A visit to a good Indian restaurant goes bad
Last week, a friend and I headed out to a very good, local Indian restaurant to satisfy a craving for some naan and sag paneer. When we arrived, there were barely a couple of other people in the place, and so the hostess told us we had our choice of seats. After we sat down, a male server came by to take our order.
After the meal was served, a female server came by to see whether everything was satisfactory.
And then a different female server came by to see if “everything was OK.”
And then the male server came by to ask how everything was.
And then one of the female servers came by again to see how things were.
And then the other female server came by.
And before we were even done with the meal, one of the female servers asked if we needed a box for our food.
I lost count, but we were asked if everything was OK at least six or seven times by different servers and in fairly short intervals.
After all these unnecessary interruptions, my friend and I were annoyed, and left wondering if they needed the table (although a good half the restaurant was empty).
Checking in is good…but doing it too often is not
After ordering, we should all expect two contacts in a restaurant: one to get asked if everything is to our liking, and a second one, closer to the end of the meal, to ask whether we want to have food boxed up, want to order dessert, or need our check.
But this restaurant took follow up and checking in to a level that was beyond annoying. They interrupted us too many times, seemingly without cause. Was it that the servers didn’t communicate with each other? Were they bored because they didn’t have enough customers? Who knows what motivated these servers, but all that checking in was way too much of a good thing, turning it into a bad thing.
Too much contact or follow up is disruptive, intrusive, annoying, and unnecessary.
What is true about overzealous restaurant servers is the same with email marketing. As I said in my last blog post, your email marketing should aim to be “just right.” Just right means sending not too much, nor too little email, and sending relevant, useful information too. In the Indian restaurant experience above, not only were these serves constantly interrupting, they weren’t doing it with any real purpose.
So the next time you want to send one more email to “make sure people got the message,” think about your last restaurant meal. Was it enjoyable and peaceful? Or were you annoyed because the servers kept asking you if everything was OK or you wanted another drink before you even finished the one you had in front of you.