I try to avoid having pet peeves because they aren’t very productive, but when it comes to raising the quality of service interactions I encounter with businesses, this is one pet peeve I indulge. It pays off by yielding better experiences every time. These are companies who should know better but don’t; companies who probably hired marketing managers who were out sick the week their class studied respect as service.
Some recent offenders include OvernightPrints and SalesForce, both of whom lack a fundamental understanding of the fact that respecting a customer’s marketing preference and service needs are two of the top ways to stay in good graces with people.
When I called out SalesForce on it, they literally ignored me, instead continuing to email me on a regular basis asking how they can help. It’s obvious they aren’t listening to my response because I’ve told them five times over precisely what I need from them, yet they continue asking each time they hand my name off to the latest sales hire, who clearly has no idea. Twice I’ve been promised they would send what I asked for, but it’s never shown up.
OvernightPrints doesn’t get it either. My first order with them resulted in 25% of the order being shipped over a week late. No explanation given. It took two years for me to give them another chance, and they delivered a good product in short order, after which the problems started. I receive email from them twice per week now, asking for new orders. I’ve ‘unsubscribed’ countless times, and even called to have them manually remove me from their database, but finally I had to add them to the spam list, which means they’ve permanently lost my business. I’ll stick with local printers who don’t pester me.
It doesn’t matter how good your service is if you are even better at annoying your customers.
Respecting customer marketing preferences is golden customer service. It’s an opportunity for a positive interaction. Ignoring customer needs or desires is black ash, end of the line, no go.
If you’re on the customer side of the fence, quality of interaction is based largely on what you dictate. If you respond to communication that annoys you, modern salespeople take that as an invitation to continue bad habits. If you ask them to stop, however, and make a point of not responding to unwanted communications or intrusive contact practices, you send a message. If the company is listening to your message, the two of you can do great business together.
Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.
Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.