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The Customer Journey is Like a Romantic Relationship

How to Know What Your Customers Feel and What to Do With It

Shep Hyken interviews Anita Toth, Chief Churn Crusher at Anita Toth Inc, a Voice of the Customer Strategy, Education, and Research firm. She talks about creating an amazing experience at every stage of the customer’s journey.

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Top Takeaways:

  • The customer journey is like a romantic relationship. The marketing and sales phase is like dating. It is tactical and fun. When your prospect becomes a customer, you move them into the “marriage” stage, which is non-tactical and requires a different set of skills to maintain.
  • Customer service must be built into every aspect of the journey. The customer relationship is not a “one-and-done” thing. It continues even after the sale is made. The relationship needs to be maintained to keep the trust going.
  • After the sale, the customer goes into a “honeymoon” period with your business. This is where the customer finds out if their expectations meet reality or exceed them, or the stage where they find out that they are not getting what they thought they paid for. This is why a great onboarding experience is critical to customer retention.
  • Customers know the difference. They can feel that they are just a number to a company. They can also feel when a company truly values their business and is committed to ensuring their success.
  • When you want to learn more about your customers, start with, “Tell me more…” It is a non-threatening way to start a conversation, and it pushes them to give a clearer, more definitive response.
  • Plus, Anita shares how she helps businesses crush their churn (in three sentences!). Tune in!


“When customers start to feel like they made the wrong decision to do business with you, changing their mind is like turning a massive ship in the ocean. It takes a lot of effort to make it happen.”

“Even if the customer did not get the results that they expected, if they walk away knowing that you are there to help them, they walk away feeling valued.”

“We talk about what the customer wants, needs, and thinks. But, decisions are made based on feelings. It is based on the feeling of success, the feeling of failure, the feeling of being valued, or the feeling of being neglected.”

“Stop talking. Start listening. Listen to what your customers are saying and ask them about their feelings.”


Anita Toth is the Chief Churn Crusher at Anita Toth Inc. She helps companies increase customer retention by helping them better understand what their customers think, need, and feel.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions and more:

  1. What is customer retention, and why is it important?
  2. How do you maintain customer relationships after sales?
  3. How do I avoid buyer’s remorse?
  4. Why is making customers feel valued important?
  5. How do you define customer success?


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