Customer Experience is about being genuine

Do you want to do more business? Would you like to have customers that valued your relationship with them? Of course you would. Well if that is the case why don't companies do a better job of building a relationship? Doesn't it take more than using someone's first name in an email? Let me demonstrate. I received the following follow up email to a quote we requested for a customer:

Hi Steve :

As we have not heard from you since we sent you our quote, we wonder whether you require further information before deciding to place an order. Your feedback is very important to us because we want you to receive the personal attention and best possible advice on our products.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will afford us the opportunity to provide you the best products and also excellent service.
Thank you!

We look forward to working with you!

Looks ok doesn't it? Sure. But here is the problem, this is the 7th or 8th time I got this exact same letter without any phone follow up or acknowledgment of the information I had sent to them about the project. So what's the lesson here?

1. An auto-responder is fine for an initial response but any personalization loses its effectiveness when it's clearly rote. In cases like this where they are dealing with a specific project, reference the project shows you are in touch with what is going on.
2. Get your facts straight. In this case they have received 2 emails and 2 phone calls in response to their quote. So this email leaves me, the customer, wondering who is minding the store?
3. The letter tells me that MY feedback is important but then they keeping sending the same letter and do not mention or address the issues we included in two previous responses. This leaves the customer thinking they don't care and do not understand the project.
4. They affirm that they want to provide "personal" attention yet do nothing to make that personal connection. To have a viable customer experience practice in your business you must strike a balance between cost saving automation and personal contact with the customer. This is a must!
5. The last response that was sent to them had some very specific questions about the specs of the display and how we can cool the unit in our outdoor application. Questions are an opportunity to serve and wow the customer. In this case my inquiries were followed up with 4 or 5 identical form emails paying lip service to "excellent service". The end result is they loose ground rather than building a relationship.

We've all seen the comic set up of when one person is talking to someone who is clearly disinterested in who is talking and what they are saying. Yet when asked if they are listening, they give a nod as if to say, “yes, fascinating, please continue”... only to drift away again into abject apathy. They can make it funny on TV but in real life no one likes this and it will hurt your business.

Next week if you want to impress your customers, then:
1. Respond to inquiries quickly
2. Be responsive to acknowledge their reply and answer questions fully.
3. Follow up with a call.
4. Follow up correspondence should affirm your understanding of their needs and your commitment to meeting those needs. A business relationship is defined in the details.