The thought of paying as little as possible for phone calls is an attractive one, yet why do I answer “no” when approached by phone companies?
The idea that your bank cares enough about the service it provides to ask for your feedback should inspire confidence, so why do I decline to complete a customer survey?
The answer, in both cases, is that I am fed up with empty marketing promises and being pestered.
Marketing is a problem for any business.
There are so many adverts in newspapers and magazines, on television and radio, on billboards and vehicles; so many offers on cereal packets; so much junk mail, unsolicited emails and text messages; so many web sites. Who notices advertising any more?
Many big companies are desperate to reach existing and new customers and their advertising and marketing agencies dream up ever more desperate attempts to achieve this. Because these attempts are bolder, they are more likely to annoy us by their obtrusiveness.
The poor offshore sales agent trying to persuade me to switch telephone supplier did not have a chance. I have little faith in telephone companies or their offers, certainly not enough to commit to a new one.
I told him that I received calls like his so often that they were just annoying me and that I did not want to continue the conversation. I was very polite. He persisted in trying to talk to me, so I explained that I did not want to put the phone down on him (because I consider it rude), but that he would give me no option, if he did not stop. With that, he realised I was serious and we said good bye to each other and ended the call. I remained polite, but I do not consider the phone company to be polite in its methods.
Just a few moments later, the phone rang again with a lady asking if she could conduct a 15 minute interview on the service I received from my bank. I replied that I had completed a similar survey not many months ago and that it wasn’t convenient. Why doesn’t the bank act on my previous comments, not ask me more questions? The bank was not being polite either.
What strikes me about these calls is that telephone operators, banks and many other service companies are pretty much the same. While switching could save a small amount of money in the short term, I perceive that there are very little genuine differences in the level of service any of them offer.
If I could see that a supplier did offer a genuinely superior level of service, then I would switch to them in an instant. Is this likely to happen?
I doubt it.
In the meantime, such companies will persist both in pestering us with cheap offers and conducting customer surveys which are never acted upon.
In an ideal world, companies would see that there is a business opportunity here with which they could trounce their competitors. Millions of consumers are crying out for good service: We want it! We will pay for it! We will even be loyal to the brand that can deliver it consistently!
Perhaps when one of these companies wakes up to this opportunity, it will even spur on their advertising and marketing creatives to come up with original ideas that dazzle us with their ingenuity.
Oh, for an ideal world where companies market themselves to us politely and we are pleased to be customers.
Would any service company like to take up the challenge?