The web is littered with articles on how to craft the perfect user experience: some good, some bad. It’s rare to find an article that sticks for longer than the time it takes to close the browser tab. I’m not jaded about it, but the signal-to-noise ratio is often tuned to the static end of the spectrum.

People aren't vending machines (normally)The constant pursuit of streamlining interaction with web-based products has resulted in a landscape full of cold and inhuman web forms, each one waiting only to take your money and dispense a product as quickly as possible. It’s like a Terminator film, and your wallet is Sarah Conner.

The true meaning of customer experience has been all but forgotten in this brave new world. Customer experience should be measured by more than “how easy was it to use our website?”  It should be a follow-up, a smiling face, the proverbial handshake that lets you know you are dealing with someone who cares about your purchase. Dare I say a human being? But I digress.

In a recent article on Smashing Magazine, Des Traynor discusses the importance of establishing meaningful long-term customer relationships as part of your process. In it, he concludes that all anyone really needs do is just be a little more human with their customers. Call them up, ask how they’re doing, send them holiday cards; it’s the little things that build relationships. You’re more than a vending machine. You’re a company that cares about your customers.