"... don't call me a customer. "Customer" is a dirty word."I disagreed, posted a comment to that effect. I was going to summarize it and explore the topic in my notebook, but I think the comment sums it up pretty well:
I don't entirely agree ... The point is well taken that if someone creates an account (online or offline) and you know their name, then you really ought to use it on the salutation line of correspondence sent regarding their account.But the attempt to use a word to give a person the impression that "you're more than just a customer" strikes me as disingenuous. When someone calls me a "member" or "supporter" of a brand, I raise shields because I expect they are after something more, want to con me into believing that we have some sort of close relationship where they want more of me than they have the right to ask, and think I am gullible enough that simply using a different word changes the way I think of them.It's kind of like that creepy guy you've met at a couple of industry conferences, who refers to you as a friend. He hasn't earned the right. And the fact that he's trying a little too hard to make you think of him the same way makes him all the more creepy, makes you wonder what he's really after, and makes you want to avoid him rather than allow the relationship to develop further, as it might have if he hadn't used the word "friend" prematurely.I don't think being a "customer" is a bad thing and I don't find it offensive to be called such - I give you cash, you sell me a product, and that's our relationship. Sell me a good product, make the buying experience as easy as possible, show concern that I get the benefit you promised, and treat me with common decency, and I will become a "regular customer."Do any of that poorly, and calling me by any other name doesn't make me think better of you.
My reposting to this site isn't intended to steal his thunder, just wanted to keep a copy in my notebook for future reference. The original blog post, with the comment in context, is here: www.chrisbrogan.com/customer-is-a-dirty-word
I'll tap "post" and likely not update - if there's any response or follow-on conversation, it will be on Chris's blog.