Familiarity may just breed contempt

by Sue Pitts on May 18, 2009

We all know the old saying about familiarity, but I have been thinking about it differently based on a conversation I had last week. I was canceling a service to which I’ve subscribed for a number of years. The customer service rep kept telling me, “You’re part of our [X-company] family.” She even asked, “Did you know that? That you’re part of our family?”

Okay, here’s the thing. I already have a family — and it doesn’t have anything to do with a subscription service whose utility is outdated and expensive. Telling me that I’m part of your family won’t convince me to keep paying for a service I don’t want and don’t need.

Having said that, I do find that some of my customers become like family to me. They are loyal customers with whom I’ve established a personal connection. Unlike the above-mentioned conversation, they are real people with whom I have real interactions.

Don’t insult your customers by calling them “family” if you don’t interact as a family would. Really, it’s just too familiar. Which brings us back to what that breeds…

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