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3 Popular Habits that Make You Unpopular with Customers

There are probably a million ways to improve customer experience in your organization, so where should you start? Before you do anything, think about this:

Humans have a way of turning a nice idea into a complicated nightmare.

Think of insurance – the idea of it is lovely. If we all chip in a little at a time, we’ll be there for each other next time something goes wrong for one of us.

And yet, I bet the last time you had to deal with an insurance claim, you didn’t think to yourself, “this is a lovely idea!”

Today, leaders in many organizations are getting great ideas around how to improve customer experience, but they are executing those ideas through ways focused on process and data instead of good ol’ common sense. Large organizations have large goals that require robust data and structure. I get it! But some of this is getting ridiculous. Is your organization guilty?

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To improve customer experience, you have to break some strong habits.

Because we can stop doing these things. We really can!

1. Stop gathering feedback to prove something you already know.

I’ve seen this time after time. Leaders are still people, so there are times we just know when something isn’t working for customers.

Sometimes we’re not feeling right about how we’re treating them, or we are just falling behind our competition. We know it and say it. We have meetings about it. And then instead of just changing something for the better, we send out surveys to dozens or thousands to ask “you hate this, right?” Why wait to improve customer experience in places we know are lacking?

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2. Stop having territorial wars within your organization.

It’s impossible to lead a team to a victory if the leaders are racing to see who will break the ribbon first.

Define roles and departments with crossover and collaboration encouraged. Don’t make leaders feel like they are competing if they are all aiming for the same goal. The C-Suite has to model this, yet they have to know they will be rewarded individually for working collaboratively. Too often, that’s not only never said, but actively discouraged.

3. Stop creating a customer journey based on your organization’s structure.

We say things like “we need to ‘educate’ customers about how we work.” We create barriers because our systems don’t talk to each other. And then we say things like “let me connect you with a customer retention specialist” when the customer just has a question.

Your customer should not have to understand your org chart or your annual goals in order to get things accomplished. Create a journey FOR them, not what happens TO them.

Stop creating nightmares.


These 3 things do a lot to damage relationships with customers, and yet they seem to be hard habits to break.

Why don’t we ask each other more questions, and challenge the status quo while we’re at it? Why don’t we put ourselves in the customer’s shoes and consider how when we talk about the “CR Team” they might be thinking, “Who?? WHAT?”

It’s time to shake the cobwebs off the usual and shake it up on behalf of your customers. What question can you ask today to challenge the status quo?

About Jeannie Walters, CCXP, CSP

Jeannie Walters CCXP CSP small square photoJeannie is an award-winning customer experience expert, international keynote speaker, and sought-after business coach who is trailblazing the movement from “Reactive Customer Service” to “Proactive Customer and Employee Experience.” More than 500,000 people have learned from her CX courses on LinkedIn Learning, and her insights have been featured in Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and NPR

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