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15 Ways To Improve The Customer Experience

Updated on October 14, 2013

There was a time that the service industry reveled in the quality of care extended to their customers. Many companies still pride themselves on how their customers are treated and actively pursue ways to improve the customer experience, even when standards are already high. HOWEVER, there does exist service industry practices that are less than stellar. The shortcomings are unacceptable, intolerable, and down-right undignified.

While excellent service does exist, and on many levels; poor service is nearly as prevalent. The quality of care a customer receives can no longer be secondary to the successful operation and longevity of a company.

As a consumer, I more than appreciate quality service; this may be the same for other consumer’s. However, in my observation, I find that some consumers have developed a level of acceptance for the lack of care and attention that they receive. While the management of a company is obligatory to good employment practices and standards, the employee is not exempt of obligation, and like the employer has a responsibility to maintain themselves with ethics in the workplace.

This article outlines observations of areas that require improvement to the customer experience, and the importance of companies to regularly reiterate standards that have somehow become the exception.

Customer Service Survey Form
Customer Service Survey Form | Source

The following list outlines critical areas that are in need of immediate improvement, the customers view and the impact on the customer:

1. Please save the sunflower seeds for break time. We as customers understand the importance of a low calorie snack; however we do not understand being greeted by someone with chewed-up sunflower kernels smashed between their teeth that look like they’ve been chew’n on cotton.

2. Please do not hold a personal conversation with your co-workers while servicing a customer. We as customers understand the importance of camaraderie in the work place; however we do not give a rats booty about Pookie and em’ and what else they done did.

3. Please do not ask “Can I help you?” as if the presence of the customer is disruptive, and assisting the customer is a violation. We as customers understand that anyone can, at times have a disparaging attitude; however we do not understand why you don’t understand that we are in need of your help. While self checkout exists in some cases (grocery stores) we cannot otherwise check ourselves out unless we are in front of a mirror.

4. Please do not chew and pop gum while on duty. We as customers understand the importance of keeping your mouth hydrated; however we do not understand the rotation of your gums like a cow on crack, combined with the ear piercing popping of the gum. We as customers think that choking on gum is not so bad after all.

5. Please do not become defiant with the customer when they make a simple and acceptable request. We as customers understand that at times your job may overwhelm you; however we do not understand why you are up-in-arms because we asked you to double the bag.

Woman Listening To Complaint
Woman Listening To Complaint | Source

6. Please refrain from transferring your personal issues to your customers. We as customers understand that you may have personal matters, but we do not want to be the unintended target of conflicts between you and your mate and what that so-and-so done did this time.

7. Please refrain from using profanity while on duty. We as customers understand banter between colleagues (except when you are waiting on us); however we as customers are offended when language is used that’s suited for off-the-clock conversations. We as customers have difficulty determining if you’re calling us a low down #@&%?$!!

8. Please do not wear open toe or slingback shoes. We as customers understand that you want to be stylish, and comfortable, and we do accept open toe and slingback shoes with limitations; however we do not understand the corn on your pinkie toe caus’n sparks on the carpet. Open toe and sling back shoes are only acceptable when they are stylish and appropriate for the environment, and a pedicure is completed with scrubb’n the husk off the back of your feet.

9. Please do not wear revealing clothes while on duty. We as customers understand that you think you’re cute; however we do not understand why you’re breastesses are depressing the keys on the cash register more than your hands.

10. Please do not wear pants that hang below your bottom. We as customers understand that you want to dress hip; however we do not want to see your underwear, or the streak that is not part of the underwear design.

Business Hand With Letter Of O
Business Hand With Letter Of O | Source

11. Please do not ask the customer if you can help them, and then make them wait while you take a quick bite of your sandwich. We as customers understand that you may not have had a break for some reason; however we do not understand the onion breath that is singing our nostrils.

12. Please refrain from engaging in a personal phone call while on duty. We as customers understand the necessity of communication with counterparts outside of the workplace; however we do not understand why you attempt to maintain a conversation while servicing us. We suggest that you do not have your cell phone on your person while on duty, or at least terminate the call immediately once a customer approaches. We could care less about what happened on any talk show, reality show, or your own personal soap opera.

13. Please do not sing out loud, and yell, “This is my song!” to the music playing in the background at the store. We as customers understand that you have an appreciation for music; however we do not understand your harmony or lack of it; It hurts our ears…and scares us.

14. Please do not develop an attitude when a customer returns to you because you got their order wrong. We as customers understand that mistakes happen; however we do not understand why you are angry that we returned chips when we asked for fries. We know that they’re still potatoes, but it’s not what we asked for.

15. Please do not suggest that a party of (5) or more sit at separate tables that are nowhere near the other. We as customers understand that you may be busy, and are designated to a particular section; however we do not understand why we would even be asked when we clearly see several empty tables that accommodate our party size. We suggest that if the empty table is not in your section that you take the additional (10) steps to that section with the empty table(s).

Guaranteed Logo
Guaranteed Logo | Source

The intent of this article is not to suggest that employees always work under favorable conditions (as it relates between employer and employee), it is only to suggest that even when there does exist an issue or plight that does not involve the customer…do not involve the customer. Anyone who works in the service industry must consider that when they leave their jobs, they are consumers too.

