Sales Skills

10 Phrases Killing Your Customer’s Experience

What is a Gomo?  What is a D-Grunt?

Sam Parker of reminded me via a blog the other day about the issue of engagement.  This was a timely piece as I have been working on a customer experience project with a new client.

For the purpose of this article, I would like to describe a customer as both fellow associates (internal customers) as well as clients, prospects, centers of influence, and our professional and personal networks (external customers).

But let’s start off with the basic question of: What is engagement?


Engagement can be defined as the emotional connection and commitment toward the organization; being intellectually committed to the organization, loyalty and desire to exert discretionary effort toward achieving the organization’s mission.

The Gallup Organization determined through their studies that:

  • 29% of us are engaged with our work – we care
  • 54% of us are not engaged with our work – we don’t really care
  • 17% of us are actively disengaged with our work – we really don’t care.  In fact, we spread it; we thrive on getting in the way of making good things happen

(Gallup Organization as cited by Sam Parker )

The Observation

  • The first group (29%) we can categorize as being dedicated, loyal and committed team members – High Performers.
  • The second group (54%) go through the motions – Gomos
  • The third group (17%) are disgruntled, or what is referred to as D-grunts.

The studies indicate that 71% of a given workforce is either a Gomo or a D-grunt.  Clearly, this impacts organizational performance, team work, and without knowing it, is often projected outwardly toward internal and external clients or prospects. This in turn, impacts the customer experience.


It is through our non-verbal behavior (body language; quality of follow through; attention to others and/or action items) or through the way we say things directly to people we collaborate and serve.

Sam offered some simple examples of things Gomos and D-grunts say that convey a negative message about the organization to our clients and our colleagues.

Have you ever caught yourself saying:

  • I’m so ready for the weekend
  • Thank God it’s Friday.
  • I’ve got a bad case of the Monday’s.
  • Only a few more hours…
  • I’m ready for this day to be over.
  • Can’t wait to be off.
  • I’ll be better when my shift/ this day is over/ I get my coffee.
  • Hump Day! Only two days ’till Friday!
  • It’s too hot/ cold/ warm/ wet/ rainy/ sunny/ snowy.
  • I’m tired.

It is understood that not everyone enjoys everything they do at work all the time.  However, it is important to be mindful of what we project toward internal and external customers.

Most of us are often guilty of making such statements with no ill intent.  In fact, we may even use such phrases as conversation starters.  However, these statements can send a negative tone and give the customer the idea that they are not important or imposing upon our time.  Think about the best experience you have had and reflect upon what made it special.  How did person make you feel?  It is the simple statements we make that can either deliver a positive experience or result in a negative interaction. This same dynamic can also impact team performance, which ultimately affects the customer.

“Coming together is a beginning, and staying together is progress, but only when teams sweat together do they find success”. – John Maxwell

Are you a 212er?  At 211 degrees water is hot.  At 212 it boils.  What can we do to make that one degree of difference?

Did your customer have a good experience today?  This week? This month?

Stay purple.