Big thanks to Kevin Stirtz for pointing out this great video that shows how very creepy customer service reps can be when they just plain try too hard.
The message I take away from this is that as much as customer service is about treating the customer like a human being, it is also about being a human yourself. Be open, listen, be accommodating, but don't be that desperate guy at a party saying anything to get the girl: "Really? I like tennis, too. I play every day. You wanna borrow my racket? I'll introduce you to my instructor. Here's a book on how to be a better player. Let's watch Wimbledon together, shall we?"
Sales, social media and customer service all have something in common: they work best when the players involved are honest, authentic and transparent. Being yourself might mean sharing something about your own life, sure: "I understand how frustrating that delay can be when you have kids. I have two, myself. Let me see what I can do to help."
But don't change your business model or your personality for your customers. What your mother always said is still true: just be yourself.