Going transparent vs. going overboard
Big thanks to Kevin Stirtz for pointing out this great video that shows how very creepy customer service reps can be when they just plain try too hard.
The message I take away from this is that as much as customer service is about treating the customer like a human being, it is also about being a human yourself. Be open, listen, be accommodating, but don’t be that desperate guy at a party saying anything to get the girl: “Really? I like tennis, too. I play every day. You wanna borrow my racket? I’ll introduce you to my instructor. Here’s a book on how to be a better player. Let’s watch Wimbledon together, shall we?”
Sales, social media and customer service all have something in common: they work best when the players involved are honest, authentic and transparent. Being yourself might mean sharing something about your own life, sure: “I understand how frustrating that delay can be when you have kids. I have two, myself. Let me see what I can do to help.”
But don’t change your business model or your personality for your customers. What your mother always said is still true: just be yourself.
[Cross-posted from heidi-miller.com]