I am fully aware that there is another side…the employment side…I’ll talk about that another day…I know at times that we as customers can be a pain too.


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    • imatellmuva profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      PURE AWESOMENESS!!! Thanks Cyndi10!!!

      Anyone who knows me well,knows that I am huge on customer service. Poor service is a deal breaker for me, and if it isn't I will at least explain why!!

      My most recent encounter was with a manager, who had the audacity to chit-chat it up with a cashier while she was waiting on me. I have the ability to give a look, which in most cases is self explanatory.

      Not only did the manager get the look, but she got my business card, directing her to THIS article...and a REPRIMAND!!! I'm so bold!!!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      This is great. A lot of these work for phone customer service, as well. Chewing gum, having conversation with coworkers, to name a few. Poor customer service can be a deal breaker for me. I'll stop using a product or service if I get poor customer service. Thanks for your list. Everyone in business or working with the public should read it. Well done! Sending this out on Twitter.

    • imatellmuva profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      Thanks alocsin, it was those experiences with the younger members of the sales and service industry (and a few older members) that prompted this hub.

      This is obviously a different approach, so the customer impact can be better appreciated.

      Thanks for your comment and the votes!

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      9 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I wish they could distribute this hub to all the young salespeople and clerks I encounter. They don't seem to know the meaning of good customer service -- but then again, many have never experience good service either. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • imatellmuva profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      mfriedstore, thank you for not only reading my hub, but understanding how the customer is impacted when faced with issues as referenced in my hub.

      These are actual instances that I, and others have experienced on numerous occassions, and not with the same clerk, and/or business.

      Again, I thank you!

    • mfriedstore profile image


      9 years ago from 176 Flushing Avenue Brooklyn , New York

      Your hub is really an informative one. I'll take your advice. As a business owner we have to be flexible to what ever changes that may come along the way.

    • imatellmuva profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      @,Jeff_McRitchie I know that there exist many other issues, but I thought I would focus on those that seem to have the most frequency.

      AND thank you kindly for your compliment!

      @barbergirl28, I am also a big advocate for customer service. I don't understand why having service standards does not register with everyone in the industry.

      Thank you so much for your comment!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      9 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I am a big advocate for customer service. I have been in the customer service for a long time. I strive to make the customers as happy as possible. This is a great list that those in the service industry really should be aware of. Great hub!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a great Hub. It's informative and also amusing. Good work!

    • imatellmuva profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      Thanks Last! These are unfortunate yet true incidents of poor customer service. Trust me...they all have been warned.

    • profile image

      The Last Born Child 

      9 years ago

      Very well written! I have had the unfortunate experience of being in a number of the situations you talked about. Thanks for bringing these instances to light.

    • imatellmuva profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      Thanks Bangla! I am a huge on customer service! It's important for management to now when service is superb as well as sub-par.

      Knowing that service is sub-par can and should help management to identify and improve weak areas of service, and reinforce the importance of the customer.

    • profile image

      Bangla Keene-El 

      9 years ago

      This post was informative and witty. I think people need to here this now and again. I've always been the type to pay for good service before cheap and lousy service 10 times out of 10. Thanks for reminding of my commitment to the customer as well!

    • imatellmuva profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      Thanks Jeannieinabottle, once I was shopping with my mother, and we were followed so closely by a store employee, that my mother stopped and asked him, if he wanted to carry her items for her?! usually my mother is quiet, but that was a very proud moment for me!

      I hate the over-zealous clerk as well. I can do without both the ignorant and the one obviously chuck'n up only for the commission. This is what makes online shoppping more appealing.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie Marie 

      9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Come on, don't you know customers are merely an interruption during an otherwise pleasant workday? Someone can't stop and help a customer when she needs to finish eating her sandwich and discuss the manager's secret love affair with the cashier at register 5. Hehe.

      Honestly, I would almost rather be waited on by an unenthusiastic cashier rather than have some overzealous customer service rep follow so closely at my heels I am scared she is going to step on my shoes. Somewhere out there, I hope there is a happy middle. I just haven't found it yet.

      Fun hub and voted up!

    • imatellmuva profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      Absolutely...I always do. I write letters, I send e-mails, personal thank you's, give gift cards, send name it I do it! However, poor service can't be ignored.

    • profile image

      Aunt Darlene 

      9 years ago

      In return, we as customers always pledge to comment on good service to management , where possible, and not to leave insulting amounts as tips such as less than 15% for excellent service for Wait Staff!!

    • imatellmuva profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      Thanks Tennis! My articles typically address real life matters, but with witty overtures. More companies need to model employee standards that are based on the customer experience. I've worked in management and have re-structured the employment handbook to address and/or update employee expectations with better consideration of the customer experience. My own employees were better for it, and exceled at customer service and care.

      Thanks for reading the article. I'm glad that you enjoyed it, and thanks for sharing with your employer.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This was so funny and true that I'm going to send to my manager to fwd to customer service manager at my job for modeling purposes. Not to say any1 is like that


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