Super Customer Experience: Loyalty not Imprisonment! | #cx #custserv

Super Customer Experience: Don’t Imprison Customers. Build Loyalty!

As we work tirelessly to deliver super customer experience, I find and fix common everyday mistakes that drive customers away.

Recent experiences focus me today on ways we imprison customers which do everything but build loyalty. You might think imprisonment is too strong a word. Yet that is the word customers use.

Give customers a get out of jail free card — fix these mistakes!

Super Customer Experience: Loyalty not Imprisonment

Ways We Imprison Customers!

  1. Endless Loops. This is definitely #1 on the customers list. Beyond the endless unclear phone menus (voice response units – VRUs, IVRs), customers also feel imprisoned by agents, reps, and CSRs with poor people skills and little customer service expertise.

    The Story: A business owner needed to become a credit card merchant. The sales rep was clear, focused, and offered a great deal. The business owner signed up. The sales rep reported that the support team would send an email with account # and temporary password. Support would then call to finalize everything.

    Super Customer Experience: Loyalty Not Imprisonment! Image: iStock for Editorial Use.

    The business owner received a phone message from support saying “By now you have received your email with account # and password. Please call me, Mindy, at this phone number and extension.” The business owner left Mindy a message saying “We never received the email. Please let us know what to do now.”

    Mindy left a second, third, and fourth message saying the exact same thing as her first message! When the business owner finally spoke on the phone with Mindy, she continued to say “you should have received the email by now.”

    Imprisonment: The business owner finally said, “Time is money. Move me forward or I will cancel my account.”

    Customer service is forward not stagnant. To customers, stagnant feels like imprisonment.

    Release customers from scripted speeches, lack of expertise, and status quo prison! For a super customer experience, move them forward to the solution.

    Question: Where in your organization do customers get stuck in the status quo?

  2. Lack of teamwork. Multiple teams engaged in service with little or no teamwork leave customers trapped in a maze. Customers must jump between teams to get a solution or jump out of the maze and choose freedom. This is imprisonment. It doesn’t build customer loyalty.

    For super customer experience, deliver a single point of solution not multiple points of failure. Build teamwork with shared technology, mutual service level targets, and one service culture.

    Question: How many teams in your organization must work together to deliver a super customer experience? Do they all give it the same priority? If not, customers end up imprisoned in the maze.

  3. Tunnel vision. A less evident yet still common mistake, thinking only from the company or agent perspective. Super customer experience requires seeing things from the customer’s view. Else the customers feel ignored and overlooked — imprisoned in solitary confinement.

    Cultural tunnel vision in global service leaves customers in the dark.

    Rigid script reading and poor listening slam the door shut.

    Poorly designed Websites drive customers away — to well-designed easy-to-use sites.

    Shine the light of customer awareness throughout your organization to free customers from the imprisonment of your procedures and processes.

    Question: Where in your organization is tunnel vision blocking super customer experience? Expand the vision. Replace the tunnel with bridges to the customers and to your success.

Customers want information and solutions that meet their needs. Online, in person, or on the phone, they seek positive easy experiences to get what they want. Imprisonment is not positive nor easy. It makes them want to break out and run away from the stress to find success elsewhere.

Think bonding — not bondage.

Think about the customer not about you!

I look forward to working with you, leaders, and your teams to create super customer experience.

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

Related Posts:
24 Tips to Make Customer Experience Easy for Customers
Customer Experience: Paying the Bill Should Be Easy Not Confusing

©2012-2016 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™

11 Responses to “Super Customer Experience: Loyalty not Imprisonment! | #cx #custserv”

  1. Martina says:

    Good post, Kate.
    As leaders and business owners, we lose sight of the fact that cutomers, clients, patient all come to us out of choice. Loyalty alone will carry us only so far when things aren’t going well.
    Our job is to focus on the needs of the customer,from beginning to end. We do not need to set up endless, going nowhere mazes for problem resolution. The customers don’t want to waste time, and we don’t want to waste or lose money. A single point of entry with a focus on resolving the problem quickly and as much to the customer’s satisfaction as possible needs to be our goal here.
    You jerk them around long enough, and no amount of loyalty will save the relationship or the sale. And they will communicate it to others.

  2. Steven says:

    Great post again Kate.
    I see problems 1 and 3 linked.
    I would propose there is one main cause. Businesses are too smart.
    My clients tell me they have internal departments to drive training, website design, and call centres. The problem is, they know how the system works.
    When I pointed out a website loop to a client they laughed at me and said “oh that’s because you’re not using the site correctly”… Huh?
    Talk about being imprisoned. So in summary, I would add a fourth way we imprison customers. With our wisdom.

  3. Adi Gaskell says:

    I agree with this completely. We should be making it easy for customers to do business with us, not harder. Making it difficult for them to leave is not a good strategy, but sadly it is one that is commonly employed.

  4. Shep Hyken says:

    Great post. As I read this I think that sometimes companies make it hard for customers to leave because of the hassle. But with enough hassle, the customer will leave – regardless of the hassle. There is a point of pain that the customer will not tolerate.

    There are certain businesses that provide a product or service that is difficult to switch from – certain software, financial products, etc. These products and services are “sticky” in that they are hard to leave. Treat the customer right, they won’t leave. However, some companies become complacent with their focus on customers. They don’t pay attention to service or sometimes act like they don’t care. They become focused on themselves instead of the customer. For a “sticky” product or service, the customer will take some pain/hassle. That’s when they start to feel like the imprisonment you mention in your post. And with enough pain, they will break eventually out of prison.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      True Shep — there are some products that create the “sticky” phenomenon yet the stuck customers are not brand ambassadors & they are more difficult to deal with in customer care & contact centers!

      Thanks much for your expansion of this topic.

  5. This is a great way to look at these problems, Kate.
    Businesses should be clear and accurate about time frames for delivering products, following-up and especially, when handling complaints, otherwise customers do feel imprisoned. If a business is going to make their customers ‘do time’ they should at least be clear about the length of their sentence…

  6. Mark Orlan says:

    Imprisonment is a strong word, Kate, but I think it’s appropriate in the context of your post. A lot of times customers feel like they’re held hostage by companies that just don’t seem to put their needs first.

    I’d even venture to challenge many current loyalty programs – airline, retail, and credit cards – that use points to lock customers into a forced loyalty. Rather than providing great experiences and memories that are authentically focused on the customer, they use their point programs as a replacement, making it difficult for customers to go elsewhere for fear of leaving points on the table.

    Talk about imprisonment!

    • Kate Nasser says:

      You said it Mark. True loyalty is not from dependence. It is from meeting needs and delivering great experiences that build trust and belief that the provider will meet future needs well!

      Thanks for your comment here on Smart SenseAbilities. Hope you will share your insights on any post of interest — any time.

      Warmest thanks and regards,

  7. […] Build loyalty w/ customers don't imprison them in your procedures. Super customer experience is not about control. It's about care. The People Skills Coach™  […]

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