How to Lose a Good Customer


Sometimes customer service isn’t about making sure customers are greeted when they enter your store, upselling, or making sure customers wait no more than 2 minutes in line before being assisted. Sometimes it’s those minor moments that can go a long way in not losing customers.


I read this article entitled, “How to Lose a Good Customer or How to Create a Lifelong Customer” which illustrated the importance of true customer service, not necessarily the standards set in place by the company.
From the article, imagine this situation..


I was in the bank Saturday morning, waiting in line behind the cutest 4-year-old and his mommy I’ve seen in a long while. It was a long line, and Junior was getting restless.

“Mommy, I have to go.”

“Go where, honey?” (mommy was distracted)

“I have to pee, mommy.”

“In a few minutes, sweetie, we’re almost done”.

“Mommy I can’t wait, I reaaaaallllyyyy have to pee pee.”

“Honey you’re going to have to wait. They don’t have a bathroom here.”

“I can’t wait mommy, I need to pee RIGHT NOW.”

Junior really had to pee. He couldn’t wait. You know how it is. When you gotta go, you gotta go. Just ask any new mother, post childbirth give or take 3 years. There is no gray area, and it’s no different for a 4-year-old who’s just getting it down in the first place.

I, of course not minding my own business, and not wanting to be used as a fire hydrant (I was wearing red… who knew how he’d been potty trained) sidled up to the mom and quietly said, “I’ll wait on line with him if you want to go up and ask if you can use their restroom.”


The woman goes up to the manager and explains the situation, and the mom is told that the restroom is not for public use.




This manager created a situation that could very easily cost a customer. While it’s possibly understandable that a restroom may not be for public use, I’m sure there would be no issue with the manager allowing it this one time for a toddler who really needed it. Had that happened, it would have created a positive experience for the mother. Instead, the poor child ended up having an accident, right there in the bank lobby, now making it a poor experience for the mother, toddler, and any other customers in the area.
Imagine how many of those other customers, in talking with friends or family after that bank visit, shared the story: “You’re not going to believe what happened…I was at the bank this morning…”


Empowering employees to make decisions and bend certain rules when needed can go a long way in creating a lifelong customer, as the article suggests. One simple act such as this one can be the difference between losing and keeping a customer.






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