The threat the client reads between the lines in the email below could well be "If you attempt to respond or correspond on your initial fault report, we will put your fault incident to the back of our queue and this will delay resolution of your problem". Where is the financial sense in this? Why pay good salary and commissions to your marketing and sales staff and then annoy clients. Given that this appears to be an automatic message (and we can assume all customers get the same message) we can assume that this is not necessarily
a client they particularly wanted to get rid of. Unlike the customers mentioned on Seth Godin's blog that Sprint wants to get fire because they were calling and complaining in excess of 25 times a month.
A few poorly chosen words can be expensive. It's even worse when they are in an an automatic response which is sent to every client who reports a fault.
Please note that while this email was sent by one of N.Z.'s larger ISP's, I have added some "XXX's" to give anonymity to the individuals.
From: "XXXX" Date: Tue, May 29, 2007
Your Ticket has been received and a member of our staff will review it and
reply accordingly. Please note if you wish to respond to this notification, your email's position in our system will be reset.
This will add a delay in us
back to you. If you have any questions about your email please create a
new email and place your original
Ticket ID in the subject line. Listed below are details of this
Ticket. Please make sure the Ticket ID
remains as the the email subject at all times. Ticket ID: #XXX-6X9X7X
Subject: NO SYNC/SLOW SPEEDS un: XXXX
Department: BitStream / Dialup T2
Status: Open You can check the status of or reply to this Ticket online at:
Please do let us know if we can assist you any further,
Does it also make sense to tell the client that their fault priority is also "low"? No doubt they have priority levels of low, medium and high. Wouldn't it be better for the fault logging staff being able to select from priority levels such as "standard" "high" and "urgent"? And in case you are wondering, no, the person who reported the fault was never emailed an update on the fault status. After several months, when they tried to view the status via the link given the got the error message.
“ERROR: You do not have enough permissions to access this page. Please login by entering your Email and Password.”
And yes they were logged in at the time! Now before you shrug this off with a chuckle, ask yourself, are there aspects of your service that are frustrating customers that your company paid your marketing and sales team to acquire?
Liam Venter: Author of the popular sales training manual
'The Consultative Sales Professional'
You can obtain a copy here