I have a computer that keeps calling me. The dealer that I purchased my last vehicle from has an automated system to remind customers to bring the vehicle in for service. The system generates a phone call and a pleasant recorded voice tells me that my vehicle is due for service and please call this number to book an appointment. I hate getting these messages. I’m sure the thinking on the part of businesses that utilize this type of technology is that they are staying in touch with their customers. The truth is, they are not in touch at all and in fact they are weakening the relationship they have with the customer. They are saying, we want your business but you are not important enough for a real person to call. If the person making this type of call was paid $12.00 and hour and could make 12 calls in an hour, that’s $1.00 to call me and I’m not worth it. Ouch! My last visit to service the vehicle cost me just under $200.00. In addition to my $200.00 the dealer was also paid by the manufacturer for my oil change plus two recall items.
Customers don’t want to deal with faceless businesses they want to deal with people. In today’s marketplace there is too little attention paid to customers. Customers want businesses to care. Too often “Contact Management” doesn’t manage real contact as much as it manages systems that simulate contact. A form letter can be personalized for each customer but it is still a form letter. John Naisbitt coined the term “High Tech/High Touch” in his 1982 book “Megatrends” and followed up with a book on the topic. We need to maintain personal contact in a high tech world. Show your customers that you care.