When Customers Become Helpless


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As a customer, was there a point in your life that you felt powerless, helpless? Yes! I can hear you loud and clear.

This is the very same experience that Joe Wilcox feel about Microsoft regarding his XBox and gamertag.

How does helplessness and powerlessness make a customer feel?

* frustrated
* irate
* used
* angry
* disloyal

In other words, all the negative feelings arise. So how do you avoid making your customers feel helpless? Simple.

* Empower him. Allow him to be in command of what he wants to do with your services and how.
* Support him. Don’t give him the preferential treatment only when you’re trying to make a sale. Be with him even after the sale. Most especially support him when things get into trouble.
* Give room. Company policies are there as guides, not as laws carved in stone and therefore something that you think you cannot change. Give room for lee ways.

As I’ve said before, when interacting with your customer, you may win the argument, but you will lose the customer.


  1. I agree with you about how leaving customers helpless is generally a bad thing. Customers are people and expect to be given a say in what they get, who they deal with and how they are dealt with. They also expect to to be treated with empathy during such dealings. And of course, they increasingly expect to be empowered to resolve problems themselves. This is generally how we treat others each and every day.

    Why is it that some companies just don’t get what is patently obvious for normal folk?

    Graham Hill
    Customer-driven Innovator
    Follow me on Twitter

  2. That’s a million-dollar question, Graham!

    What I see is that many companies lack empathy. Caring for customers needs you to be attuned to every need, and as a human being, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

    Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. -Bill Gates


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