Customer Service, eCommerce and Back to the Future

Valerie Maltoni’s Six Ways to Connect with Customers got me thinking: Way back when actual top brands conducted their customer service on a one-on-one basis—you know, tailors, department store employees, etc.—there was something in the idea of knowing your customer. If you were a regular at Hudsons’ flagship department store in Detroit there was likely a card with your measurements, shopping habits, and interests on file somewhere. They knew you and anticipated your needs. They knew what you liked to buy and what you didn’t want to hear about. I’ll bet it was awesome.

I have to wonder when digital shopping experiences are going to get hip? Sure, it’s great to have my shopping history on file so you can make recommendations on cross-sells and up-sells, but I’m looking for more. Birds of a feather and all that is nice too, but I like to think I am more than a simple member of a flock who follows the lead sparrow right into a jet turbine. When will you know me?
It’s high time we had an online shopping experience that not only evaluates my shopping history and that of similar shoppers to make recommendations but one that also considers how I may feel about those purchases. Just because I bought the last generation iPhone doesn’t mean I’ll buy the next (unless AT&T; is given the heave ho, but I digress). I want an eCommerce engine that looks at my ratings and comments to ensure that the suggestions that come my way are something I might actually consider. I want the personal touch Hudsons provided to their valued customers. I’ll bet it will be awesome.

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