28.05.2013
AUTHOR Krišjānis Papiņš

Cold Calls or – I don’t care, who’s at the other end of the phone

Some days ago I was reached by TELE2 aiming to make me change my operator. Since I was absolutely sure I am not willing to test the service quality and cell coverage for the sake of a minor saving, I noted to the person at the other end of the phone that the conversation shall definitely be non-productive; but since he still was persuasive, I decided to keep going.

Unfortunately the conversation didn’t last for long, since the next question was: “What is your present cell operator?” I indicated that it would have been useful to check this prior to calling me, and this isn’t at all difficult! The caller made a remark that “this wasn’t how it was going on” or something like that. Neither of us did give in for the rest of the conversation, until the initially persistent marketing man concluded that the “conversation wasn’t leading anywhere” and when I reminded him that this was exactly the point I was making at the beginning, the TELE2 brand evangelist simply hang the phone without a polite goodbye, and what’s more – without having solved the issue.
The next was even more interesting – I posted my claim on Twitter, but this was also not addressed by their account manager. I really had expected at least some response. I guess, after the “horseburger” scandal all of the PR experts have pinned a note to the board saying the best way out of a crisis communication is the complete negligence thereof.

All of the telecommunications’ companies spend huge amounts of money on advertising, sponsoring and public relations – the necessary steps before client attraction. But, when it comes to the actual matchmaking, at least in this case, the TELE2 representative disgraced himself totally.

Even if I was not right, the client is always right, because everyone strives feeling important, and humiliation of a customer and doubting his/ her opinion (no matter how stupid the opinion was) is not the way to successful sales. I remember once in a shop I wanted to demonstrate my knowledge and by accident made a stupid remark (and I immediately was aware of that!), but the salesperson was just smiling at me and agreed with me! But, of course, since arguing with customers won’t help selling! It is the plain truth!

I don’t also get, what the marketing department was thinking of by sending inexperienced and psychologically unprepared students to make the dull cold calls?! Don’t the TELE2 marketing and management really get that the student is a representative of the whole company to the potential customer, and what’s more – his/ her communication skills establish the whole brand image of TELE2?!

Up till now I had no objections against TELE2, but this case will be remembered for a long time and I shall recall upon it whenever there is a need to point out to “how one should not do”; and in my opinion now TELE2 stands for arrogant and uneducated students, who not only don’t have a clue about marketing, but also argue and don’t know how to talk on the phone with a potential customer.

Is it really that hard to equip the cold callers’ computers with software, which shows at least the operator, if not even the name and surname, of the person reached? And how does anyone expect to sell me anything, if they don’t know a single thing about me?

Neither me, nor anybody else would like to be deemed part of a crowd. But the attitude of TELE2 towards me as being just someone of millions and millions of customers, prior to enticing me, really doesn’t convince me wishing to be their customer.

Somebody once told that the success of Alla Pugachova lies in the fact that she is a great actress and makes her listeners feel she is singing especially for him or her. TELE2 should bear this in mind. 

By the way, BITE’s callers aren’t any better – when BITE called me for the first time, the lady confused, when I pointed out that there have been cases, when during a thunderstorm the whole cell coverage is completely lost. Nearly six months later my number was once again randomly generated, which made me think they don’t save their calls and don’t make any remarks – really nice attitude towards potential customers.

This is really strange that such large and generally notable companies don’t have an efficient cold calls’ strategy, smart questions and the calls made are not being stored and registered. Who would like to build a relationship with such an indifferent service provider? 
Tags & Categories:  public relations
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