I’m sure everyone has gotten a later that starts off with something like:


We are mailing you today to tell you about a special sale we are having at our company. However, we should be working on our customer service.

The question is, why do the companies use the capital letters? Whatever the reason is, you shouldn’t.

Create/choose your applications work with customer service in mind.
Your first answer may be “our CRM doesn’t let us use proper case.” Find one that does. Every piece of software you use to help customers, communicate with customers, manage customer data, etc. should have customer service in mind. Something like having all capital letters in a name is just stupid.

Invest in top of the line software.
If you’re going to do mass-automated-mailings, invest in the right software to do it. Same goes with email marketing. Have it so the system does support proper capitalization and doesn’t confuse names all the time. Bad software can often lead to bad results, and a customer subsequently assuming your product or service, and/or customer service is bad.

When entering data, do it correctly.
Some companies may use all capital letters simply to avoid having errors with names like McRoberts that have mixed capital and lowercase letters. When someone spells or writes their name, chances are they’ll say capital M, lowercase C, capital R or write it correctly. If you’re not sure, ask them. If they write it and you call to confirm it, chances are the customer will be impressed.

Have humans check.
Even if you have a ton of mail going out, have a human just glance over the mailing list or flip through the envelopes to see if there are any obvious errors. Some of these errors may be an incorrect name or mixing up a husband and wife’s name. These happen all the time and really do cause people to completely disregard what’s sent to them.

If your competition is doing it correctly, you better.
Check if your competition is sending out emails, letters, etc. in the proper format. If they are, you better. There is absolutely no excuse for you doing it incorrectly if your competition can do it correctly. You’re then not only behind in customer service, but in the sophistication of your marketing, and subsequent business results. (You’ll notice that customer service performance and business performance are frequently tied. More about that Monday with a post about the “three-legged stool.”)

Don’t let little things go.
Some readers may be going “He’s lost it.” Little Things, Big Differences is one of the most important and frequent things I talk about on Service Untitled. Not letting the little things go makes a big difference in the customer service experience (for the better).

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be posted exercises. They’ll outline specific steps you need to do in order to do specific things. I’ve gotten a few requests for them and I think they’ll be a good addition to Service Untitled. I’ll also be adding some documents, spreadsheets, etc. you can download and fill out to help you complete these exercises.