine Print! #custserv

Customer Service Transparency: Trust Without the Fine Print

What customer service finger print do you want to leave behind after each customer interaction? Does your list include any of these?

  • Shadiness, doubt, mistrust
  • Selfishness, one-sided, controlling
  • Slick, fast-talking, slimy

If your customer service approach includes fine print, your brand’s finger print certainly could be!

Customer Service Transparency: Image is finger under magnifying glass.

Customer Service Transparency: Remove Fine Print. Image by Angela Prosper via Flickr.

Image by Angela Prosper via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Customer Service Transparency: Just How Valuable Is It?

Consider weight loss company Roca Labs who purportedly uses fine print agreements to stop customers from sharing negative reviews. CBS News reports that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now suing Roca labs.

All of this begs the question: Why hide things in fine print from customers? Why would any company not declare its brand’s terms openly and clearly? Is it because they fear customers won’t agree to the terms if they understand them? The answer to that speaks volumes about the lack of customer service transparency of those companies.

Fine print has no place in sales or customer service. Show integrity and make your terms and expectations clear. Remove the shadow of the fine print and build trust.

Let customer service transparency be your brand’s finger print. It impresses with integrity. It builds trust and that is priceless!

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

©2015 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.


Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

4 Responses to “Customer Service Transparency: Remove the Shadow of Fine Print! #custserv”

  1. Alli Polin says:

    That’s the WORST, isn’t it? When instead of being helped by customer service, fine print is thrown in your face. There has to be an element of trust between company and consumer. I’ve been burned by what I thought I understood. The companies that don’t hide behind fine print and in fact help consumers navigate to successful resoultions are the ones that will thrive long term.

    Well said, Kate!

    ~ Alli

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thanks for adding your story to this Alli. The fine print is such a blemish on a company’s brand while leaving scars on the customers from being burned.

      Always grateful for your comments!

  2. Dave Radcliffe says:

    For several continuous years back in the early 90’s, I attended annual Telecom trade shows sponsored by PBX manufacturers. One of the largest manufacturers decided to host an open forum session regarding service one year. A panel of managers and executives gave a brief presentation on the stage of the hall, and then opened up Q&A for what they thought would be a few productive questions from the audience. It was standing room only, as close to 200 attendees turned the session into a bloody turkey shoot. Customers were overwhelmingly upset about the service provided… as well as all of the fine print in the contracts protecting the manufacturer from legal recourse. It was a brutal lesson for the blindsided management team, taking hit after hit upon what should have been a constructive session. The audience was more like an angry mob, as customers lined up to complain about issues they’d had for years with no results. And, after each complaint – dozens of others stood up and angrily shouted, “YEA!”. The session ran twice the allocated time frame, with security standing by, while the management staff was pummeled by fierce question after question. Red faced, embarrassed, and afraid for their lives, (slight exaggeration) – the management team took the laundry list away with them and began to work on the issues. The panel members hid from the customers the remaining days of the show.

    The following year was almost as bad. They allowed two hours for the session, and most of the customers still voiced angry complaints about the contracts. But, there was also a slight shift in the atmosphere. There had been contract changes and the management team had answers to roughly 60% of the complaints. They offered the status of work in progress on another 15% of the service issues, and promised more contract changes. They made stern commitments to work on the items still outstanding. They didn’t dodge bullets, they stood humbly and accepted being bludgeoned for a second time. Some of the customers actually shook hands with the management panel, as maybe 20% of them had their worst issues resolved. A few of the management team didn’t return a second time. A few were no longer employed there.

    The third year, they actually added a few of the leading customers to their action panel; with immediate answers to at least 85% of the questions… which were honest business questions and not complaints. Another version of contracts were drawn up again with even less fine print. No one yelled at them, there were no tomatoes thrown at them, and attendees actually applauded several times. There was positive energy in the hall, this was productive.

    By the fourth year, the management staff removed their bullet proof vests. People thanked them, they joked on stage, they talked about working together for a better future, instead of focusing on the past. The attendees provided honest and productive feedback. They’d become transparent in their support of the customers, and the customers were happy. They modified the verbiage on the support contracts again, and got rid of almost all of the fine print. They became a value added partner in the service and support of their customers, instead of a wailing wall to voice complaints. Doing the right thing bought them loyalty and a growing customer base. They had changed their operational model, and left a fingerprint to be proud of.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Dear Dave,
      Your saga recounts a step-by-step journey to greatness. Truly grateful for your contribution, the detail, and the true happy ending.

      I look forward to your comments on future posts!

      Best wishes and grateful regards,

KateNasser on Facebook KateNasser Blog KateNasser on Twitter KateNasser on LinkedIn KateNasser on Pinterest