I am your customer

I am someone that you should appreciate and hope to develop a relationship with

I don’t want to be ‘sold’, I want information

I am not an annoyance, I am someone you should be happy to educate on your business and the things you offer

I am not someone for you to match wits with

I am not someone to lie to, deceive, bait-and-switch, or otherwise treat differently than your own mother


I am your customer

I am six to seven times more expensive to acquire than to retain

I have rights – that should not be the thing that keeps you following the law

I expect to get what I pay for

I don’t forget things as easily as I used to


I am your customer

I am a person, not a lead

I do not like being dripped

I do not like restocking fees

I do not like being nickel-and-dimed or being hit with nuisance fees – do better pricing strategy

I do not like being gouged – you may get me once but probably not twice (see my above comment about retention vs. acquisition)

I will grow resentful if you do these things to me


I am your customer

You should be listening to me. In fact, you should be ASKING me for my opinion. It’s valuable.

Customer service is an art. It requires more than simply answering the phone

I can’t spend money with you if I don’t trust you

I talk to my friends after I talk to you – they trust me

I have a voice – and I’m not afraid to use it


I am your customer

You need me more than I need you

I am the lifeblood of your business

I deserve your time and respect

I deserve your honesty

I am your customer


The last time you had a positive experience interacting with a business, I’m betting that the way they approached you was in line with these points. And I’m betting that you are going to think of them first the next time you have a need they can fill – and you may even call them if it’s outside of what they normally do because you want to work with them again.

It doesn’t matter if it’s B2B or B2C, this ideology is universal. People want to be treated honestly and fairly. They want you to over-deliver. They want you to be passionate, knowledgeable, sincere. They want to fall in love with you. Every customer is unique but they all have these needs in common.

I did not write this to offend anyone but if it did then perhaps you may want to rethink your business. Reread the above points as a customer. Customers are becoming more savvy, more technical, and less tolerant of businesses that don’t do what these above points convey. You are a customer. What do you do when these points are not met?

11 Responses

  1. We all need this reminder often Patrick.  It seems that many marketers, especially real estate agents are hardwired for Push Marketing  (or as Seth Godin would say, Interruption Marketing).  The new successes in marketing are about engagement.  But Doc Searls and friends were saying that 12 years ago in Cluetrain – “All markets are conversations”

    1. Too true @joespake:disqus . It seems like all this short term, this quarter now, thinking is actually becoming what many feel are reality. The sense of entitlement to your business is amazing. I’m always surprised at how little sales people know about their own products and services. When I can give you more info than you can give me, one of two things should happen: you get retrained or you leave the business.

  2. A great reminder for all. The customer is the life of our business and they all deserve VIP service whether there buying a 100K home or a million.

    1. So true! It goes hand in hand with an earlier post I wrote about the consumer not being represented. I am surprised the percentage based commission model hasn’t give way to the flat fee yet. It costs nothing more to sell a $750K home vs a $350K one. Do agents put in LESS effort for a cheaper house? If the answer is yes then they are fired.

      1.  What are your thoughts as to why it hasn’t happened?  It’s been tried over and over, without much success…why?
        Maybe these are questions deserving of a full post.

        1. That well may be the case. I really don’t know. I know it appeals to the consumer for sure.  I can’t say I’d be rushing to cut my commission on a more expensive home though if I were a realtor. It would be hard to say ‘sell your house for $1000 in Memphis but $20K in NJ”. Hard to explain that to the consumer. 

  3. Sometimes – no matter how long we have been in this profession…we need a reminder !
    thank you.

  4. What a concept and yes its not always easy but when we embrace this powerful culture we attract who we are becoming. Closing my books in 2011 with more foreigners than American born I experience a true comeback on clients base services.

    1. That’s not the first time I heard that this year. I’ve seen some of my colleagues have great success with foreign clients in 2011. Those with vision know that this is the time to get a good American bargain – it doesn’t come around often.