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Soothing the Savaged Consumer Soul: 11 Ways to Show Love When Times Are Tough

by Jeanne Bliss  |  
August 19, 2008

In such economic times, when our nerves are raw and we are stretched like a rubber-band ready to snap... we all need a kinder hand, a kinder voice... just plain more kindness in our life.

Nearly every interaction tests us now. Opening the cell phone bill and gasping... then endeavoring to get a bit of help. First the queue, then the call. Not much kindness there. Putting gas in our car. Forget about the boat. Buying groceries which are creeping up in price daily. Trying to sell our home or buy one. Calling the support line to have the appliances fixed which chose now to conk-out.

11 Ideas* for Companies and Customers (*An extra idea because times are tough!)

If you are in the business of serving customers, right now is the time to seek out the intangible opportunities to soothe the savaged consumer soul. Here are ideas that will bring you dividends by rising above the fray and soothing the frayed nerves during these times of spending woes.

1. Become wizards at alternative solutions

Creative solutions that help your customers cope and manage with the current financial pinch will be long remembered.

Can you offer revised payment plans or offer different pricing schemes? Coach your frontline how to hold a diagnostic conversation to understand the financial implications of the current market with customers? And reach out to customers proactively, especially if service contracts or annual commitments are due?

In this economy, customers are more likely to opt out and disappear. If you show up proactively with a helping hand, empathetic approach, and creative options prior to their decision to leave, you can save business and build allies. And the memory of your actions will serve you long after this financial pinch is over as you stand out as a partner in supporting your customers from their point of view.

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Jeanne Bliss is the founder of CustomerBLISS (, a consulting and coaching company, and the author of Chief Customer Officer: Getting Past Lip Service to Passionate Action.

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  • by Randall Tue Aug 19, 2008 via web

    Great job.

  • by Grace Wed Aug 20, 2008 via web

    I have to say, Jeanne Bliss is such an inspirational writer!

  • by Pam Thu Aug 21, 2008 via web

    Bravo! Well put.

  • by Jeanne Bliss Thu Aug 21, 2008 via web

    Wow...I'm touched you guys. Thanks so much for the feedback! Hope everybody's doing okay out there.

  • by jengel Fri Sep 5, 2008 via web

    Love this article and thank you-- I manage a sales team and shared your article not only with them, but on my own blog for Travel Professionals. In sales are all tasked with helping manage the "mood" of consumers.The techniques of listening, empathy, and digging deeper for alternative solutions for ourselves and our clients, are timeless and more important than ever. Many thanks!

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