Insider Exclusive: Eliminating the Customer ‘Prevention’ Department

Insider Exclusive: Eliminating the Customer ‘Prevention’ Department

How Not to Treat Customers

By Randi Busse

Randi Busse, founder and president of Workforce Development Group Inc., knows how to keep customers happy. She’s been training and coaching organizations on how to improve their customer experience, increase customer retention, and maximize revenue for many years. In the letter below, Busse writes from the perspective of an angry customer to a company that has let them down. Read this letter and learn how not to treat your customers if you want to retain their business:

Dear Business Owner,

I was in need of the product or service that your company offers, so I called your office to confirm that you had what I wanted. But when I called you, it was “after hours” and your answering machine would not let me leave a message. When I called the next day and left a message, no one called me back! When I called for the third time and finally got through, the person who answered sounded like I was bothering him.

When I came into your business or store, I wasn’t acknowledged or greeted by anyone. As a matter of fact, the two employees behind the counter were standing around talking to each other about the movie that they watched last night. They didn’t even glance my way. Their lack of interest in me and what I was looking for was apparent. I asked where a particular product was and they pointed to a general area across the room. While I headed to try and find the product, I heard the two employees complaining about your micromanagement style (just thought you might want to know that!).

Neither of those situations made me feel welcome and they certainly did not make me feel important. Because no one was interested in helping me buy what you were selling, I decided to purchase from someone else. You see, you’re not the only game in town, so why should I buy from you instead of from “Joe down the street”?

My advice to you? When you hire a new employee, before you teach them about your products and services, how much they cost, how to ring them up, and where the shipping department is, teach them that customers are the most important part of your business. Teach them how to treat them and how to make them feel important.

Let me know when that happens, and maybe I’ll come back. Unless of course “Joe down the street” has already gained my business!


Your Former Customer

According to a survey by Bain & Co., 80 percent of companies surveyed believe they deliver a superior customer experience. However, only 8 percent of their customers agree. Those numbers just don’t add up, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Make it pleasant and easy for customers to do business with you—or they won’t!

Randi Busse is president of Workforce Development Group Inc., a customer service and employee development training, coaching, and consulting organization. She will be a speaker at the 2018 ABA Annual Meeting & Marketplace in Charlotte, N.C. 

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.


Melanie Hinton, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, ABA
Office: (202) 218-7220
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