How NOT to talk to your customers

The following heartfelt missive landed in my inbox recently:

Bank “X” would like to thank you for the phone call that you, or someone in your household, made on 02/22/2011. The voice of the customer is very important to Bank X as it continually monitors and improves its customer service.
You can provide your feedback on Bank X’s customer service performance by completing a brief 5 minute survey. To participate in the survey, click on the Web address below. http://customersurvey.______________

C’mon, folks–this kind of impersonal, help-us-help-ourselves tone is a turnoff.

It’s not out of reach to do this kind of thing well–please, companies, apply a little human-centered design to your outbound communications. Take the necessary steps to remind yourselves that your customers are people, with all of the concomitant motivations and emotional responses. Talk to them that way.

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