Treat Your Customers In A Way That Would Make Mom Proud

Guest contributor Jeanne Bliss, founder and president of CustomerBliss and author of Make Mom Proud.

As a customer, it’s hard to imagine why any company would deliberately pass you around like a hot potato, frustrate you with impossible policies or leave you to arm-wrestle your way to decent service.

Would you do that to your mother? Of course not.

So why are well-intentioned organizations—from banks to hospitals to car dealerships—so often doing just that?

Make Mom Proud book cover

Make Mom Proud

Customer experience expert Jeanne Bliss, who pioneered the role Chief Customer Officer for such companies as Microsoft and Lands’ End, is author of Would You Do That to Your Mother?: The Make Mom Proud Standard for How to Treat Your Customers (Penguin/Portfolio, 2018).

In it, she brings out the best in companies with a single test for everything they do: The next time you find yourself making a one-way business decision, pause, think about what your mom means to you, and imagine her on the other end. If you wouldn’t do that to your mother, don’t do it!

Smart “Make Mom Proud” organizations, from banks to hospitals, have found ways to put customers first, which is the cornerstone of customer experience. For example:

Quick Case Study: Cleveland Clinic

The multispecialty academic hospital lives by a guiding principle: Patients First. To ensure that all of its 51,000 employee caregivers are united in caring for patients’ emotional, physical and educational needs, Cleveland Clinic invests in training on the emotional experience of care. They also fuse everyone’s work by giving all employees the title “Care Giver”—previously reserved for physicians only. Now everyone, including therapists, janitors, nurses, groundskeepers and receptionists, bears the responsibility of caring for patients’ lives. The person cleaning a room can impact someone’s day with their kindness, akin to a physician or nurse administering medical assistance.

Quick Case Study: Umpqua Bank

Every summer kids are in danger of losing part of the academic gains they made during the previous school year. It’s a well-known phenomenon sometimes referred to as summer slide. And that loss of momentum can impact the way young minds advance, especially for some 25 million low-income public school students. Achievement levels for at-risk students can drop by up to three months in reading and math skills, while their peers in higher-income homes stay steady or even make slight gains. To help their communities’ kids, Umpqua Bank developed a “stop the slide” initiative, committing time, funding and their own resources to educate kids and give them the tools they need to keep pace with their peers.

Quick Case Study: First Direct Bank

It’s important for customers to feel their needs are being addressed with personal care and concern. It’s equally important for those customers to believe every person they talk to has their back, along with permission to do what’s right for them. First Direct Bank (UK) has a human available at all times, 24/7; just like Mom. They also empower each staff member—every person customers can reach—to change processes, procedure and policies to improve the customers’ situation.

Quick Case Study: KCP&L

As the predominant utility company for northwest Missouri and eastern Kansas, KCP&L is always committed to making a positive difference in the lives of the people they serve. With their call center fielding over 5,000 calls per day, they wanted to enhance their customer experience even more with an impactful solution that could be tracked and measured. With the help of Hallmark Business Connections, KCP&L provides customer service representatives the ability to select a Hallmark card, write a personal message and send it to customers after they have spoken with them on the phone. Read the full case study here to learn the ways in which KCP&L would make mom proud.

What kinds of efforts can your company or organization make to Make Mom Proud? We invite you to share them by contributing to the #MakeMomProud movement here:

About Jeanne Bliss

Jeanne Bliss is founder and president of CustomerBliss, counseling such clients as AAA, Johnson & Johnson, and U.S. Postal Service. Jeanne is co-founder of the Customer Experience Professionals Association and has authored three other books: Chief Customer Officer 2.0, and best-sellers Chief Customer Officer: Getting Past Lip Service to Passionate Action and I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad. Bliss has been featured by such media as Fast Company, Forbes, and The Associated Press. She lives in Seattle.