customer service

Customer Relationship Failure

Jessops - Advice for Life
Jessops – Advice for Life

I generally don’t like getting marketing email. Whenever I buy something online or sign up to a new web site, I always make sure that the “please send me email” is not checked. This doesn’t, of course, stop me getting marketing email but it does give me the moral high ground if I choose to complain about it.

There are, however, a small number of companies and organisations who I’m happy to receive mail from. Generally that’s campaigns that I support and things like that. There are only a couple of retailers in that list. One of them is Jessops, the photographic people. Photography is a hobby that I don’t have time to follow that closely, so I’m happy for Jessops to send me information about new products every few weeks. Sometimes it might even get me into a shop to buy something.

But over the last couple of months my patience with Jessops has been sorely tried. I think they have started to use a new CRM or mass-mail tool. Whatever the issue is, the result has been that the email I get from them has become really impersonal and, actually borders on being rude.

The problem is that somehow they have got the parts of my name confused. Perhaps they got the forename and surname fields the wrong way in some data import exercise. Or perhaps they are using the wrong data field in their mail merge process. But where they think they are writing email with friendly subjects like “Dave, 3 for 2 offers on photo products”, I’m actually seeing “Cross, 3 for 2 offers on photo products”.

To be honest, I prefer it if retailers address me as “Mr Cross” (I realise I may be a bit out of date there) but I’m reasonably happy for them to call me “Dave”. Calling me “Cross” just isn’t acceptable. The first time it happened I assumed it was a glitch that would be fixed before the next run. But I’ve since received three or four other messages with the same error in the subject line.

Each time one of those messages arrives it lowers my respect for Jessops. Each time I get closer to just removing myself from their mailing list. But I do still find the contents of the mail interesting. Today I got another message and I replied to it asking them to fix the problem. But I strongly suspect that the reply address won’t go to a real person – that seems to be standard (if broken) practice these days.

It’ll only take a couple more of these messages to push into unsubscribing. And Jessops will probably lose the small amount of custom that they currently get from me. I don’t suppose they really care.

By the way. Whilst we’re talking about Jessops, does anyone else think that their new slogan is a little excessive? Does anyone really go to a camera shop for “advice for life”?


Guerrilla vs Gorilla

On the train home I was pondering the difference between guerrilla marketing and gorilla marketing.

Antonio points out that the Cadbury’s Phil Collins advert might be an example of gorilla marketing, but I think it’s probably deeper than that.

According to Wikpedia:

Guerrilla marketing is an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. Typically, guerrilla marketing tactics are unexpected and unconventional; consumers are targeted in unexpected places, which can make the idea that’s being marketed memorable, generate buzz, and even spread virally.

In comparison, gorilla marketing is probably all about alpha males beating their chests and flinging faeces.

I know which type of marketing I’d rather use.