How to Inject Personality Into Automated Customer Service


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Jim Sterne, one of my favourite/favorite (that’s UK/US spelling BTW) web people (author of Customer Service on The Internet, among other things), got this confirmation email when he ordered a CD from CD Baby: shows you can inject a little personality into the dullest of customer communications if you try. Mind your brand, though: this kind of humour/humor only works for some…

“Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

“A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing.

“Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

“We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day.

“I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.

“Your picture is on our wall as ‘Customer of the Year.’ We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!


“Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby
the little store with the best new independent music [email protected] (503)595-3000″

Reminds me of the IVR recorded messages The Geek Squad use, including one which used to say, “Press 6 to hear a faulty PC be shot from a cannon into a pond full of piranhas”, or something like that.

Needless to say, this kind of thing only adds personality and a smile if the service itself is flawless. Otherwise, it’s just annoying.

Phil Dourado

Phil Dourado
Author, Speaker, Independent Consultant
Founding editor of Customer Service Management Journal in the United States, and of its companion title, Customer Service Management Journal (now rebranded as Customer Management Magazine) in the United Kingdom. He is the author of The 6 Second Leader (Capstone, John Wiley & Sons, 27).


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