The “friendly and personalized” customer service is not just a marketing strategy, but also an expensive one. Customer-service representatives have to keep up with the phone calls from customers who are more demanding than ever before, which takes up time that could be spent on other tasks—in particular, selling products.
The “personalized customer service examples” is a blog post that discusses the benefits of having “friendly, personalized” customer service.
Our COO, Noah Parsons, made an excellent point last week in his blog article on how small companies’ customer service benefits are often overlooked. Although small businesses should, in principle, be more pleasant and familiar to local consumers than chain stores, the reality is often the reverse. It is highly dependent on the attitude and approach of the people who manage and staff the particular local shop.
However, sometimes a company is simply inept enough to condemn its workers to failure in customer service, regardless of their efforts. Here’s an example from another blog that I just posted:
We live two blocks from a Safeway, but we still prefer to shop at the Albertson’s down the hill, where the employees recognize us and we know where to locate what we need. There’s another aspect of our Safeway that I despise: its dedication to providing pleasant, individualized service.
Depending on your degree of misanthropy, friendly and individualized are not usually off-putting, but phoniness and poor faith are.
Someone in the Safeway chain of command, perhaps inspired by a “Cheers” marathon on Nick at Nite, has decided that the modern world is a lonely, atomized place, a community devoid of community (which is probably true), and that what we all crave is a return to the bucolic small-town America where we all belong together and everyone knows your name. As a result, when you check out at Safeway, the clerk smiles and says, “Thank you, Mr. Cochrane!” and you’re meant to feel good.
Except that theory is not the same as execution, a painful fact that anybody in charge of policymaking must soon learn. Here’s what occurs in the Safeway scenario:
The cashier doesn’t know my name, particularly not my last name, which is needed since the Safeway policy prefers the nostalgic “Mr. Cochrane” over the more modern “Josh” (or the more amusing “Master of Darkness”). They should recognize me, but they don’t, just as they don’t recognize the names of almost all of their customers.
It’s on the receipt, thanks to the Club Card I’m meant to give every time we buy to prevent getting overcharged for sale goods, says the policymaker.
The problem with this approach is that it has two weaknesses. First, the clerk doesn’t have time to sneakily examine the receipt; as soon as it’s ready, they instinctively give it to me. And, even more perplexing, I’ve never bothered to set up a card of my own since I was irritated with the card need when the service first began. I simply use Grandpa Mike’s phone number since he has one.
I’m not sure whether that’s laziness or subversion. When my transaction is complete, the Safeway clerk pulls my ticket from the register, says “Thank you, Mr…”, puts the receipt out for them to see (despite the fact that I’m already reaching for it), reads “Alexander,” and smiles. I return the grin. If my 11-year-old daughter is with me, she laughs because we agree that forcing people to do that is the worst kind of customer service yet.
The employees at Albertson’s, where we buy more often and have for years, may not know our names, but they recognize us. They inquire about the kids, the weekend soccer games, and the Ducks’ prospects. It’s a true representation of what the Safeway policy aspires to be.
And when the Albertson’s managers, in their own hamfisted way, tell the clerks that they have to pitch the Scorching Deal of the Day to every customer or it’ll be free (“Did you see our Flaming Hot Cheetos for only 89 cents?”), the clerks roll their eyes and we laugh back, and we leave the store with a warm sense of community.
Do you have a story of a dishonest effort at “friendly” customer service that left you cold? Please share them in the comments section; I’d love to hear them.
Palo Alto Software’s Director of Online Marketing, Josh Cochrane
The “personalized customer experience” is a term that has been used to describe how companies are trying to improve their customer service. The problem with this term, is that it’s not really true. Companies have created automated systems to help them provide better customer service. This can lead to less personal interactions, which can be seen as a negative thing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you personalize customer service?
A: If you need to make a call, type in an inquiry or send a message via live chat, there will be six different options depending on your needs.
What is Personalisation in customer service?
A: Personalisation is a service that includes adding any personal details you may want to add. This can include name, address, and contact information. The customer would then receive a more personalized experience with the company they are interacting with.
What is friendly customer service?
A: Friendly customer service is when a company provides good, helpful and courteous support to its customers.
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