Post details: Helping your customers ((i) Inspired by Seth Godin)
"How to answer the phone" was Seth Godin's blog entry today, and this one struck a nerve...not because we make customers go through nine prompts when they call us (we answer the phone if we're here and, amazingly enough, don't answer it when we're not here)...but because lately, it seems like every time I try to help someone out by answering a survey, I'm told after answering two questions that I'm not the target market.
As Seth says, "The only reason to answer the phone when a customer calls is to make the customer happy." In his case, after he finally made it through the nine prompts, he was told that he needed to call back after 10 am. Wouldn't it have been so much better to get that information first?
In my case, someone was researching information on a technical communication subject. No problem...I'm glad to help and I'll take your survey. I click the link and get...
- Screen 1: Read the quick introduction and click Continue.
- Screen 2: A qualifying question (think along the lines of "Do you have green eyes?").
- Screen 3: A message ("You do not meet our qualifying criteria.").
I don't have a problem not meeting the criteria. What I do have a problem with is not being told what the criteria are ahead of time. If they had said that they only wanted green-eyed survey takers, I wouldn't have clicked the link.
Now maybe what they wanted to do is get everyone to take their survey so that they know how many non-green-eyed people had applied. (I have no way of knowing if they want to aggregate this information or not.) But if that was part of their goal, they could have asked a couple more questions...maybe "Would you consider wearing green contacts?" or "Does anyone in your house have green eyes?" They should have been able to come up with a few questions so that those of us with eyes of blue or brown or whatever aren't irritated.
Because right now? I am irritated that I was asked to help out when I wasn't the target market. And the next time this company posts a survey, I'll be less likely to help out, which means that they lose my input for future surveys that might apply to blue-eyed people.
I guess you could call this one of my new pet peeves. Do you have any? (We can cover grammar in another post if you'd like!)
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