Don’t want the answer? Don’t ask the question: Part 2


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After spotting this post, where I shared with amazement the call I’d received from my dealer regarding a recent service experience, my colleague Dan shared another story that bears repeating. This made me laugh – and shake my head.

Dan received a point of sale survey request while placing a web order at He completed it, entering some comments about problems with the site, and appreciation that his reorder went much faster than his initial experience.

Here’s the form response he received:

Thank you for contacting PETCO regarding your feedback.

Your feedback has provided an opportunity for us to become a better company. We really appreciate and value your sincere comments as this would allow us to identify how we can go about improving our service based on your experience.

Please know that we care about our customers and what they think of us. By letting us know when we fall short of your expectations, we have the opportunity to address your concerns and to be better prepared to meet your expectations in the future. If we can be of any further assistance, please feel free to call PETCO Customer Relations directly at 1-888-824-PALS (7257). Thank you again for contacting PETCO.


Michael G., Customer Relations Coordinator

At PETCO, Animals Always Come First… Our People Make it Happen!

It’s a pleasant response. But did it say anything meaningful? Dan read it as a “Thank you for sharing your thank you but we’re not going to do anything but if you want to get another thank you just contact us again, thank you!” note.

How do you read it?  I found myself wondering (again) why smart well-intended people can ask a for a customer’s time, thoughts and feelings but seem to do so little with the response.  With customers as with love, every interaction adds or subtracts from a relationship. At this last step in the customer experience, customer needs evolve – and a leader’s goal is to anticipate the emerging next need. Why did miss their opportunity?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Linda Ireland
Linda Ireland is co-owner and partner of Aveus LLC, a global strategy and operational change firm that helps leaders find money in the business performance chain while improving customer experiences. As author of Domino: How to Use Customer Experience to Tip Everything in Your Business toward Better Financial Performance, Linda built on work done at Aveus and aims to deliver real-life, actionable, how-to help for leaders of any organization.


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