“Did you forget something?”
“Did you see something you liked?”
These were all recent subject lines of emails that landed in my Inbox. To these companies I say,
I did not leave your website by accident. I decided not to buy an item – or I decided not to buy the item from YOU. It is that simple.
I have purchased from each of them in the past. Every time one of these annoyances lands in my Inbox, I find myself feeling disproportionally reactive. It’s just an email – but it’s a thoughtless auto-generated one making a lazy, mindless attempt to engage me.
I am not engaged. Instead, I am inching toward becoming enraged.
Why do these emails bother me so much? I champion interactions that are intentionally honoring, and these auto-messages are the antithesis of that. They do not make me feel like an honored customer.
Is feeling honored even possible with follow-up emails designed to close a sale? Yes!
A More Honoring Experience
Occasionally I start an order online and wait to finish it later. Last year, I did this for the first time with a company whose products I have ordered once or twice a month for the past two years. To my great surprise, I received an email from their Customer Service team the following morning.
Their message addressed me by name (which I don’t remember seeing in the previous examples) and noted that I started an order but didn’t submit it. I was then asked if I had experienced any difficulty they could help resolve.
It certainly seemed as though a real human responded to me, which I appreciated. Surprisingly, that was not important.
What mattered was that I was treated as a valued customer.
The question was posed to ensure there was no technical issue with the website or information that was needed about one of their products – both very real considerations in general.
I felt as though they cared. Even if this was nothing more than a response protocol, it was done by focusing on me rather than a potential sale – though I’m sure that was a concern.
I explained what I had done and completed the order later that day with a smile. I value this company – their products and the way they do business. It makes me happy to continue our relationship.
Reflecting on Being Valued
I have little hope that auto-messages enabled by cookies are going away anytime soon, but I sure wish they would. It’s hard to believe they ever convert a sale.
Isn’t it better to create and nourish a relationship?
It is human nature to want to feel valued in our personal and work relationships. We also want to feel that we are a valued member of our community – however we define that community to be. And, of course, we want to feel valued as a customer.
There is power that comes from feeling valued. It honors us. It engages us. And it feels great! It also invites us to express how much we value those who positively impact our lives.
My life is filled with people and relationships that I value. I nourish them by interacting in a way that is intentionally honoring, which of course impacts our communication and conversation.
This is a mindset. It’s a way of being.
What happens if organizations honor their employees, customers, and all with whom they interrelate? Doing so will send a clear message that each person is valued. And the benefit? When we feel valued, we engage.