mixed messages

Terrell on June 14th, 2006 No Comments

I recently received a birthday card from my dentist. The outside of the card had a cartoon on it. The first frame was a young girl holding a nicely wrapped birthday present; the second frame was her holding up a t-shirt that said “Don’t forget to floss”. The bottom of the card reads “Happy Birthday from your dentist.”

Now, I appreciate that my dentist sent me a birthday card, but I found the card off-putting. Maybe I’m just being sensitive, but since I’ve shelled out well over $3,000 on my teeth in the past year, I feel like I deserve a little respect. After all, I am an adult, and I am spending lots of my hard-earned money to make sure that my teeth are taken care of. A simple “Happy Birthday from the team at XYZ” would have made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, but the cartoon made me feel like I was being playfully chastised.

Imagine if Verity sent out birthday cards to its members with messages like, “By the way, you missed a payment on your credit card” or “Hey, looks like you’re in need of some financial counseling!”? I know we’re in the financial services business, but it doesn’t mean we always have to remind people of it. People are humans first, before they are customers. And they have a choice whether or not to continue relationships with the companies they do business with.

I will still be seeing my dentist because she does a good job and I like her, but the card did make me think about relationships and how even an innocent gesture can sometimes alienate people. Just something to think about.


No biography available for this author.

Leave a Reply