This shipping notification email from Waterfield succeeds at conveying a personal and sincere tone even though I suspect it’s automated. The subject invites you to open it and the “thanks for tracking us down…” paragraph feels genuine. (Nice subtle dig at the USPS’s “tracking” service, too.)
Ross Hudgenson 27 May 10
The converse to this, though, is that I often find myself more pissed off when one attempts to be real, but is in fact obviously automated.
I don’t think this is necessarily an application of that but the “fake real” is a good way to get on my (and I’m sure many others) bad side. I’d rather you just shoot straight instead of pretending, that’s real authenticity.
Charl van Niekerkon 27 May 10
Agreed with Ross, and unless they automatically vary the message according to some rules every time, the novelty would quickly wear off as soon as you receive the second notification and it looks almost identical to the first.
Johnon 27 May 10
Might be automated but I’ve dealt with these guys before. They’re quite responsive – if you email Gary back, expect a prompt response.
Nathan Kontnyon 27 May 10
Waterfield rocks. Still use the same laptop sleeve for 5 years.
There’s a chef in Chicago at Sapori that I think gets the whole pseudo personalization thing right too. He sends you what looks like a totally handwritten note and an envelope completely handwritten all over the front and back on things like your half birthday. It’s definitely an eye catching envelope to receive in the mail even if it is a bit fake. And it got me to open it up and find a coupon I ended up using on a return trip to the restaurant.
Here’s a photo of the envelope he sent.
Tyon 27 May 10
I’d love to hear from more people on if they really like automated e-mails like this (that disguise themselves as a real, personalized email).
Does it put the user in the awkward situation of thinking that they should respond to this highly personalized email?
Do most users prefer a well-crafted automated e-mail that they know there is no expectation of responding to?
Just saying, if I got an e-mail like this. I’d actually struggle with whether or not to shoot an email back to this guy. Maybe I’m just crazy.
Chip Wardenon 27 May 10
I don’t know if this is automated or not. I’ve ordered several things from WaterField and have received a personalized message from them each time. In fact, once a message thanked me not only for my current order, but, as I was ordering duplicate item, if there was a problem with the first item. If it is automated, the logic is pretty good. Impressed me either way.
Robon 27 May 10
Although the body of the email is good, the Subject is atrocious. I would have probably deleted it without reading it.
nickdon 27 May 10
I bet his (its?) use of the word “tracking” is so you can search your email archive for “tracking number” and still get it as a result. Useful.
Ronon 28 May 10
Expect a personally autographed “Thanks” on the receipt too. That’s not automated.
Steve Thomason 28 May 10
I thought Gary’s email was automated and responded. We ended up having a wonderful and very non-automated email exchange on the wonders of CRM.
Automated or not, Gary and SF Bags are the best at customer service. Oh and their product is amazing to boot.
Chason 28 May 10
My confirmation email thanked me for ordering from them again even though my two orders were 4 years apart. Love their cases!
Richardon 28 May 10
Everyone over at Waterfield are great, and their products are so good. I just got their Macbook Pro bag and sleeve combo, and their customer service was some of the best I’ve seen in a while…I loved the hand written note you get on the receipt…plus the bag rocks, and looks like it is made to last a lifetime.
Mark Nijhofon 28 May 10
I once ordered a bag with them and they asked me for what laptop it was supposed to be, because I had also ordered a laptop sleeve for my MBP 17” and they suspected the bag to be for the same and wanted to warn me that that wouldn’t fit ‘nicely’.
Any other store would have just send me the bag and let me find out myself. This wasn’t automated Btw.
Michael Armstrongon 28 May 10
My guess is that it’s a canned reply, but with human intervention.
I recently placed an order and received a similar email, but with a different 2nd paragraph. Mine said, “How did you happen to bump into our site? If there’s anything else I can do for you, just let me know.”
I replied, including a comment that the velcro was wearing out on the bag I got (2nd hand) 4 years ago. Within an hour I received a personal reply and they offered to fix the old bag.
I don’t care if the emails are automated or not, their customer service, as well as their bags, are top notch. They’re the only ones I’m buying from now on.
This discussion is closed.