When Employees Make Assumptions, It Hurts Your Business. Here’s How to Fix That.

Smiling teenage girl pointing up with her finger

Recently, I went to buy a replacement charging cable for my laptop. I found a salesperson and told him what I needed. I should also mention that when I approached the employee, he was fully engaged with his cellphone. I felt like I interrupted him.

Looking annoyed, he turned around and grabbed a cable off the shelf and handed it to me. It didn’t look like what I had before, so I asked, “Are you sure this is the cable for my laptop?”  He said, “That’s it.”

I got the cable home, and it didn’t fit.

This employee heard parts of what I said and then just filled in the gaps with assumptions. He assumed he knew what I needed without asking me any follow-up questions.

His assumptions led to me being frustrated, and I had to make a second trip into the store. His assumption led to me having a very poor customer experience.

In my customer service workshops, I teach your employees how not to make assumptions, and I explain this concept in an unforgettable way. I show this short video called “The Cookie Thief.”

After the video, I facilitate a discussion about what assumptions employees have made in the past, and how we can avoid making assumptions going forward.

If your people struggle at all with making assumptions, use the Cookie Thief video as a teaching tool. You can get to a place where employees deliver better interactions by not making assumptions. And it’s easy using this short video.

Now you can give your employees even more great skills for delivering the best customer experience and for handling difficult customer situations. Sign up for my email list and learn specific tips, approaches, and phrases to help your employees help your customers.

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Myra is a favorite training partner to Fortune 500 companies with her customized, engaging, behavior-changing (and fun) customer service workshops, working with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Michelin, Vera Bradley and other brands.

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