Universal Customer Pleas: Drop This, Keep That — Please!

There are universal customer complaints that echo through time. They paint a picture of the human need to be understood and helped.

Whether you have been delivering customer service for decades or are part of the new generation, join the movement to rid this world of these age old complaints.

Add your #13 to this list of the 12 most universal customer pleas to change customer service.

12 Most Universal Customer Pleas for Better Customer Service

12 Most Universal Customer Pleas

Drop This, Keep That – Please!

  1. Drop the squeeze page as the greeting to your website. We don’t want to be squeezed before we get to know you. Keep the squeezing for later in the date!
  2. Drop the voice response menus that make sense to you not us. Keep the humans – at least they can dialogue!
  3. “There’s nothing I can do. I’ll transfer you.” Drop the first part and keep moving us to those who can help. Telling us you can do nothing is maddening. Connecting us to those in the know is the way to go.
  4. Drop the speech recognition unit that interprets “re-order supplies” as “birth order surprise”. Keep any technology that helps deliver timely accurate service.
  5. Drop the scripted monologue and keep an open mind. When you open with a dialogue, we open our wallets and offer our loyalty.
  6. Drop the confusing couponsbuy two at a single price and get the second at 50% off. Keep us from having to guess what math you use!
  7. If we smile, please return the favor. Drop your straight face and keep smiling.

  8. Drop the slow refund routine else we keep filling your queue with angry calls.
  9. Keep us in the know. When you drop the communication about our problems, we think you are doing nothing.
  10. Drop the prove you wrong attitude. Keep in mind that for every action there is an equal reaction. Every ouch you inflict on us pings back an ouch on your financial success. Every empathetic moment you extend to us earns you our gratitude.
  11. Keep sharing our information among you. With the technology available today, we shouldn’t have to repeat ourselves. If you drop the teamwork, we question your commitment — and competence.
  12. Drop the customer satisfaction survey that has no room for our true feedback. If you want to understand what we expect, let us (customers) design your customer survey! It will keep you very aware of what we truly care about.

What would you add to this list? What timeless universal complaint would you like to drop forever?

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

©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, inspires and trains corporate teams, customer care professionals, call center agents, and technical support teams in the greatest people-skills for customer service. See this site for workshop outlines, customer feedback, and footage to view. Turn interaction obstacles into business success — book Kate now.

31 Responses to “Universal Customer Pleas: Drop This, Keep That — Please!”

  1. Michael Hill says:

    #13 Drop the ‘you need to put any complaints in writing’ as a response to upset and frustrated customers. If unsolicited customer feedback is important, then listen and act on it – however it is made. Your employees should be more than capable of capturing customer concerns that are made verbally – indeed, they do so for other types of contact! Putting ink to paper or finger to keyboard is going to frustrate and anger customers even more or make them choose to take their business elsewhere!

  2. 13. Deliver on your promises – we do not want to have to call you back to ask you again for something that your promised to do last week!

  3. #13 Don’t take my business for granted. I want to feel that you appreciate my business. And, if I as a customer, feel appreciated, I will show my appreciation by continuing to be a loyal customer for your products or services

  4. greg levin says:

    Drop the excuses about being understaffed due to inclement weather — take advantage of the home agent model. Agents in pajamas keep service disruptions from snowballing.

    (Great post, Kate!)

  5. Debbie Szumylo says:

    #13 – Drop the jargon. I don’t understand it and I don’t even think you do. Communicate to me clearly and simply. Tell me what I need to do or know in the most easily understood way. Picture your 89-year-old grandma…does she understand what you just said?

  6. Joni Daniels says:

    Drop the sales pitch. If I’m talking to you about a problem I’m having, it’s unlikely I want to upgrade or make an additional purchase. I just want what I have to work well.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      I’m with you Joni. Don’t try to sell me something new when I am calling about something you already sold me that is a problem! Fix my problem, re-secure my trust, and then I am more likely to purchase with you again in the future.

  7. Drop the idea of sucking me dry for personal information just to receive a free sample or a coupon. Why do you need my life history? My phone number? Why do I have to tell you my plans for purchases over the next year? I know that if I supply these pieces of information, you will start sending me junk mail and spam. Oh, and I don’t need a birthday card, either!

  8. #13. Drop the Posh English accents on your automated menus. You business will not come across as ‘high-end’ if a person who sounds like Judy Dench gives me menu choices but the the live person I reach sounds like Judy Tenuta.
    #14. Don’t ask me to enter personal information like account numbers if you’re going to ask me for the same info once I get a live person.

  9. AprilS says:

    #13 Don’t make me jump through hoops to prove I’m having an issue with your product. I wouldn’t be contacting you otherwise.

  10. #13 Don’t start off the conversation telling me what you can’t do. Instead, focus on what solutions are within your abilities to provide to resolve the problem I’m seeking your help with.

  11. Jeff Toister says:

    Great post.

    #13. Drop the empty marketing messages that say, “We care” when you clearly do not. Keep trying to get it right until your customer experience actually matches your advertising.

  12. Shep Hyken says:

    Drop the hard to get to the right person or any person routine. Make your contact information (phone number) visible and available on every website page. When someone calls, don’t make them go through half of the numbers on the keypad to get to the right person. Just make it…easy to do business with you.

  13. Guy Farmer says:

    Great post Kate. I’d add listening to what the customer needs and working with them to find a solution that satisfies them instead of telling them you can’t do something or pretending that you care about what they have to say but not delivering.

  14. Anne Egros says:

    #13 Stop the mandatory and systematic tipping, include that in the bill and I’ll give extra money for extra good services only if I want to. And please stop that fake smile !

  15. FutureExpat says:

    And drop the “thank you for calling X Company” at the end — who the hell else would I call when I have a problem with your product or service???

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Well I think we respectively disagree on this one. When I call a company, I want to know that I have reached the right place and a thank you is a nice welcoming touch.

      Yet I do appreciate your addition and view.

  16. #13 drop the social media channels that are not managed to customers expectations and concentrate on doing one customer touch-point well.

  17. #13 Drop the “Please allow 6-8 weeks to receive your…” Nothing, NOTHING should take six to eight weeks to accomplish. If you can’t do it sooner than that, just skip the offer to begin with.

  18. I would have to say my lucky number #13 is as follows:
    When I call to resolve an issue, don’t try to sell me a product that I already have with you. If your CRM can show you every call I’ve ever made, then surely it can show you that I also have product X and product Y (Hint: AT&T-I have uVerse. Please quit trying to sell it to me. Particularly after the nightmare that ensued while trying to have it installed).
    13 1/2: When I call to cancel a product, don’t try to keep me by going through a script. I realize that you are required to do this in order to keep your job. But listen to me when I say, “I know you have to say the following, but really, I just need you to cancel what I requested.”
    13 3/4: When I call to inquire about your product, don’t ask me for my phone number in case we get disconnected. I know the tactic. You want my number so you can continue to call me with sales pitches.

  19. Doug Goldberg says:

    Drop the “customer is always wrong” attitude before you pick up the phone to “help”


    Drop the scripted responses and teach your people how to interact, communicate and assist other people with sincerity….or at least how to fake it well.

    Thank you Kate

    • Kate Nasser says:

      I chuckled when I read “drop the customer is always wrong attitude”. It is so true yet so often overlooked. Many people in service roles do come across as if the customers are wrong until they prove themselves right!

      Thanks for stating it so simply and clearly.

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