I had a pretty hard day recently and topping the cherry of my nasty ice-cream was a mail from a bank and it went “Dear Valued Customer”.
I smashed something.
Backtrack to some 3 decades ago. I remember how we picked chicken fights when someone made a mess of our name, especially surname. There is something so important to names that everyone has at least one; sometimes a name is only what some people have got.
If you really value me as your customer then I should be a person. It’s bad enough to be a statistic. It’s worse that you don’t even have the decency to call me by name.
With cheap and accessible technology nobody, I mean no company worthy of its salt, can say it doesn’t have access to tools to personalize services talk less of emails. So it means one thing – either the company is clueless or doesn’t give two horse legs about me.
It’s like choosing between getting shot in the forehead or on the temple. Both are bad propositions.
Why should I care about you if you don’t care about me?
I don’t know if my conclusion is grounded in science or hogwash but I strongly believe that companies that personalize greetings, emails, SMS, and other interactions would also be good in customer service. It shouldn’t be a rocket science to feel that someone who goes through that pain to make me feel special would care enough to provide a good service.
Personalizing services isn’t trivial but getting your customers back after losing them would be much more difficult.
Some customers don’t have taste.
I see it every day – people, practically everyone on two legs, take rubbish work they pay dearly for. Bad painting, poor haircut, badly sewn dresses, etc. So when they get “Dear Valued Customer” they feel no pain.
This is going to be a tough battle!