3 Popular Habits that Make You Unpopular with Customers

by Jeannie Walters

Improve Your CX Without Breaking a Sweat.

With 21 days of simple, actionable missions, our 21-Day CX Challenge can help you create fewer ruined days for your customers™... without ruining your day.


Enrollment is FREE -- Let's get started.

Experience Investigators 21-Day Customer Experience Challenge Title Card

You will receive occasional emails with valuable information. We will never sell, share, or abuse your information. For more information, view or Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.

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?

improve customer experience

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?

improve customer experience

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?

Love it? Share it:

Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

Connect Jeannie's Brain Directly to Your Inbox.

Get weekly insights & tips to make your day (and your customer’s experience) brighter.