Are you making your customers feel bad?

Customers will forget what you said… but they will never forget how you made them feel. So it’s a good idea not to make them feel like crap.

Last week I was at a breakfast networking function with 140 other business owners. We each had 15 seconds to say what our businesses did and describe our ideal customer.

The last person to stand up was a thin man in a tweed jacket and velcro shoes. Number 140 held the microphone, took a moment to look around the room, and said, “25 per cent of you in this room already have diabetes or will get diabetes. I’m an endocrinologist, so come to see me when it happens.”

My blueberry yoghurt turned to cheese in my mouth.

Thank God he was just a doctor, not an undertaker. “Good morning. You’re all going to die. I’ll be the one screwing down the lid. Why not come and see me while you still can and we’ll talk about coffin linings and handles.”

Maya Angelou reminded us that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

What could Dr Doom have done better?

If this is how this man introduces himself to a roomful of people trying to enjoy their breakfasts, I don’t want to find out how he’d make me feel if I had a serious illness. Would you?

Why not say, “There’s a diabetes epidemic in Australia. It’s not getting any better, which is a national problem, but diabetes doesn’t have to be the end of the world. I work with my patients to get the best possible results.”

Struggling to rise above boring

In business, making people feel great can seem like a high bar. Sometimes it’s a struggle to squeeze the material you’re given a notch above boring.

Next time you’re feeling daunted, remember there are worse things for your audience to feel than bored.