Tuesday, May 1, 2007

good-but-impersonal practice

I sent a query about my Tesco Clubcard points [some were missing] using their online form. Within seconds I got an email which included the following:

This is good. It means I'm not wondering if they got the message or whether it disappeared into that great email black hole in the sky.

Shame they couldn't be a bit more personable, however. The form asks for my name - so why not use it in the greeting? [though there is the issue of 'Mr
Charlesworth' or simply 'Alan']. The message is then presented in the first person - which I like, but it is signed 'Tesco Customer Service' - which I don't like.

OK, I know its an old trick, but if necessary make up a name [or names, rotate them on these auto-response messages] .

The message would have been so much more friendly if it was signed [something like] Dave in the
Tesco Customer Service team. Technology would make it relatively easy to prompt whoever replies to my enquiry to start by saying - "Dave passed your message on to me ... ".

This auto-response is all part of an online
CRM initiative strategy - why not try to develop that relationship you are trying to manage?

FOOTNOTE I : Tesco Customer Service actually replied to my enquiry the next day - and the email was signed off by a person's name [I'll assume Jeff exists]. Better still, my missing points are on my next statement. So rather than being picky about being impersonal, perhaps I should just applaud the excellent service.

FOOTNOTE II : ... and ten you had to go and spoil it all by ... [thank you Frank & Nancy]. After reading the reply featured in
FOOTNOTE I I fired off an email saying simply, "excellent, thanks for your help" [what a nice chap I am]. And received ... the same automated reply as shown above.

[a] take foot [b] take gun [c] shoot [a] with [b].

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