How Not To Use Your Customer Data, Or Lack of It

19 years ago   •   1 min read

By Marcia Kadanoff

The purpose of customer analytics, which is what we do, is to provide customers with information and offers which they’ll care about, and respond to. Or, to inject some intelligence and information into the relationship between someone selling something, and someone buying something. That hypersimplified description of what we do is like the old Woody Allen joke about taking a speed reading course, reading War and Peace, and saying “It’s about Russia.” But you get the idea.

Here’s a blog entry about the exact opposite. Not only does this institution not have any information about their customer, they make sure the customer is fully aware of their ignorance, and best of all, they convey it in an extraordinarily insulting way. Bottom line: a hospital in Canada, communicating in a letter to a potential patient, included the priceless and heartfelt sentence, at the letter’s beginning: “If the person named on this computer-generated letter is deceased, please accept our sincere apologies.”

Beautiful: “By the way, this letter was written by a machine, and if you’re dead, the machine, and we, feel very bad about it. Sorry.”

We deliver customer knowledge. A precondition to that is to first purge your organization of customer stupidity, or if you know nothing about your customers, to at least keep quiet about it.

Here’s the whole story:


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