Dear Valued Customer,
Ugh. Yuck. Blech. *shiver*
The only time that I am told that I am a valued customer, is when I’m being disappointed. I’m a “valued customer” when I’m on hold for an hour trying to get my ISP to fix my internet connection. I’m a “valued customer” when people are calling me, trying to get me to buy into some add-on baggage to their otherwise useful products. I’m a “valued customer” every time my insurance agency sends me an email - that I don’t see until it’s too late to act on it.
Overall, when I’m a valued customer, I’m having a bad experience.
I got an email back in 2012 that inspired this blog entry. 2012. 2012. I know it was a while ago, but it was bad, so I remembered it for FOUR YEARS:
It was my new bank, who sent the following email only a few short hours after I signed up:
Dear Valued Customer, you have been with [bank] for 0 months, and because of your dedication, we would like to extend an exclusive offer to you….if you had signed up for this service a year ago, you would have saved $0, and you could save that or more in the coming year!
While this is an extreme example of a terrible email, it really highlights a failure of their messaging system. Seriously, please don’t be these people.
I just know that up the stream, someone was simply filling out an email template that would be auto-populated with data from some database. That data just got fed in, and thousands, if not millions of emails went out in this canned, insincere, and pointless template.
Even the basics, like having “Hi <<first name>>” as the greeting would have made the email more palatable. I mean, if they knew how long I was a client with them - and no doubt have complex pre-calculations for how much money I should have saved - they DEFINITELY could have, at least, put my name in there.
For email messaging this is atrocious, but for voice messaging, it’s still somewhat acceptable to have horrible canned robotic messaging.
In a phone interaction it maybe easier to say “Dear Valued Customer”, otherwise you’d have to have your voice talents record a large and expensive name library. It’s expensive and complicated to record thousands and thousands of names, while making sure that they sound natural when they’re spliced in with the rest of the message…
But this status quo does not have to be the norm, and thank goodness I work for a company who knows that.
First Name and Greeting libraries are worth the investment, if you strategically voice them. And the personalized feeling they generate, conveys the message that the company is talking to me, the customer, personally. It’s that first, most basic, way to make your customer feel genuinely valued.
But beyond the most basic level of personalization, you should also leverage the technology that’s available all around you to template your messaging properly - with real data that makes sense. Take a look at all the other data you have on your customers and find ways to integrate it into truly data-driven messaging.
You don’t need to have expensive humans write every message individually, in order to provide personalization - just get your tech people to do some work beforehand. Or, you can integrate the many already built solutions that do the automating for you! You don’t need to work that hard to give basic levels of humanity to your material and messaging.
To conclude, please stop having your robot army treat me as one of their own. I’m human, and I demand to be treated like one! So do you, your customers, and most humans for that matter…
To learn more about personalization options via Phone or SMS, reach out to SPLICE!