We Are Selfish Websites & the Customer Experience

As I spend more time online for blogging, for business, and for personal purchases, I am struck by how many websites show no customer focus.

They show selfishness, desperation, and an insatiable craving for market research data.

It’s as if these websites have one people-skills message:

We are selfish!

Would you stand in front of a customer and say that to deliver an oustanding customer experience?

Does your website capture attention with value or just squeeze the customer? Image by:KJGarbutt

Pop-up ads at the very beginning, hidden contact information, squeeze pages that immediately ask for name and email, surveys that interrupt — all break 3 important rules of outstanding customer service experience:

  1. Make it easy for the customer to find what they want and to contact you.
  2. Listen and help before asking the customer to help you.
  3. Deliver value to capture loyalty; don’t desperately capture the customer.

It reminds me of an in-person experience I had at a L’Occitane store.

I walked in and picked up the exact moisturizer I always used. I went to the checkout and the sales associate asked me if I needed anything else. I quickly said “no thanks and I’m in a hurry” and handed her my credit card. She held it in one hand and then picked up another product to upsell me. And then another all while holding my credit card hostage!

When I asked for my credit card back, she suddenly rang up my one purchase. I never went back and stopped using their products. Out of curiosity, I just checked their website and guess what — a pop-up squeeze page appeared right away.

I clicked twice to exit.  I don’t pay to be trapped.

Companies that think customers owe them information before buying, have the customer service experience backwards.  Perhaps if they experience a reversal of fortune, they will reverse course and deliver value to capture customer loyalty.

Every website has a people-skills message and a personality. What is your website’s message? Is it selfish or giving? Does it capture the customer’s attention with content and value or does it just try to capture the customer?

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 email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers consulting, training, DVDs, and keynotes on customer service and teamwork, turning interaction obstacles into business successs. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

11 Responses to “We Are Selfish Websites & the Customer Experience”

  1. Kimb Manson says:

    You have done it once again!! You have written a very powerful thought into a few paragraphs that I would love to post on every wall I own (which I have ) and only wish I had the guts to post it on some walls it should be on! But I shall refrain.

    Websites are your store front of in the global marketplace, use them well people. So many don’t, I refuse to stay on any website that gives me any pop up or wants any personal information. I leave so quickly you can see a trail of cyber dust.

    Make your site comfortable, warm, inviting and unobtrusive. You can not only do this by not scaring them off with TMI NEEDED…heck you can also do it with calming colors and pleasant graphics.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hah Kimb … a “trail of cyber dust” — great visual. And if people want superb graphics with a positive customer experience message, they would do well to tap your creative talent!

  2. Hi Kate, Great points!
    The Pop-Up Ad syndrome seems to be everywhere. It’s no longer about the customer having a choice to click on and view something of interest but forcing them in hopes that somebody, anybody will buy. It’s like the old direct mail shotgun approach before targeted marketing changed the way the mailings were done.

    I’m also reminded of a funny British TV program called “Father Ted”. In every episode, the housekeeper offered tea to the guest who politely refused but she still repeatedly shoved the tea in their face saying, “Go on, go on, go on…” until they gave in or she walked away making a rude comment. Our prospects and customers on our sites are “guests”.

    While humorous in a sitcom, it’s an apt comparison to what is happening in most marketing today. What we’re hearing is “If you didn’t get our message, we’re going to make sure you get it until you buy or give us all your personal information so we can bug you later”. How does that really build loyalty, trust and revenue?

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thanks Melissa for the added story. I have never seen the comedy you mention yet your re-telling of it underscores the message of my post. Excellent addition and truly appreciated.
      Have a super weekend,

  3. Anne Egros says:

    HI Kate,

    You just made my adrenalin level up ! Thinking about those flashy pop-ups, request for information to read the content or just that video of a guy telling all that crap thinking your an idiot ! I hate those websites and pushy sale tricks!

    Treat your clients the way THEY want to be treated, not the way YOU like to be treated !

    Kate you are a model of warm engaging nice to read blog, thank you for all the efforts you spend to give to others. Have a great weekend too.

  4. Joshua Symonette says:


    This is called greed, which is a negative byproduct of capitalism. I would also say that there is a lack of patience in the world we live in today. Every customer has to be squeezed for as much as possible TODAY! However, if you consistently give people what they want and treat them well, you will gain an exponential amount of evangelists.


  5. Lorne Pike says:

    Great post, Kate. You’re absolutely right; the continual squeezing of customers for more and more of their money is never a good thing. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of stats out there from Website owners saying the pop-up windows and squeeze pages often actually do increase sales, so it’s not surprising so many sites do it. Still, there’s something to be said for treating people with respect rather than always going for that extra sale… and you’ve said it very well!

    All the best….

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Lorne,
      You know what I would love to see? A global conversation from online entrepreneurs of all the non-squeeze ways that have produced profit! That’s true innovation.

      • Lorne Pike says:

        I like that idea! Gonna give that one some thought, Kate. It should make for a very interesting and valuable discussion.

        Will let you know when I come up with a few ways that have worked for others!

        Take care…

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