By Nancy Friedman, Keynote speaker, Customer Service expert, Engagement Specialist, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training


As most of you are aware, all the stories we share with you at our onsite programs and in our newsletters, blogs, etc., are ‘true.’ Nothing is made up. They either happened to me personally, I witnessed them, or I verified the information if I am going to share it. Credibility is key to Telephone Doctor.

We don’t make anything up. That being said, I want to share a story that happened to me the other weekend.

It’s a clear example of WHY we don’t need to agree with the customer all the time.

I went into my bank prepared to make some minor changes to a few accounts. It was a Saturday and the only other folks in the bank were the teller and the one lady (who never gave me her name and had no badge) who tried to help me.

I say ‘tried’ because it was a comedy of errors. Now, please know, just because I’m the Telephone Doctor I do not make a big deal out of poor service. I don’t try and teach the person what to do on the spot when I don’t agree. If they’ve done something not customer friendly I usually spank them with my wallet and go elsewhere. Very few people appreciate on the spot training. So I just take notes.

Anyway, after many faux pas in her service I get up to leave. I turned around to her and said (with a smile), “Oh, by the way, you’re online banking stinks. It’s not very user friendly.”

Drum roll please.

Without missing a beat she says to me, “Oh yes, we hear that a lot.” (Almost as though she was proud of it.)

All I could muster up was a blank stare. I released my shock and said, “OK, have a nice day.” I got the same back.

While I didn’t tell her what to say, I will tell you, our readers.

  • She never introduced herself. (I should have asked, but I waited to see if she would.)

  • She didn’t ask for my name; just my account number.
  • She rarely smiled.
  • At the end when I asked, “I wonder, could I have done this over the phone?” She nicely said, “Sure you could have.” (Why didn’t she tell me that first?)

So again, I didn’t try and ‘fix’ her on these points. But when I told her how bad the online banking was and have her tell me, “Yes, we hear that a lot.” That floored me.

Where was: “Oh my goodness, tell me what happened.”

Where was a pen and paper to jot my notes down as I told her my concerns about their online banking so she might share with whatever department to fix it?

Where was some sympathy? Had she ever had the same problems?

Why didn’t she let me know, if this ever happens again, we can make it easier for you on the phone. You wouldn’t need to make a special trip.

Where was her training?

Sorry folks, this is basic Customer Service 101.

Let’s hear your own stories.

The ‘BEST,’ or shall we say, the worst will win a set of three (3) Telephone Doctor books.

Reminder: Listen to the customer. They aren’t always looking for you to agree with them; sometimes they just need you to help them; to hear them; to see them; to listen to them.

Nancy Friedman , president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, is a featured keynote speaker, and subject matter expert on customer service and communications skills, at franchise, association and corporate meetings. She has appeared on OPRAH, Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and hundreds of other radio and TV shows. She has been published in Wall Street Journal with her column, “Don’t Strike Out with Your Customers. Nancy is the author of eight books on sales, communications skills and customer service. She is the spokesperson in the popular Telephone Doctor customer service training programs.

For a demo and full keynote speaking packet of Nancy call 314.291.1012 or visit

To download our Ebook, click here

Love to get your feedback. 

Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman

Communication and customer service expert Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, is back in the saddle again. Well, back into live onsite programs, and still offering her ZOOM programs, in a cost saving manner. Whichever you choose, onsite or Zoom, you’ll be glad you did. The reviews are excellent, and audiences have loudly applauded her in either area. Sales, customer service and communication skills are her area of expertise, and she welcomes calls, texts, or emails. You can reach her directly at; through the website at, where you can sign up for her newsletters; or call/text directly at 314-276-1012 central time. Bring it on. Whether you need a keynote speaker or workshop/breakout speaker on customer service and communication skills, you’ll make a great choice.