Customer experience: It’s possible to over-kill on friendliness and customer surveys

Image for Customer experience - Its possible to over-kill on friendliness and customer surveys PostA friend of mine is a very regular customer of the Enterprise car rental company.  In their jointly run business, she and her husband are so regular that the company’s stellar customer service and customer attention has reached the “annoying” level. Recently, they were served by two different associates at the rental counter.  Each one wanted to shake each of their hands—my friend’s and her husband’s.  This got a little awkward, what with juggling bags, purses and paperwork, etc.  On one recent trip, my friend calculated they had been asked no less than five times, during one transaction in the airport, how their trip had been.

At the beginning of the trip, several associates at the rental counter and then waiting for them at their rented vehicle asked, politely, what the couple was doing on this trip (“Business or pleasure,”—that sort of thing.)  They were innocent questions and probably ones suggested to the employees during their training.  “Make chit-chat as you lead customers to their car.  Inquire about their vacation or business plans, for example.” 

My friend reports that, after a while, she wanted to shout at the person, “It’s none of your business!”  (Okay, it was maybe at the end of a long travel day for her, but you get the point.)

Often her husband travels alone with very complex stops and multiple destinations, while she manages his travel from their home office.  This involves a lot of contact via mobile phone and texting.  Recently, the husband called her from the Enterprise rental counter to report he was on his way, getting into his own vehicle and would be home soon.  As she hung up talking with him—knowing he had just left the rental counter—she received an email from Enterprise to her husband’s email address containing a survey about how his Enterprise experience had been—while he was mere steps away from the rental counter. She hastily hit the delete key!

It’s true. There can be too much of a good thing.  It seems like in this case, some indication to the associates that these were VERY frequent customers—and therefore needed a different, more customized or less intrusive approach—would be a good idea and one that could easily be handled with today’s modern technology.  What do you think?