Stop spanking your customers!

This is an open letter to a phone rep The Muse dealt with today and to the entire marketing and customer service departments.


My wife talked to you earlier today about the promised discount on her recent purchase. Yesterday she was instructed by customer service to call you about it after she saw it had shipped.

In the future I strongly request that you:

  1. Tell the people who created your ad that they need to stop putting the “in store only” disclaimer in gray eight-point font on white/gray background. You are just asking for trouble.
  2. Ask someone to communicate with all of customer service about that little detail so when they answer the phones for thousands of confused customers everyone is on the same page.
  3. Don’t blame your customer for the problem that your company created.
  4. Please lose that “tone” when you deliver the “one-time customer courtesy credit” speech. Instead just say “Yes, I see the problem ma’am. I apologize for the inconvenience. I’m going to fix that for you.”
  5. Then simply say “Thank you so much for being a customer. I hope we have made you happy today.”

A customer who is willing to go the extra steps to keep doing business with you is an amazingly valuable asset. Do you have any idea the lifetime value of a customer like her?

You guys created the problem.  As a matter of fact, the discount you offered her that started this whole cascade of #*^&!  was an apology for the unbelievable delay in delivering her last order. All you have done now is to muddy your brand and make her think twice before she trusts you…yet… again.

That is a blatant violation of Rule Number 2, i.e., Don’t Be Stupid.

Cut it out!


Michael J. Stammer

Michael Stammer is a Sales | Life | Performance coach available for individual and group coaching and speaking to organizations. For more visit

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