Attack of the CRM* bot . . .

*CRM = Customer Relationship Management

The other day I ordered a manual coffee grinder from Amazon for $23.99. It looks like this:2017-04-24_07-43-26

Later that day, this email arrived:

Hi Ray, 
Irene here, from JavaPresse Coffee Company– we make the Manual Coffee Grinder that you just bought on Amazon.  

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your order… I am really happy to be part of this company and for the chance to serve you. 

I am *your* personal service representative 🙂

You see… I’m an idealist, and maybe a bit naive, but more than anything, family has always come first with me. 

After a few jobs at other companies, I wanted to give up… I was miserable. 

I was supposed to do customer service, but my hands were always tied working on things that conflicted with my ‘family first’ mantra. Still, I knew that I could find a job that was good for me, and that’s when I landed at JavaPresse. 

This small, family-owned company has been a dream come true for me — they let me do what I love. 

JavaPresse Coffee Company is about customer service… and I can do just about anything to satisfy you! We’re a customer FIRST business.  

Anyways, now you’re part of my plan, and it is MY job to make sure you have the most incredible experience with us 🙂 If there’s anything you need, please let me know!  

Happy brewing!


Customer Support Specialist

JavaPresse Coffee Company

Oh, man, do I ever hate it when Amazon merchants send these emails! My response to “Irene” explains:

Dear “Irene,”
No offense intended because I know you are just doing your job the way someone thinks it ought to be done. Or, more likely, you are a customer relationship management software bot doing what you are programmed to do. Whatever.
But here’s the thing: I really get annoyed by chipper emails that address me informally (“Ray”) as if we know one another, toss in some “personal” information (“You see . . . I’m an idealist”), and claim that I am now in some sort of relationship with you.
I bought a coffee grinder, through Amazon, made by your company. I didn’t sign up to be part of your “plan.” I just want the grinder. If it does the job, great. If not, back it goes. I buy a ton of stuff from Amazon, and regularly receive emails like yours. I keep a template to generate replies like this one. If I had my way, the whole business of “Customer Relationship Management” would go in the dumpster where it belongs. But I don’t have my way, and so the best I can do is keep track of which company sends these emails and not buy from them again.

I thought my reply would stop the flow of emails from “Irene” . . . But no, this is the first response:

Hi Ray,
We just want to make sure everything is as expected with your purchase. The check in email will be the last message you will receive from us moving forward, unless you contact us first. Scouts honor.
Have an AWESOME evening!
Customer Support Specialist
JavaPresse Coffee Co.

And then the next; perhaps this is the promised “check in email:”

Hi Ray,

Thanks again for ordering the Manual Coffee Grinder by JavaPresse!

The available tracking information shows that your coffee grinder is out for delivery today, woohoo!

When you receive your grinder, please take a moment to make sure that it was not damaged in transit. After visually inspecting the grinder, it’s time to put the case through the grind test!

Please remove the lid from the hopper and add 5-10 coffee beans and place them inside. Attach the hand crank on top and turn the handle smoothly in a clockwise direction. You will hear a quiet grinding noise and see ground coffee fill up the container. Visually inspect the coffee grinds for any chips from the burr. Your grinder is now ready for use anywhere in the world!

If there is any reason that you wouldn’t rate this as a 5-star experience, respond to this email right away and I’ll do everything in my power to make it right.

Happy Brewing,


Customer Support Specialist

JavaPresse Coffee Company

P.S. Make sure to go through the brief instruction manual at least once and check-in with us to enjoy your bonus videos.

P.P.S. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, I’m one reply away 🙂

Great, I’m responsible for Quality Assurance:  “Visually inspect the coffee grinds for any chips from the burr.

Then, there’s this: “If there is any reason that you wouldn’t rate this as a 5-star experience, respond to this email right away and I’ll do everything in my power to make it right.” Oh, yeah, “Irene,” this has been a “5-star” experience all right.

Where do small firms get the idea that this is what customers expect? Is this Amazon’s way of helping out?

No, wait, eureka! I get it! Amazon runs focus groups with MTurkers, who themselves are consumer bots.

The grinder is going back to Amazon today, box unopened.

Bye, bye, Irene!


~ by raysparrowe on April 24, 2017.

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