TIP 4: Don’t Show Your Customers That You Care.

What are you, a therapist?

Negative Ned Says…

Ned Watching his Watch

“Do I look like a therapist? Why do these customers think I care about their problems? Their rotten marriage or their sick kid has nothing to do with me or my job. And frankly, I don’t want to hear about it. I wish they’d just buy their stuff and get out of here, so I can go home!”

Positive Paul Says…

Positive Paul

“Of all the qualities I have or will mention, to show caring and compassion is the most important. Studies show that feeling cared for is one of the largest factors in customer satisfaction, and it’s what converts customers from simply satisfied to loyal.

It is absolutely possible to be courteous and helpful and not show care and concern. And yet, care and concern are what determines whether your customers will leave satisfied or become loyal. At a glance, courtesy, helpfulness, care and concern seem the same, right? Not in the customer’s eyes. Employees are missing opportunities, especially when they are really busy. For example, let’s say a customer mentions she just had a birthday yesterday, and the employee responds by saying, ‘Name and ID?’ The employee wasn’t trying to be rude, she just missed an opportunity. If instead the employee had said, ‘Oh, my goodness, Happy Birthday!’ she would have shown that she cared, and the customer’s perception about the company’s service would have improved significantly.

Fred Lee writes in his book, If Disney Ran Your Hospital, that compassion means ‘doing or saying something that shows a genuine concern for the patient’s state of mind. It means exhibiting some heartfelt empathy for the patient’s anxiety and pain.’

You can serve your customers successfully by listening to find out what they really want and care about — timeliness, price, access, quality.

Customers want to feel important and appreciated. They want to be treated as individuals. But you must be sincere. Your customers are smart and will know if it’s lipservice. Sincerity will create good feelings and trust.

And don’t forget to ensure your body language conveys sincerity and is congruent with your words!”

A Real World Example

Here is a good example of BAD customer service as told to me by participant Cynthia Hudson:

“For Christmas, I received a gift certificate for a day salon from my boyfriend. It was for $120. I set an appointment to get a cut and color, manicure and pedicure. The hair services alone were $95. I got a pedicure and manicure, which cost an additional $58, plus tip. I also purchased gift certificates for my manager, niece and mother.

Four days later, the color washed out! I was very upset; I had a party to attend soon. I called the salon and told them about the problem. The stylist said she was busy and would call me back. But she never did. I continued to call for a week. Each time, she told me she was too busy to redo my hair right then. So I went to my masquerade ball with gray hair. Thankfully, nobody noticed. I continued to call to get my hair re-colored, but no response.

I finally asked my boyfriend if he would call her. He called, and this time the owner, who was the one who had colored my hair, said, ‘No problem. Tell her to make an appointment with me.’

So I called to make an appointment with her through the receptionist. The owner then called five minutes later to say she would be moving me back a half an hour and that she would be charging me.

I was again very upset. Once we got to the salon, the owner didn’t even look at me. She said unless I paid for that visit, she would not fix her mistake. I was furious. The owner didn’t care. She told me to sue her if I didn’t like the way she ran her business.

I let her know that I would be talking about her lousy customer service on Facebook, in newspapers, and in a review on Super Yellow Pages – which I did. That salon owner simply did not care! I quickly found another hair salon that fixed my hair for free and earned my business.

Moral to the story: Ignore or annoy the heck out of your customers. It’s a great way for your competitors to get more business.

Strategies to Turn This Around

Show care and concern.

  1. If someone reveals something personal about himself, take a moment to comment positively.
  2. Ask questions to determine his true needs.
  3. Be spontaneous with your compassionate actions.


Remember: Feeling cared for converts customers from satisfied to loyal!

“Sell good merchandise at a reasonable profit, treat your customers like human beings, and they’ll always come back for more.”

— Leon Leonwood Bean

© 2012 by Barbara Khozam Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this message may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission of the publisher.

1 Response to “TIP 4: Don’t Show Your Customers That You Care.”

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