Please Do Not Treat Your Customers Like This

Posted on 27 February 2015

Sigh! In the past two days I’ve had three experiences, as a customer, of being treated as a nameless, commoditised piece of data.

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Example 1

On twitter, I followed someone in the USA who is a manager in a company that helps other companies to attract, convert and retain customers.

She immediately sent me an impersonal, automated DM (direct message), saying: “Our case studies show $5000/mo in advertising value for $349/mo – [link to the company's website] You might be interested :)

I replied: “Oh no! Please don’t send a pushy ad about your company as an impersonal automated DM as soon as someone follows you. Not cool. Kay”
[By the way, here's why I hate auto-DMs on twitter.]

And she replied: “Blame marketing and advertising lol.”

Fail!

Example 2

I watched the livestreamed video of an interesting event in San Francisco, and wanted to participate in the online chat as part of the event. When I tried to post a question on the livestream page, I found that I had to login, and when I clicked the button to do that, all the instructions were in Chinese. I guess the system could see that I’m in Hong Kong, and therefore automatically assumed that I read/write Chinese. I don’t.

Fail!

Example 3

I received a phone call from the company that provides my mobile phone service. I answered the call, expecting to have a conversation with a real-live human being, and instead heard an obviously automated, recorded message that started: “Dear customer…”.

Fail!

Please don’t treat YOUR customers like that.


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