Ever since Burger King told consumers that they could have it "their way," there has been a link between personalization and great customer service. I love when I surf Amazon and they call me by my first name. They "know" what I bought in the past and items I might like to purchase in the future. Apple is also well known for it's personalized customer service emails and follow up. This is a stark contrast to when I frequently visit a local retail chain store and they only call me "sir."
While I know that it is just computer programming, this type of "faux" personalization is now expected by most customers. It may not sound like much, but when a customer emails your company with a problem, addressing the emailer by his or her name is the best way to begin mending a relationship, especially when things are going wrong. It doesn't take much: a simple customer relationship management system, customer-centric programmed software and a staff who genuinely cares will get it right.
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