Monthly Mash and April Fool’s Day
Adam Toporek Keynote Speaker of Customers That Stick®

Monthly Mash and April Fool’s Day


Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.

Volume 17: March 2012

Thoughts on the Customer: Is Every Day April Fool’s Day for Your Customers?

It seems in some businesses, every day is April Fool’s day.

  • Our no-worries warranty — well, that only applies to people who bought our product at full price.
  • Our 24-7 customer service — well, we only run the phones Monday-Friday 9-4 Eastern time. Please use our moderated forums for customer support outside of that window.
  • Oh yeah, and that 99.9% uptime guarantee — well, that only applies if we do not have power interruptions or server failures.

For too many businesses, the expectations they set are never even close to fulfilled. The marketing department creates a fantasy that is not  met by the reality experienced by consumers. In some cases, the unmet promises are so brazen that they actually constitute a form of bait and switch.

It is hard enough to please customers when businesses actually do what they say they are going to do; when businesses do not deliver on the core promises they are making to customers, the result is much worse than an April Fool’s joke.

How do you avoid this in your own business. Simply ask yourself…

  • What are you saying to customers?
  • What do your customers expect as a result?
  • And what are you ultimately delivering?

April Fool’s jokes are great for friends and close colleagues, but in customer service, they just don’t work.

The Month in Customer Service Blogging

A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience I read this past month.

  • 3 Companies Focused on Helping Not Selling – These 3 online companies provide an impressive customer experience by freely sharing their knowledge with customers.
  • How Meaning Influenced the Carnival Triumph Crew’s Customer Service – Carnival’s crew proves that engaged employees are likely to remain accountable for the customer experience, even in times of heightened stress.
  • Why Starbucks’ Customer Loyalty Is More Lucrative Than Any Ad Campaign – Everything that Starbucks does right adds up to one core loyalty driver: relevance.
  • Chili’s Serves Up a Lesson in Customer Care – A heartwarming story about a Chili’s server’s compassion towards a family with a special daughter.

Someone Was Listening

Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.

We received a lot of quality feedback on our post How to Handle Customer Threats. The post seemed to strike a nerve with readers, and a number shared their own techniques and experiences. Customer threats will happen, and the more we can prepare our teams, the more equipped they will be to handle these high stress situations.

About the Author Adam Toporek

By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

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