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Improve Customer Satisfaction by Personalizing Service

I use a credit card for many business purchases. Since I travel a lot, this means quite a bit of money is charged throughout the year.

Therefore, I was pleased when my bank had a local hotel deliver a 'basket of goodies' to our home during the holidays.

The card attached thanked us for our support, and looked forward to another year of providing beneficial service.

Unfortunately, the basket included abalone, chocolate cake and cookies. I am vegetarian (no abalone), we don’t eat much chocolate (no cake), and we try to avoid extra sugar (bye-bye cookies). This great gesture to improve customer satisfaction fell short because it lacked a personal touch.

I’m sure the hotel had other options it could have used: nuts, flowers, a voucher for dinner – any of which I would have appreciated more.

In fact, I would have loved a phone call saying, “Hello Mr. Kaufman. On behalf of your bank, we would like to send you a gift of your choice. Would you like wine, chocolate cake and cookies? Or would you prefer nuts and a large bouquet of flowers? Or perhaps a voucher for dinner at one of our fine restaurants? Or shall we donate the cash value to a charity of your choice?”

The cost to the bank would have been the same. The difference would be a phone call…and the desire to give customers what they want, not what you think they should want. The difference is simple and it can improve customer satisfaction greatly.

Key learning point to improve customer satisfaction

Don't assume you know what your customer really wants. Find out. It doesn't take much effort: just a phone call, and the right desire. A little goes a long way to improve customer satisfaction.

Action steps to improve customer satisfaction

Before launching your next customer promotion, call your customers first and ask them what they think. Then, give them what they want to really improve customer satisfaction.

Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “UP! Your Service” books and founder of UP! Your Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit
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