Based on my last blog about the “New Busy,” I received several comments from you, but I wanted to share the following with you:
“If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then a phone call can answer a 1,000 emails. Think of what a face-to-face meeting might do. Yesterday, I was trying to get on an Army website that required permissions with a user name and password. I received those and tried to get on but to no avail. When I contacted my counterpart, he suggested that I email his help desk. I did this and received a phone call in return from a techie who said that we could spend all afternoon emailing and not solve the issue.
She lead me through several steps to discover that I do not have the computer program that will give me access to the website. That is the power of the phone call.”
Marine Corps Bowling Program Manager
And as a follow up, I actually called about 10 customers in Spokane and while I had to fight my way through the “answering machine/voice mail jungle,” I did get call backs and was able to break thru. Here’s just a sample of what the people (all league bowlers)I spoke with had to say:
“Well, I keep getting emails from you guys, and a couple of postcards now and then, but I haven’t heard from anyone there since last summer. Glad you called, Fred”
“How’d you get my number? (its on your file at the center that you filled out) Oh, well are you trying to sell me something? (Nope) Just wanted to call me to see how I’m doing huh? Yeah I’ll be back bowling in the fall. THANKS for calling.”
“My kids are always on that computer. I hardly get any time on it, maybe at work. You don’t ever send anything there, right? (uh, No). Well, I’m not much of a computer whiz, oh I know it OK, but I don’t set in front of it all that much, so I appreciate the phone call. First time anybody called me just to say hello and thank me for my business. I’ll be damned.”
“What are you calling me for? (Just to say Hi and thank you for the business)
Are you s******g me? (N0). C’mon, this is a sales pitch, right?. (uh, No). Then “whatcha” calling me for? To say hello?? Click.”
The responses ranged from a heartfelt thank you to disbelief and cynicism. I hung up and realized that ATT was right. We do have to reach out and touch someone; maybe we can’t do it as frequently or as efficiently as we can with emails, but an occasional phone call now and then may be just what this Marketing Doctor ordered.