Time to say goodbye

I cancelled my Spotify Premium the other day, because I’d come to the end of my free trial. It was the usual deal – to leave, you have to click through various screens where they say things like, ‘Are you sure? Don’t go! Pleeeeeeease!’

But the last screen did actually make me hesitate. ‘We couldn’t let you leave without some music,’ it said, winningly. And up popped a window with a playlist titled ‘Can we still be friends?’

Ten classic breakup songs. First track: I Want You Back by the Jackson 5. Oh yes.

It’s testament to Spotify’s cleverness that I stuck around to listen to that song (which, of course, features the best bassline of all time). And that I got all the way to If You Leave Me Now by Chicago before I finally, reluctantly clicked ‘cancel’. (Obviously I drew the line at Michael Bolton’s How Am I Supposed to Live Without You. I do have some standards.)

Yes, I left. But I like the Spotify brand a whole lot more than I did before. And who knows, I might go back to them one day. High five to their customer experience people.

Not everyone gets it so right, though. That same week, I spotted on Twitter a bizarre email from Boden. ‘What’s with the cold shoulder?’ it said, next to a picture of a winsome girl leaning coyly against a radiator. ‘We miss you. Bad. Give us a click and we won’t disappoint.’ 

Boden’s tone of voice does divide people – that’s a natural consequence of being truly distinctive. Normally I love it. But even I felt this was a step too far. It certainly wouldn’t encourage me to place an order. (Take out a restraining order, more like.)

It’s great be true to your brand when you’re trying to win your customers back. But maybe there’s such a thing as laying it on too thick.

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