Did you know that Call Centers can still call and talk to you after your dead?

Every week I get at least three calls from an overseas pharmacy claiming they are calling about my prescription, now to be clear I have never in my life used an online pharmacy, an overseas pharmacy or any other pharmacy other than the one down the street that I walk in to.  Every week when they call I tell them that I am not interested and I advise them that I am on the national Do Not Call list and to please remove my number.  Okay to be honest I am not always that polite, sometime the filter between my brain and my mouth malfunctions, but after telling these people for six months that I have no interest and having consistently asked them to not call my cell phone anymore my patience runs thin.  But that doesn’t work either; they still call a day or so later.   This week I tried a different approach, I told the young lady on the phone that Joe died last month after a long bout with cancer.  She said to me, now get this:  “how can that be I just spoke to him about his prescription last week?”  I never spoke to this woman before in my life and certainly not about any prescription.  I didn’t get any sympathy for my death, just a lie about talking to me last week.  Where do these people come from and what kind of place are they working for?

I love marketing, I live and breathe it every day, but somewhere a line has to be drawn.  First of all, what is the point of consistently calling someone over and over two or three times a week for months when every phone call ends the same, them being asked not to call anymore.  That is not marketing, that is just harassment and bad business.  And when someone tells you someone died, how about “oh I am so sorry for your loss, I will be sure to take this number off the list” instead of a lie about how they spoke to me last week about my nonexistent prescription.  I realize that we are dealing with multiple countries and that laws in one country don’t affect those in another, but this is not just about laws, this is about good manners, about ethics, about common business etiquette, it is about right and wrong and what you should and should not do as a business.

Now another issue is this company that called me was an Indian call center, I personally do not have any problem with Indian call centers, as a matter of fact I deal with them on a daily basis, and I do business with them on a daily basis.  See my articles from a few months ago Outsourcing Bad for the Economy? and Indian Call Centers – Bad for Business? Where I clearly defend Indian call centers, but let’s be honest not everyone feels like I do, many Americans don’t like Indian call centers and this company that called me is one of the reasons, because companies like this give the honest and legitimate call centers in India a bad reputation.  The Indian government would be wise to pass legislation that would put a halt to this type of harassment and would be smart to create a way for American and UK citizens to file complaints since consumers in these two countries are what keeps these call centers alive and in business.  There are many fine call centers in India that are run extremely well, that are honest, and conduct ethical business, but they are hurt by these unethical scam artists and someone needs to do something about it before everyone packs up and goes home leaving the call centers in India with no one to call but each other.

Joe Melle

Joe Melle has founded and ran several successful businesses, and has had an interesting career in direct contact media, call center operations, sales operations, customer service operations, customer retention, and quality assurance; he has written over 140 business articles, and serves as a part time adjunct professor for a university teaching business, marketing, and management courses to both graduate and post graduate students.Email Me

Sales people talk too much.

Marketers and sales people are famous (or infamous depending on how you look at it) for talking fast and just yap yap yapping to get you to buy.  Many of them oversell and talk way too fast, giving you too much information.  Yes that’s right they give too much information.  My company was in search of a new CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) a few weeks ago because we had outgrown the one we were currently using, and I downloaded several trials from different companies.  One of the companies I tried I had some questions so I called and talked to an account representative and this guy just went on and on and on.  I would ask a question and he would either give me everything but what I asked him about or he would give me the answer but then keep going about everything else on the planet and I had to wait for him to run out of breath talking about crap I didn’t really care about, so I could ask the next question.  Seriously just stop talking.  Answer the question I asked than be quiet so that I can ask the next one.  I did not go with this company; I never really got into the demo of the program because I was turned off already so I moved on and ended up going with another developer.

If you are trying to sell something whether that be a product or a service, obviously you have to give your potential customer information.   The question is what information?  The biggest problem that I see in sales today is that sales people are so worried about making the sale that they over deliver in information and believe it or not this is a turn off, it comes off as being cheap and people feel like they are being hustled.  My grandmother used to say that God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason and that is so that you can listen twice as much as you talk.  This would most definitely apply here; listen to what your customer or potential customer is saying, don’t just listen to them, HEAR THEM.  Know what it is they are asking, and provide them the information that they are asking, don’t go overboard, and don’t talk them to death.  It’s not impressive, not at all.

Joe Melle

Joe Melle has founded and ran several successful businesses, and has had an interesting career in direct contact media, call center operations, sales operations, customer service operations, customer retention, and quality assurance; he has written over 140 business articles, and serves as a part time adjunct professor for a university teaching business, marketing, and management courses to both graduate and post graduate students.Email Me