What Customers Want

What Customers Want

In my last post, I wrote that the easiest way to figure out what customers want is to start with what you want. The Golden Rule is a great starting place for leaders who want to improve their focus on customers.

Use your own experiences as a customer to help you get specific about what makes a customer service experience great. As you reflect, keep a list of qualities you want to develop in yourself and within your organization.

Here’s my list:


When I am a customer, I want to be updated with information I need. This summer, I bought some furniture for my living room. The salesperson told me it would be delivered in 7 to 10 business days. After more than two weeks passed, I had to call several times to check on my order. Compare this to the service I received at a different furniture store. When my order was delayed, their warehouse called to let me know and gave me an updated estimate of when my order would be delivered. In both cases, I felt disappointed about the delay. However, I much preferred the service of the company that kept me up-to-date about the status of my order.

Timely service

When I have a customer service concern, I want a quick response. One of the reasons I love social media is because it connects people where they are, allowing for quick feedback.

Human Connection 

I appreciate the ability to interact with people. I always try to bypass automated systems so that I can talk to someone… anyone.


Once I reach a person, I want to know that they will listen to and care about my concerns. Empathy is disarming. I’ve been pretty frustrated lately about a major appliance (still under warranty) that doesn’t work properly. After several repairs, my patience is running out. When I called for (yet another) repair, my anger quickly dissipated due to the empathetic words of the person on the other end of the phone.


Empathy is nice, but I also want to see action. Do something about my issue. Fix it. That’s why I called. As a customer, I want the organization I am interacting with to take action about my concern.

Join the conversation!

What is most important to you as a customer?

What makes your list?


This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is reposted with permission. 

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • You mention some great ideals of customer service. When I worked for Walt Disney Resorts & Parks, guest satisfaction was number 1 and included many aspects of having “a magical day”, including your basics: safety, courtesy, equality, prompt service. But what I really loved about the company culture was when we were encouraged to go above and beyond.
    Once there was a littel boy who accidentally lost his green balloon and it basically ruined his day, so the family decided to go back to the hotel. A coworker stopped them and chatted a bit, and quickly called the hotel. By the time they opened the door to their room there was another green balloon pinned to an autographed photo of Buzz Lightyear with a personal message stating how he had gone to space and retrieved the little boy’s balloon.
    These are called Magical Moments, and they are an everyday occurance at the Disney resorts. Although it’s ruined the service industry for me – I basically expect this kind of customer/guest service everywhere I go now, though I know it’s high expectations.

  • I like it when customer service reps think for themselves.
    I recently called my bank to ask them why QuickBooks integration was enabled on my account, even though I never authorized it. The conversation went something like this:
    I: How is it possible that this was added without my approval?
    CS Rep: Bank employees are not authorized to add services to your account without your approval.
    I: Do your records show when or how QB was added to my account?
    CS Rep: Bank employees are not authorized to add services to your account without your approval.
    I: Maybe it is possible that I signed something without realizing it?
    CS Rep: Bank employees are not authorized to add services to your account without your approval.
    Ugh. Might as well talk to a machine; at least I can scream when I feel like it.

  • I think you nailed it. Personally, I want results. Not only do I want results or some sort of action being taken, but I want to understand why the problem happened so I can prevent it from the future. Human interaction is also a great feature of quality customer service. Feeling like someone is listening to your problem and trying to find an appropriate solution is reassuring.
    Customer service is a key component in the business world today. One bad experience can result in your customer moving to a competitor.

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