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I’m not a violent guy. Well, most of the times I’m not.

Sometimes, though, I seem to forget all my manners and I imagine I’m grabbing some deeply unhelpful rep called Randal, and shaking him until he gets rid of the crap he keeps in his ears.

But I don’t do it. Partly because I don’t feel like going to jail, and partly because somebody has yet to invent a way to do that by phone or email.

What puts me in this state of darkness? Glad you asked!

Please Kick The Shit Out Of Me!
Creative Commons License photo credit: laverrue

The beginning of the story: do you care about the experience?

More specifically, do you care about the experience of your clients, customers, and whoever you’re doing something for?

You want to provide a service, that is useful and appreciated, so you care.

You probably remember a situation when a clerk, let’s call him Randal, was complaining, and you even felt like you were bothering him. You thought “Why are you doing this job if you hate it so much?”.

And you really, really, don’t want your customers to feel the way you did.

So yes, you care. And you try to make sure each experience is the best possible. You want to improve your service so your customers are happy.

But you can’t always know what goes on in your customer’s mind.

Where you ask for feedback

So you ask for feedback. I mean, you know your customer knows best what she wants in her encounter with you and your services.

And you’re not the only one asking for feedback, the big ones do it too.

Let’s say Randal Corp. is a big Internet service provider. They record the support calls so that the “customer support experience” can be improved. They even send an email after a call to the support asking for a small 30 seconds feedback. So small that the only thing they ask you to do is click on a simple radio button to express whether the customer rep was competent and helpful. They don’t give you the opportunity to ask why the h*** they don’t provide support via email!

And why? Because they don’t want to know. Because they don’t actually want to improve the experience, they just want to rank it, to normalize it, so that it’s appropriate, not so that it’s good, or better. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they give the opportunity to send forms via email? Or – God forbid – put them on the web so their customers don’t have to spend 15 minutes waiting on a call then wait a week for the forms to arrive?

Where you get feedback

I want to make things better. This is who am I at the core. And I’m pretty good at pointing out things that could be improved. But more importantly, I’m a (potential) customer willing to help.

This is a message for the Randal Corps of the world: Most of the time you ask for feedback. Often, I give it. Sometimes you answer. Most of the times you make me understand that my suggestions won’t go further than the Trash mailbox. If by chance, you not only listen, but hear me, and I ask you to keep me posted on the elements that prevent me from buying from Randal Corp., why do I never hear from you ever again?

You say you care about your “customers”, but don’t understand it is always one at a time!

Where I want to matter

I want to be cared for. When you tell me you care, because you want feedback, I trust you, and I give. Then you do whatever you want with my gifts and forget about me. Why don’t you go until the end?

What I learn from your actions is that you want to use me and dispose of me.

Then I just want to punch you in the face, because, seriously, it’d be so easy to do it right.

Where you do it right

If you are passionate about the experience, and if you listen, I mean really listen to me, make me feel that I care, I’ll be devoted to you, I’ll help you grow and serve your clients better than ever, I’ll bring you new customers, and a wealth of ideas and services I want to buy from you.

But that brings up a question: do you want a relationship with me, or do you just want me to buy stuff from you?

Be passionate about your customers experience, and you’ll get loyal fans. Be a Randal, pretend to care and don’t follow through, and not only your customers will not care about you, they’ll jump ship as soon as something looks better on the other side.

If you’re not passionate about your customers, are you serving anyone but yourself?

No Randals were harmed in the making of this post (though I certainly thought about it).