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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator

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Idea Pool

How To Act Like A Big Company With Lots of Customers!

Mary Schmidt

Aug 27, 2013

Citi, American Express, and CenturyLink - here’s lookin’ at you, kids.

1. Send out wave after wave of direct mail pieces, with the recipient’s name misspelled, to a long-time customer.  Who now wonders why she can’t get the same extra, special deal as a new customer.

Bonus points if you also have the wrong company. (Hint: I’m not Mary Smith and it’s not been Mary Schmidt & Associates for over six years.) 

Double bonus points if your marketing hyperbole doesn’t match your actual product or service deliverable.  Triple, if your website doesn’t have any of the info on those extra, special offers. 

One of the best decisions I ever made - putting my recycle bin in the closet right next to the front door. Sorry big trees who gave your lives for those big, clueless companies. 

2. Set up your customer service phone systems so they have to go through at least four levels of IVR “choices” before they ever even get to the correct automated choice…which will then dump them into a hold queue where they listen to “Your call is very important to us.”  Bonus points if you have a relentlessly cheery voice telling the caller they can “GO ONLINE!” for “special offers” and “service.”  This will particularly delight the caller if they’re calling because they don’t have Internet service.

Hate to break it to ya, big clueless companies. But customers have more than one choice in just about anything these days - from phone service to credit cards. 

3. Train your phone support staff to act as bored as possible, no matter what the caller says. Bonus points if they manage to also sound like they would yawn if I burst into flame and died in agony at their very feet.

See #2.

Uh. That “lots of customers” might be a typo. Should be “Lost customers.”

Related posts from the archives:
How a Customer Service Phone System Should Work
Customer Service Tip: Hire Grandmothers

P.S. With CenturyLink, it’s one step forward, two to three steps back. For every field tech who really wants to fix the problem, there’s a bored girl in Bollywood filing her nails…or something…most definitely NOT caring about the caller.

Want to browse through all my posts?  Go to The Idea Pool.  Everything I’ve written since I started blogging.

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

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