Are Your Employees Irritating Your Customers?

Shawn Casemore • No Comment
Posted: March 12, 2021

Are your employees irritating your customers?

This was a question on my mind last weekend after I had left town for a few days. During my trek, I stopped by two different destinations, both in the same town.

First, I grabbed some lunch at a restaurant. The person waiting on our table was very friendly.

The food was mediocre, but her humour and relaxed nature made the experience enjoyable.

Five minutes down the road, I stopped at a small store to grab some water.

As I entered the store, the attendant knocked on the window pointing at the hand sanitizer by the entrance. Her stare suggested I was new to the idea of disinfecting my hands.

(I’m not)…

I ensured she saw me use the hand sanitizer and then entered the store. She immediately began rambling off several rules and protocols.

There wasn’t any “Hello,” or greeting. Not a smile or smirk on her face. I can honestly say the entire experience made me irritated as a customer.

Behaviors Influence Customer Experience

Unfortunately, this behavior isn’t uncommon. I experience it all of the time, often when secretly shopping my clients business.

With each different employee, comes a different behavior and personality. As a result, different personalities approach the same activity or situation differently.

Thinking back, I’m confident both employees had been given fairly strict instructions on protocols for customers. In fact, I would presume the restaurant actually had stricter protocols for their employees. Yet the waitress serving us didn’t let it impact her desire to personalize our experience.

It was her natural behavior to focus on us, the customer. The convenience store attendant, on the other hand, couldn’t have cared less about our experience.

Her job was to ensure protocols for customers weren’t just explained, but followed!

It’s the old “People-focused” versus “Task-focused” behavior at play.

What Behavior is the Best for a Positive Customer Experience?

When it comes to employees, there is no right or wrong behavior. Some people are naturally more “people-focused”, whereas others focus intently on the task at hand.

There’s a bigger question at play to consider.

Is there a right and wrong personality for customer-facing roles?

Well, consider this… Those who are predominantly people-focused will personalize an experience with a customer, but may not complete all of their assigned tasks.

Alternatively, those who have predominantly task-focused personalities will ensure everything on their list is completed, despite how they may be perceived by their customer.

Unfortunately, behaviors are so complex, so there is no right and wrong answer. Instead, we need to ensure customer-facing employees are tuned into their customers.

They must put the needs of the customer before their own personal behavior preferences.

Tuning Into Customer Experience Needs

It’s a lot of work to attract new customers.

The last thing you need are your employees irritating your customers.

It’s a recipe for disaster.

The good news is you can always develop your employees to increase their awareness. Help them “tune into your customers” by providing them with the tools to be more customer-centric.


This Week’s Assignment >>>

  1. Identify all of your customer-facing roles today. Who are in these roles?
  2. Identify for each employee whether they are People-focused or Task-focused.
  3. What shifts in how these employees each interact with customers will ensure a positive customer connection?

Thursday Thrive Newsletter


© Shawn Casemore 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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