Customer service, before you even asked for it

Finding customers has never been easy in any business. It’s even more complicated to predict which ones will buy, when, and at what price?

Now just imagine there is a holiday weekend approaching. Usually you would leave home to spend a few days away, heading straight into work again from your short holiday.

On the last day of the week you get a phone call from a shop that you only use every now and then. The caller explains who he is and the shop he is calling from, and then he goes on: “Hey Julia, we know that this is a long weekend and you usually leave town for a short break over the holidays… so where are you planning to go this weekend? And, by the way, how is the new job?”

At first you would be shocked and surprised, maybe you wouldn’t respond or might even hang up the phone – it’s just such a direct and personal approach. Then the store manager explains: “We have noticed that you do not come to shop for your regular items for about ten days after every long weekend. So we have started this new service where we can deliver your regular groceries to the doorstep.”

Now we all know that retailers use loyalty cards to track what we spend our money on, but if they can start connecting the information they have with the data that can be found publicly on social networks then could this situation really be possible?

The truth is that this is already possible; it’s just not common yet due to fears over privacy. But if a retailer called and offered a service that helps you because of intelligence gained from the store loyalty card and your public social network, then would you find it useful – or creepy?
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