Doug Garnett wrote a blog post titled The 24 Hour Fitness Personal Greeting Is Creepy.

« Somewhere in the past few months, the front desk team received orders from above to “greet members by name”. To some executive it probably sounded like a warm, personal way to build connections with members. Perhaps it came under the category of “engagement”. Regardless it’s one outstanding example of how “personalized” can mean “creepy”. »

« So we wait together…Until it flashes “welcome” (on my side) and something like “Member Name: Doug” on their screen. At which point the latest in a long stream of anonymous front desk help says “Good Morning, Doug”. »

« Why creepy? It’s clear the desk attendant doesn’t know who I am. And it’s clear that the only reason they’re using my name is they were told to. »

« Consider My Starbucks by Contrast. When I walk into my local Starbucks or the local coffee shop by my office I’m often greeted by name (same words – “Good Morning, Doug”). Except, they really do know my name in both places. I’ve gone to that Starbucks for nearly 20 years and ordered the same morning drink for over 10 years. Same at my local coffee shop. »

« In both these cases, I don’t care whether they know my name or not. What makes those coffee shops more personal is that I know the people behind the counter and they know me. If they use my name I’m okay with it – half the time they’ve made my drink the minute they see me. But what’s funny is that when some of the guys use that friendly “hey, man”, it’s just as personal as “Good Morning, Doug” (probably more). »

Because it is genuine, not scripted.

« Impersonal Personalization is Creepy. »

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