I just got a call.
And here you are reading my blog about it.
You’re going to hear my venting. But if you can hang on through the rage, you’ll also hopefully think about how you talk to your donors/communities of supporters.
Pause. Clicking. Some kind of murmuring.
Murmur louder. Then YELLING: “MRS. LOVE?!?!?!?!”
Me: “Hi. You’re loud. But I can hear you now.”
Caller: “Sorry. The machine doesn’t always tell us when we have someone on the line.”
Me: “Uh. OK.”
Caller: “Anyway Mrs. Love, I’m calling to thank you for being a loyal customer and ask you if you have any questions about our service.”
Should I? Should I tell this woman how “the machine” makes me feel unimportant, and that if she wants Mrs. Love she should call my mother, or my paternal grandmother (who just died). I’m Ms. Love and proud of it. The only thing that’s worse is when people call and ask for Mrs. (my husband’s name). Should I tell her that her manner is unpleasant, and that I can hear hundreds of other people just like her yammering in the background. I decide not to.
Me: “I don’t really have any questions.”
Caller: “Well, I also should let you know that we have great promotions to sign up for other services with us.”
Me: “Like what?”
Caller: “Like internet, cable TV, digital cable, home phone and wireless.”
Me: “Uh. I already have all those things with you.”
Caller: “Oh, well then you aren’t eligible for anything. Thank you for being a loyal customer.”
I have ALL your services. I thought that’s why I got the loyal customer call.
But no. I got the loyal customer call because one person, from one division of this massive company, had the bright idea to call all the customers and ask them to sign up for other services from the same mega company.
What they didn’t spend 30 seconds doing was to segment this list. Figure out who has one service and offer them a second. Figure out who has two services and offer them a third.
And, in the worst case, you call someone who is a loyal customer, give them bad service and then have nothing to offer.
And you know what hurts most? It’s my birthday. And they know that. Because when I do call them I have to give my birthday (including year…those assholes) so they can “confirm me”.
Here’s how, if the Agents of Good ran the world, the call would go.
Caller: “Hey, Jen! I’m calling from ABC Company and I’m just calling to say thank you. You are a loyal customer of ours, and we are reaching out to say thanks. Do you have any questions about your service, anything I can help with at all? No? Well, that’s awesome. Oh, hey. I see it’s your birthday! WOOT! Happy Birthday. Have an awesome day.”