In my business, I do a lot of cold calling. It’s the cheapest, fastest way to get clients, but about 50% of the receptionists I talk to are pretty fucking rude.
This bugs me, but not because they’re rude to me. They don’t know me, it can’t possibly be personal. Although, I do admit that being rejected 30 times an hour can be pretty stressful.
It bugs me because this means that they are either bad at their jobs, which makes me sad (for them, for the universe, in general), or they work somewhere that is actively negative about customer service. Because taking sales calls is a customer service, and if people who work with customers don’t know this, that’s a problem for their whole operation.
It’s one thing to keep people like me out. I’m here to co-opt their boss’s very limited time for my own selfish agenda. I get that. But being shitty to me isn’t going to get me to go away. It’s just going to make me think that the receptionist is incompetent, or poorly managed, which is going to affect the price I quote for projects if we do work together, because it costs me more to work with poorly managed organizations.
It’s also going to effect me as a customer. This shit doesn’t just go one way. Which is of course why I always try to be polite to anybody I talk to in a business capacity. Hell, it’s probably the only reason I’m not a grade-A cunt every second of every day. I don’t exist in a vacuum. Much to my dismay, other people are actually real.
When I moved to Portland, I was thinking of switching banks. My credit union is in LA, and I worried about not being able to do everything remotely. I was seriously considering local heroes, Blahblah Bank. Names, of course, have been changed.
Then I twitter-pitched one of their marketing managers who was bitching about how tired he was of interviewing freelancers in his office.
I joked that he could interview me in a coffee shop because I would buy him a coffee. He shot back that Blabblah Bank makes their own coffee, and if I’d done my research, I would know that he already had coffee. God.
He then sub-tweeted something about morons or idiots to all 78 of his followers.
So I did my research. I saw that the last 3 posts on every one of his public networks were negative and rude, and one of them included an Instagram of the Blahblah Bank offices.
Oh my God.
This poor man.
No wonder he’s like this.
If I had to toil in a dingy grey cave, I’d be bitchy too.
And yeah, it’s not like Blahblah bank has cause to be impressed by my multi-hundreds of dollars. But that’s the thing about customer service. It shouldn’t matter if I’m rich or poor. It doesn’t matter at my credit union, which has gladly worked with me here in Portland as if I were a founding board member and not just the average everyday customer I am.
And it shouldn’t matter if a person is calling to try and pitch today, because nobody knows who they’re going to be tomorrow.
Sales calls can seem like a waste of time, and they usually are. But it takes just as much time to tell someone to fuck off politely as it does to be a shithead.
Also, Blahblah Bank, y’all really need to get a social media policy. Or learn your ass how to enforce it. If you have a good social media manager, she’ll tell you if a your janitor farts in a windstorm, and she’ll link you to the tweet about it. If you can’t say this about your digital marketing, you’re doing it wrong.