Sunday, 29 December 2013

"Please Stay on The Line... You Are NOT IMPORTANT to us..."

Marketing ISN'T just about the written communications. It isn't just about a website. It isn't about a television advert.

Marketing is embedded into EVERYTHING a business or company is and does

I wanted to speak to phone company Talk Talk, to their customer services, though didn't have a number to hand. I went online and found a number. A pop up window gave a freephone number to call. I called it. The first automated message received was "this is a chargeable number."


Freephone? Chargeable?

And so, when speaking to the customer services operative, I posed the question to them WHY there was in-congruency in the twp pieces of information. It transpired that if using a mobile, the number does not become a freephone number.

So why not say that CLEARLY on the pop up window? BAD communications and directions.

What could the operative done in this case?

How about noting down what I said and then let me know that he'll pass it on to the team dealing with the website. 

Most customers will GIVE a business clues to the holes in their business. Now whether the business is smart and agile enough to want to choose to do something about it, is a completely different matter. 

I was then put through to another department for my particular query.

For around 15 minutes, I was listening to this message;

"...please stay on the line, your call is important to us..."

And also...

"...we are experiencing high call volumes, you may want to try later or stay on the line..."

Here's the REAL interpretation of those messages;

"You are NOT important to us because if you were, we would be attending to you much quicker than we do... we want you to hang on because we are clocking up money whilst you are on the phone, waiting... management here don't have the common sense to employ more staff or have many on stand by when we see that there is a long waiting delay...we don't really care about your time or what's going on in your life because if we did, we'd treat you and your request like it was the most important thing to us at the time, and NOT give you the stupid idiotic line saying other customers are more important to us at this time that YOU are..."

And when I eventually did get connected to speak to the right person, I was told to call again tomorrow as the systems were DOWN! To which I replied for THEM to call me back at a precise time and day as I'd now WASTED enough time getting to this point and I had no intention to repeat the same diabolical experience.

(The irony wasn't lost on me; a hi-tech telecommunications company with... LOW-tech telecommunication problems!)

So what would happen to a customer's perception of a business if they were given an option to be... CALLED BACK within x minutes, to save the long wait, what if that option was given? And what if there was a service level agreement in place where, if a customer experiences call waiting of X minutes or more, there would be a reward of some kind, rather than the boringly stupid... sorry for the inconvenience this has caused.   

MOST BUSINESSES have that deep level of mediocrity working for them. It takes extraordinary level thinking to become EXTRAORDINARY. 


The bigger the business or company, the more dumber, inflexible and mystified they become in truly SERVING the customer, even though they profess to invest substantially in customer service!

The above was Talk Talk's marketing to to me, an existing customer. Who will now be an eX customer for my mobile services. 

Frankly, most people do have infuriating experiences with the simple. Most businesses and companies do little to fix it all, little knowing that the lifetime value (and residual and referral value) of just ONE customer, adds and compounds to the profits. 

Do NOT copy, emulate or embed most big dumb company approaches to marketing and serving the customer, theirs are examples of what NOT to do if you want to truly be customer obsessed.


Talk Talk failed in their promise, their commitment to call me at 10.00am this morning to help resolve my issue. It's now 4.39pm UK time. Another COMMUNICATION & MARKETING BLUNDER by them.

(If you want sincere marketing help and advice, goto: )