In the updated technological world, there is now a fine line between clever and creepy, in terms of customer service. In today’s business world, technology allows companies to have instant access to countless facts about actual and potential customers, all in a moment’s notice. However, some companies can overuse this capability, according to an article recently completed Forbes.
Before a customer even walks through the door, companies can have endless facts on them. For instance, in the foodservice industry, one click of a button can recall all previous orders from the customer. In some ways, this can be seen as a creative means of connection between customer and company. However, some individuals can interpret this differently, and begin to see it as a sort of stalking.
Several lines develop in the process of these two extremes. Not only is there the issue of kind versus creepy to consider, there are also matters of honest sincerity to consider. Often, in the process of trying to individualize experiences while avoiding stalking tones, the company’s methods can become stilted. This is seen most often in the case of airlines. Attendants are provided with literal scripts—word for word what they must say, with fill in the blank sections to prompt the use of the passenger’s name—that must be read from. This takes the matter of creepiness out of the equation entirely, as the interaction just becomes forced and stilted instead. No eye contact is engaged in and not a shred of generosity can be detected.
In general, it has been found that customers do enjoy when companies use basic information to meet their needs. However, that does not mean they wish to have it applied in a mechanical sense, as seen by the process used for most airlines. The key, according to the article, is to remain subtle; companies must not let technology get in the way of their employees’ inherent humanness. Guests will see through a lack of sincerity; they will know instantly if the employee genuinely remembered their name, or if they were simply reading it from some form of a queue card. Technology moves operations along; but it is a real level of engagement that keeps the situation from becoming creepy.