Why Genuine Personal Service Can Never Be Replaced

You’ve probably noticed a push lately from giant companies trying to offer you more personal treatment.

From McDonalds’ kiosks that enable customers to design their own burgers to Coca Cola’s $5 personalized bottles, the focus is clearly on making the customer feel special.

It’s progress perhaps, made steadily easier through technology advancements including experiential interfaces, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases and artificial intelligence.

But it’s still a pale copy of the real thing.

Call me old fashioned, but I believe in truly personal customer service. The kind that can’t be replicated or mimicked through technological smoke and mirrors.

I still write and mail old-fashioned letters. People read them, and I get the sense they are appreciated. It takes time, thought and some effort. Letters are special because nobody sends them anymore: there is marketing automation software for that.

But people know it’s authentic and sincere.

I have a client in Red Deer who has been leasing with Minerva for 11 years. Her leases have all been on the smaller side, but valued nonetheless. Not long ago, she contacted me in the evening from a shop where a piece of equipment she wanted was on sale. It was the last day to get the discount, and she asked me to pay for the purchase so she could lease it.

But the vendor would not accept my credit card by phone.  I got in my car and drove to one of the store’s Edmonton locations to make the payment. She got the equipment she wanted, at the bargain price.

I love to take the time to get to know people, and I knew this same client had horses. When I came upon some horse stall mats that had become available at a barn-burner price, I immediately thought of her. She was delighted to get a great deal, and I was pleased to write the lease.

Another example. One Friday morning I got a call from a client in Whitecourt who had found a bargain on some large equipment in Spruce Grove. If we could get the deal done that day, he could take delivery on the Monday.

I ran the credit check and wrote the lease, and Dylan hiked the check to the equipment dealer. The same client required a certified cheque delivered to his facility, so Dylan trekked the five hours to Whitecourt and back. We got it all done, and had a very satisfied client.

Would a big leasing company go so far? You tell me.

Because a fancy CRM can only pretend to know you, or to care about your needs.

It can hold endless data about your birthday, your kids’ names and your favourite scotch. But it isn’t capable of caring if you live or die.

Likewise, McDonald’s cannot ever make a burger like your mom would, with real hand-cut cheese and a ketchup smiley face. And that Coke with your name on it is produced in a billion-litre vat along with everyone else’s.

There is still a place for authentic, truly personal service.

It’s the foundation of genuine human relationships, the kind that make our days and our transactions meaningful. I for one will continue to favour businesses that are actually capable of knowing me, for as long as they still exist.

If you’ve been looking for a leasing company company that can turn on a dime and where you’ll be treated like a sentient creature with unique needs, perhaps we should talk. I’m always happy to share some knowledge and come away with a new friend.