the internet ideas blog

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thank you for calling . . . my name is Bob

During research for a client I chanced upon the link to an article about how to tell if you are reaching a call center and how to get results if you do! Being a touch ADD, I clicked the link and read the article and was appalled at some of the experiences customers have had when calls go to other countries. Sure you can get bad experiences anywhere but I never knew how unfeeling or uncaring the outsourced call centers can be. Yet America seems to find value in sending customers who need help to some foreign land with scripted non-answers.

I write the above because I had an interesting phone call yesterday. The person on the line was interested in using my services but wanted to make sure, in his words, that I wasn't "Bob" - you know, Bob, as opposed to Peggy with Prime Credit in the television commercials. Because all the call center people seem to have "American" names - not sure why, false sense of security?

It got me to thinking about all the companies in "India" that provide all manner of internet marketing services. I had a client who I found, after the fact, had hired foreign individuals or companies to provide his services. Yet he hired me because he wasn't getting what he needed from them - and it was like 4 or 5 in the previous 6 months (this was a clue I should have caught). But he was so fixated on price that when I tried to help him he felt that I was over charging, although it was clear that I was able to provide better results. You can guess what he did next - I hope he's happy with "Peggy."

I don't doubt that there are people in other countries know what they are doing when it comes to internet marketing but I submit that when it's the equivalent of a call center, a sweat shop, there is no quality. And the result is really that people who do provide quality service are already seen in a negative light - anything we do that is perceived "out of line" causes real problems.

While I am on this rant - let me just say there are companies in the United States who are experiencing a substantial (and permanent) decline in their business so they are "diversifying" into internet marketing. The latest one I've seen was the Deluxe check printing company. Really? They know how to build a user-centric, results oriented website that will soar to the top of the search engines? I have yet to encounter a company that diversifies outside it's non-internet business into web that has done it so well that their clients are raving. Instead, it's yet another reason that true internet marketing professionals get a bad name.

Okay so this post went a little off topic but the point is - there are really good internet marketing (and web design) professionals in the United States who work hard to provide a good quality product or service. And I am for real - no "Bobs" here.

Would love to read your comments & experiences!

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    Great post, well said!

    I read a post on a job site this week that wanted to hire a Virtual Assistant, they wanted full exclusivity of this VA, but were only prepared to pay £4 USD per hour!

    Its a shame companies feel the need to outsource their work - key customer service work - to people that are not interested in their company, or prepared to provide a great service on behalf of their client.

    I'm a big fan of making sure my clients are 100% happy with my work, and that if I'm required to provide customer service to their customers, everyone in the chain is happy.


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