April 19th, 2018 by Leonard Klie

I don’t think Hallmark has come out with a card for it yet, but today is officially “National Get to Know Your Customers Day.”

But before you wend your way to the drugstore or have your marketing team frantically craft an e-card to send to everyone who has ever done business with you, know that this really isn’t that big of a deal.

Apparently, Get to Know Your Customers Day is observed annually on the third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, October). This is a day to reach out to your patrons and get to know them better.

While its origins are unknown, the holiday apparently came about in response to the  Internet and big-box stores that have pretty much killed the sense of personalization that were the hallmarks (no pun intended) of the mom-and-pop store down the street.

The day is billed as an opportunity for companies to get to know a little more about their customers and make each of them feel special. It’s an effort that needs to be undertaken right away, as in-app messaging company Helpshift discovered when it delved deeply into how people really feel about customer service.

“Historically, customer support has only been available during ‘business hours’—in other words, when it is convenient for the brand,” said Helpshift CEO Linda Crawford, in a statement. “Today, that’s no longer acceptable. Brands need to engage with their customers on their customers’ terms. Smart brands will put AI and bots to work to complement their agents’ availability and bandwidth.”

Helpshift, together with Propeller Insights, recently conducted a study of more than 2,000 U.S. adults and  found that almost all Americans (94 percent) dread contacting customer support, and 52 percent give customer service a “C” grade or lower.

When asked why, Americans cited the following:

  • Difficult-to-understand accents from offshore call centers – 17 percent;
  • Long wait and hold times – 16 percent;
  • Being transferred around and having to repeat the problem over and over – 15 percent;
  • Never-ending automated self-service menus – 12 percent; and
  • Being forced to speak to robots – 8 percent.

So there’s your holiday  to-do list. Now get to it!

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