What’s In A Name?

Telephone off the hook. Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash
Telephone off the hook. Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

I was called by my broadband service provider a couple of days ago. They only ever call when they are trying to sell me something so I was prepared for being pitched at and wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. Of course, this meant I wasn?t going to listen to what they had to say. My aim was to get them off the phone. ?Yes, that?s me.? ?I?m busy right now, can you email me?? They clearly had targets to meet. Email was not an option. It had to be phone. They would call me back. It?s a limited offer.

Several things struck me about this technique. The first is, that if you only ever call your customers because you want them to spend more money with you, even under the guise of ?saving? them money because you have a deal on, you don?t value the people you do business with. Your customer is not a cash cow.

The second is that by refusing to email me, they were missing out on the opportunity to let me read the deal when I had time to pay attention to them. I never make financial decisions on the spot, unless I impulse buy scratchcards. I?ve never won more than ?2. This is why I know not to make financial decisions on the spot.

But what really struck me about the call was the way they kept saying my name. Now I know sales people are told to repeat the customer?s name. It?s supposed to make you feel valued. But this person kept addressing me as: ?Miss Rachel Extance.? ?Miss Rachel Extance do you have a mobile phone?? ?How much data do you get a month Miss Rachel Extance??

It grated. Far from creating a connection, it sent me running in the opposite direction. This call told me that not only does this company not value me, my time, or my preferences, it also does not take the time to train its team and develop them as effective sales people. What a wasted opportunity.

  • Rachel Extance is a communications consultant. She can help your business avoid becoming an example in a cautionary tale about the failure to pay attention to your communications strategy.

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