See things from your customer’s perspective

I’m a regular reader of Not Always Right, a blog where employees post funny (and sometimes educational) customer service stories. Recently they posted this:

(Hospital Employee): “Hi, welcome to [hospital]. How can I help you?”

Visitor: “I’d like to file a complaint. Is there a paper or something I can fill out?”

(Hospital Employee): “Sure. There are feedback forms right–”

Visitor: “[Patient]’s room is too far away! I’ve had to walk around this place too much. Too much walking. I don’t want to do any more walking!”

(Hospital Employee): “Okay. There are forms right on that desk over there.” *I point to desk a few feet away*

Visitor: “No, no, no! Forget it! If they’re too far away I don’t wanna do it! I don’t wanna walk that far! Goodbye!” *walks out of the hospital*

The humor here comes from the customer’s apparent laziness and how what he says seems to contradict what he does.  But, even more importantly, the lesson here is that the customer sees things completely different than the employee does.

The employee seems to feel the complaint forms are plenty convenient. But the customer disagrees (enough to walk out without filing a complaint). Sadly, this happens thousands of times every day. Because we make it less than convenient for our customers to give us feedback.

We might think it’s easy and convenient. Just like the server who responded to my feedback by telling me to go to their website. But that requires an extra step. And if the customer sees that extra step as a hassle, they won’t do it. Then you lose valuable feedback about how to improve your business. And you might lose a customer too!

Remember to see your customer’s experience from THEIR view, not yours. Because it’s their opinion that drives their decisions about whether they’ll remain your customer.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz