Are you guilty as charged?

I look at your business in ways you probably don’t. That’s a good thing—you’re busy running your business. I’m busy soaking up and analyzing your Experience. When I look around, I see things you don’t know are there—good and bad. And sometimes, I might let it get to me, just a little bit.

I suppose if I weren’t feeling so darn ranty about it, I probably could have called this 10 Things You Can Fix to Get More Customers Today.

But I didn’t.


Ten near-fatal blows to Maximum Customer Experience

10. Disillusioned business owners.

Makes me sad to see that. Very, very hard to take action even when “a part of you wants to,” if you’ve given up hope.

9. The color orange.

There. I said it and I feel better. Orange makes people and places look bad. Sack it like a crummy employee. (Hahaha, Kelly, it’s pepping up your graphics right here at MCE. Yes, I know. But I’m not wearing it, and neither is the room I’m sitting in.) Close second: The color green, in restaurants. Appetite suppressant and general turn-off. Did you know that fast food places used to use green as a subliminal indicator to get you to leave fast?

8. A lack of clear web strategy.

What is you site doing for you? What do you, actively, do on the web, and why?

Worse, lack of Internet presence at all. I’d say we are rapidly approaching “too late” to get on the bandwagon except, there is always a newcomer to whom you’ll seem like you’ve been in place forever—if only you’re in place when they look for you. Do it now.

7. Dated design.

Oh, yeah. It shows.

6. Undervaluing design services.

You’ll spend $60,000 on a new company truck, but not spend somewhere around a thousand researching your Customer Experience strategy, or making your website a functional lead and revenue generator, or planning your interiors to maximize sales?

For fifty bucks I’ll tell you your fancy truck will never bring in one single new customer. Paint the old one.

Whoops. I told you for free.

5. Disrepair.

How can you let your customers sit on ripped vinyl benches, with stained acoustical tiles above their heads, and still wonder what you should do to make them feel special?

Take care of the details. That goes a long way toward making folks feel special.

4. Your name.

Ooh, sorry. I know you like it a lot, but yeah. I probably hate your business name. Take a look around—they’re mostly awful. They don’t make me want to buy and they don’t even make me curious. If you’re stuck with that name, you need to get a tagline that rocks. And quick.

3. Wasted staff.

We’ve invented the wheel, discovered the photon, built the railroads, grown Facebook and Craigslist and Twitter through word-of-mouth, and touched the moon. Yet most of us aren’t doing a quarter of what we could in our workaday lives. What could your staff do if you weren’t holding them back?

2. Rude service.

It’s related to #3, but it must be elevated to a position all its own. There’s no surer route to a lost sale.

1. Dirty businesses.

No, not that kind of dirty. Real, honest-to-goodness-how-can-you-not-notice-that, dirt. Filth. Easy to deal with, far too often ignored, and at the root of way more Customer Experience problems than I care to list.


From cheap fixes to big picture—sure, I hate these things now, but I know you can turn them around. Invest in the long-term health of your company by putting improved Customer Experience in place, starting today.

Your turn! Got a Customer Experience pet peeve? Share it in the comments. You know you want to!


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson

*Thanks to The Ad Contrarian, Bob Hoffman, who reminded me in a recent post that I hate a bunch of stuff, too. What else are 2.0-friends for?