Monthly Mash and the Customer's Invisible Rules
Adam Toporek Keynote Speaker of Customers That Stick®
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Monthly Mash and the Customer’s Invisible Rules

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

Volume 22: August 2013

Thoughts on the Customer: The Customer’s Invisible Rules

We all have too many rules, and our personal rules can be some of our greatest sources of conflict and unhappiness.

Monthly Mash and the Customer's Invisible RulesWhen you are upset with someone for acting a certain way, inevitably it is because that person violated some rule you have about how people should act.

Our customers have rules as well. In customer service, we refer to them as expectations, but here’s the catch: the word expectations is not strong enough to represent how some customers feel.

Sometimes the customer’s view of what, when, and how something should happen is so strong, so fixed, that when we fail to live up to it — we get an upset customer instead of just a disappointed customer.

Often with customers, we are faced with a divergence between the strength of the customer’s reaction and what we see as the level of the service failure.

In these cases, it is helpful to remember that while we think we failed to meet an expectation, the customer thinks we violated a rule. And therein lies the difference between disappointed and disgruntled.

The Month in Customer Service Blogging

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

  • How Do You Quantify the Value of Self-Service? – An interesting calculation for determining what self-service is worth based on the cost of a customer service rep handling the situation.
  • How To Promote Your Bar or Restaurant Using Customer Testimonials – Six tips for restaurant owners on how to use testimonials to promote their business.
  • So Your Customers Are Showrooming? Big Deal – This realistic attitude toward showrooming can help retailers stay in business, even if their customers do it.
  • 7 Reasons the Customer Is Often Wrong – A great guide for consultants or teams who work with customers on long-term projects.
  • What Are Your Employees Doing When You’re Not Around? – Many managers would rather not know, but not knowing can be detrimental to your customers’ experience.
  • Why Employees Don’t Pass Along Customer Complaints – If you rarely receive customer complaints from your front line employees, then read this article immediately!
  • Customer Service: Start With The End In Mind – Thoughts about whether customers or employees should be the primary focus of a new company.
  • How To Get More Customer Service Complaints! – Frequent customer complaints may not necessarily be a bad thing.
  • Is Your Customer Routing Strategy Like A Paper Map? – A fantastic metaphor and strategy for how contact center routing should operate.

Someone Was Listening

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

This month we were proud to debut When Customers Stick: Customer Retention by the Numbers (Infographic), our first CTS infographic! The infographic illustrates a few great customer retention statistics with some fun visuals and graphics. Take a look; we’d love to hear what you think!

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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