What would you say if I told you customer intimacy was dangerous?

If you want to really satisfy your customers, read on.

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  • Most organisations hear ‘listen to what the customer needs’ and say ‘yes! optimise for this!’
  • They hear ‘transactional efficiency saves money’, and go ‘yes! everything efficient!’

Truth: there are two types of customer service flavours:

1) transactional – customers can reliably specify and find the right service, and just want it over with – or not needed at all. Paying a bill, changing address. You want reliable, standardised, low-cost activity to drive volume, fast.

2) emotional/’customer intimacy’ – when you really need to listen to know what the customer needs. Understand. Experts, specialists to work with them for a joint solution, and every requirement is a new, unique little project.

You can do one, or t’other. But try to mix and match, you’ve got problems. 

Treating emotional as transactional fails to meet the needs, costs you more, and upsets customers. Treating transactional as emotional… well, same.

Which parts of your service require customer intimacy? Which operational effectiveness? Are you sure?

Have you ever been given the wrong sort of service?