Did You Forget Your Order? — My Favorite Customer Service E-Mails

by Joanna Pineda Posted on October 27, 2009

Forgetful Boy Last Sunday, I logged onto Snapfish.com and started creating a customized calendar using mostly photos of my son (who else should be featured on my homemade calendar?).  I ran out of time before I could finish the order, so I saved it and logged off.  Tonight, I got a really cute and friendly e-mail reminder that there’s something in my shopping cart and it’s not too late to complete my order. There was even a direct link to my cart so it was easy for me to check out.

In e-commerce lingo, my Snapfish shopping cart was abandoned because I left the site without completing the order.  Some of my clients consider it creepy to let their customers know that they know about the abandoned carts.  But here was a non-creepy, really helpful e-mail from Snapfish that prompted me to complete my order!  What made the e-mail reminder successful?

The Snapfish e-mail reminded of an e-mail I received from a newsletter publisher some time back.  I was trying to reduce the number of e-mails I receive and unsubscribed from one of their newsletters.  Instead of a regular confirmation e-mail, I got a message that said something like “We’re just crushed that you’ve decided to unsubscribe from our newsletter.  We’re wringing our hands and wondering what we did wrong…” The e-mail was hilarious and so well written that I promptly re-subscribed because in addition to serving up a funny message, they reminded me of the benefits of their newsletter.

Both of these companies remind me that providing customer services doesn’t have to staid or dry. We can talk like real people in our messages, we can express emotion, and we can use humor to get the point across.  Heck, our message will probably stand out in crowded e-mail inboxes full of jargon and marketing speak.

How about you? Received any fabulous customer service e-mails recently? Received any that made you laugh or angry?

One reply on “Did You Forget Your Order? — My Favorite Customer Service E-Mails”

My favorite emails come from Dreamhost, the host of my websites. Their sorta-monthly newsletter is all text (NOT an obnoxious HTML email) and is filled with personality. Just to show you what I mean, here’s a quotation from their most recent newsletter:

Hiya, it’s the September Newsletter, DreamHost-iest-style! Not only is
it coming to you a week into October, it’s also coming to you from
35,000 feet over Nebraska… site of our new FLOATING DATA CENTER!

While everybody else TALKS about “cloud computing”, we at DreamHost take
it to its most extremely INSANE limit!

We figured, hey, building a data center is already pretty darn difficult,
why not just go ahead and make it a few orders of magnitude moreso? But
at the same time get all the myriad benefits that only a data center
actually physically IN the clouds can provide:

* 100% earthquake resistance.
* 100% fire resistance.
* 100% Somali pirate resistance.
* 100% solar power reliability (we just float along with the sun).
* 100% wireless networking provided by aircell.com.
* -40 degrees (F and C) outside => just open a window for cooling.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a TON of incredibly difficult logistics that
go into making a floating data center, not the least of which was hunting
and trapping all the Pegasuses we mount our racks to. Pegasai?

They don’t call us DREAMHost for nothing.

It’s just humor writing, made to entertain me and the author, but it creates real affection on my end for Dreamhost. I think of them as people and personalities, rather than a blank-wall service provider, to be ditched as soon as a better offer is found. And all because their emails aren’t dry, crusty pitches to buy more.

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