How to insult your best customers

You can call them micro-insults – the tiny things that most annoy your customers.

Sadly, unless you ask, you will never be able to correct them. You and your people will continue to do or neglect them.

Rick Houcek, who writes a weekly inspirational column (, told his country club clients:

“You’re all customers, too. When you’re a patron of a hospitality establishment – restaurant, hotel, night club – what little things annoy, irritate, and drive you crazy?”

Putting it in the 1st person changed their perspective. Problems were easy to identify.

The country club employees quickly generated a long list of micro insults: No separate checks, no menu substitutions, crumbs left on table, water glasses not refilled, no table candles lit, wait staff not smiling at initial greeting, up-charges for extra items on a hamburger, table linens with holes. 

The country club employees recognized they did some of these things that were easy and inexpensive to fix.

Ask your employees the same thing. When they are customers, what micro insults annoy, irritate and drive them crazy?

How do they apply to your customers? Fix them to keep your customers happy.

We share such strategies in our “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.”  For a complimentary copy join the mailing list at the top of the page.

Next: What motivates your customers?

What it takes to keep a client

One of our elderly gentlemen readers called the other day to complain. Our Pet Editor, Scoop, writes a joke column in our newspapers, the Lexington County Chronicle and The Lake Murray Fish Wrapper.
Scoop (and his editor) find these jokes everywhere but mostly online. Some are a bit salty, which we don’t use. Nor do we use the ones too vanilla to be funny. But humor is always a matter of one’s taste.
This gentleman wanted to cancel his subscription due to what he considered an off-color joke that he did not want to have to explain to his teenage grandson.
If his grandson is anything like the teenagers we know, he may be able to better explain it and even salter jokes to Grandpa.
Katie, our subscription manager, apologized and did everything she could on the phone to assure him we will watch it.
She even went back and read the joke he referred to and found no offensive content.
We wrote him a letter explaining that, being a dog, Scoop does not always anticipate what may offend humans and gets carried away with his sense of humor.
We promised to keep an eye on Scoop and offered the reader a free subscription.
Katie handled the situation well.
How well do your people handle complaints? How do you know?

For a complimentary copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius” email