The angry customer hat

When was the last time you took a hard look at your organization's products or policies? I'd suggest you do it today and before you do, put on your "angry customer hat."

As its name implies it helps you remove your 'insider' glasses, industry knowledge and justifications, so you may consider how your products or policies might be viewed from your customers' perspective.

This is harder to do than it may sound.

Read your copy in your product flyers, catalogs or ads. Look for ways it could be misunderstood or twisted. Consider your marketing campaigns with this hat on a month before your launch them, so you have a chance to adjust as needed.

If you need some help getting in the right 'angry' frame of mind, ask your front line staff. Sales or customer service people can provide you some real world feedback which they hear everyday. It will get you going the right direction, with the right intentions.

Now comes the critical part of this process. Just because someone might try to twist something doesn't mean you need to change it, but it does mean you need to be ready with your answer and maybe a sense of humor.

Most certainly, you want to be sure you are clear - beyond reasonable misunderstanding.

And, you want your product or policy to make logical sense. Does it have a solid basis? Is it smart.

Doing this well, will save you and, more importantly, your sales, customer service or installation staff a lot of headaches. If you don't know where to start, think about places where customers first interact with your company. Start there with your angry customer hat.