Don’t say you love me if you don’t mean it

(In the following post, the Internet/cable TV provider names
have been changed to protect the irritating.)

When cable TV/Internet provider Kimcust took over Invision in my area a couple of months ago, my husband and I had to (1) change our e-mail address, (2) notify all our contacts of the new address, and (3) change our address on every auto-pay account, e-newsletter subscription and Web site registration we had. Not unexpected, but kind of a pain nevertheless.

Before we could finish, Kimcust took away our auto-pay option and raised our rates.

This week, we received a letter:

“As one of our valued customers, we owe it to you to let you know when you’re missing out on something important. And you are. You’re missing out on savings. Big savings!”

The letter encourages us to add a Kimcust service by promising to save us 30% off our current phone service provider.

Let’s recap.

(1) Kimcust took away some of our free time by forcing us to write checks to pay our bills each month.

(2) Kimcust raised our rates at the same time it took over our service.

(3) Now, Kimcust wants to save us money by having us pay the company more money.

In reality, the letter points out how little Kimcust knows about us, its “valued” customer. Kimcust has never answered any e-mail we’ve sent, never asked us if we’re a happy customer, never asked us how much my current provider is charging us and makes it extraordinarily difficult to reach someone by phone – never, in other words, treated us as a valued customer.

Does your organization write letters like this?

The marketing department can’t exist in a vacuum. Before you send your next direct-mail piece or fundraising letter, read it from your customer’s or prospect’s perspective. Check with your call centers and review your client satisfaction surveys. Look at your renewal rates.

Make sure your organization has treated your customers as valuable, because simply calling them valuable won’t make them feel so.

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6 thoughts on “Don’t say you love me if you don’t mean it

  1. I once got in touch with the local “Kimcust” provider, and the rep literally said, “Never , ever call the home office. IF you ever get through, you’ll just get transferred around.” Pretty sad. Thanks for your comment and your blog, Rudy.

  2. With “service” like that, I wouldn’t have hesitated to name names and send the blog post to the cable company’s PR director. Then I’d blabber all over the social networks about what happened. I’ve done that twice with companies. While I say that, I don’t advocate doing this ALL the time. But your experience seemed to warrant such ire.

  3. I’ve been wondering since I wrote this post why I didn’t name names; I’ve done so in other posts. So here it is: If you haven’t figured it out yet, the company under discussion is Comcast. My point, though, is not that I hate Comcast (who doesn’t?), but that anyone writing a letter for their company needs to know how the company is treating their customers. Thanks, Rodger.

  4. This entry cracks me up because we’ve probably all been through something so painfully similar as a consumer! It is a great reminder that when representing a company or client that I do my best not to make a similar mistake as a professional. I’ve always hated it when marketers claim something is the BEST or the ONLY and, in this case, that Comcast thinks they can tell the consumer how to feel and they will. Thanks for your blog, Cindy; it’s fun and helpful to read.

  5. Vicki, here’s something I just learned that sounds too good to be true in the Comcast world: The company is on Twitter. Supposedly, you can ask a question via Twitter, and “Frank” will help you out. The special e-mail he shares with his Twitter friends is We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com. No idea if it works, but you can bet that’s who I’m e-mailing next time. Check it out at http://www.twitter.com/comcastcares. (No, I don’t Twitter, so maybe I can’t get this level of customer service.) I’d really like to know if it helps get through to a (truly helpful) human being.

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