… Are they hoping that I’m not typical?

If you’re working in a “typical” business, you think the rules that govern your firm are special. I’m guilty of it myself. (Whoo-ee.) You think your mileage may vary from the way other businesses have to pay attention to the entire Customer Experience. Because of all that specialness, of course.

Sorry. The rules that govern your business’ growth are the same as the rules for the businesses you do—and don’t—buy from when you’re the customer. Which means this Customer Experience stuff should be easy! Just turn this thinking around so you’re on the other side of the sale…

If you’re a “typical” customer, wouldn’t you like to tell a few businesses about some of the dumb things they do? Try out a few of these:

I don’t see your website’s banner. Neither do user testers, time after time. Don’t even remember the name of your site unless you repeat it in your body copy a couple of times. So if you put critical info up there, just know that I’ll never see it.

Your mileage may vary.

I don’t notice your customer service until the day you screw up. You know how you brag about having friendly people who make my day so sweet? Don’t remember any of them. I’ve got things to do when I’m at your store. Your staff are there to make things pleasant. If they can’t manage that, then at least make sure they don’t make it unpleasant. I’ll forgive or forget the rest.

Your mileage may vary.

I still read my mail. The snail variety.

Except the big envelope full of offers from 63 companies. “VALUE-MAIL!” you scream, but I can’t hear you.

Unless I’m in the mood to get something for nothing.

Because I think the desperate people stick their leaflets in those envelopes.

Your mileage may vary.

I’m judgmental, superficial, and lookist, and I don’t even know it. Don’t hold it against me; I’m here to pay your bills. I decide in less than 30 seconds whether I’ll stay on your website, whether I’ll buy from your ill-dressed salesperson, whether I’ll purchase what’s in your fancy packaging. I think I’m rational, logical, and well-educated. I think I’m reading, listening, thinking it out. But I’m really a mass of consumerist prejudices, and I’ve already made my decision.

Your mileage may vary.

I’m all about me. You’re talking about you! You have experience, capabilities, power-performance-and-whoop-de-doodads. All I want to know is how my day will go better once I say yes to you. In detail. Me-me-me. With a smile (that I’m sorry, I won’t remember later).

Your mileage may vary.

If you call me on the phone and I didn’t ASK you to, GAME OVER.

Ditto email.

Your mileage may vary.

I didn’t hear you. Mostly because I’m not listening. There’s stuff going on around me and inside me that is just… more interesting than you. So repeat yourself. Sorry you’re sick of it. Rephrase it now and again. Then… repeat yourself. Seems that you think I am paying attention. Dude, I’m way, way busier than that. And I think I’m becoming just a little bit bored—NOT because you’re repeating yourself—because I forgot why I’m waiting around to GET THE POINT.

Your mileage….

What would you add? What other dumb things do you see companies doing, figuring the rules of great Customer Experience don’t apply to them?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson