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Friday, August 06, 2004

Dove Foundation
Ruffles My Feathers
Bad marketing choices will cook this bird's goose.

I received a telemarketing call this morning from a company called The Dove Foundation. They wanted to speak with the lady of the house (there isn't one), then launched into an explanation about how they would call back to discuss better entertainment choices for children (there are none of those in the house either) -- everytime I tried to give this guy information that could help him realize I was not in their target demo, he talked over me.

By the end of the call I was just trying to tell him not to call again and remove me from his list -- but all he wanted to do was spit out his script, speeding through it and shouting me down whenever I tried to speak.

I'm in marketing. I like the sales process. I enjoy speaking with other marketing professionals. I was truly trying to help this guy -- but he just wanted to spew his script to anyone on the other end of the line.

I don't give much thought to telemarketing.
I guess it can be effective for some companies, but it's a choice that seems to upset more people than it sells, so why bother? If you make one sale out of a hundred calls, do you think it's worth the effort?

Let me put it another way...
If you pissed-off ninety-nine people out of every hundred you called, would you still want to make those hundred phone calls?

When was the last time a co-worker told you about getting call for a great deal on lawncare or replacement windows? It's more likely they told you about some rude idiot who called you during Friday night's episode of Monk about some crappy product you didn't want or need. Now you've got two people who hate you, and your telemarketer didn't even speak to one of them!

I don't think of telemarketing as the evil thing so many others believe it to be. Basically, I don't believe telemarketing itself is "bad" -- I just think there are lots of "bad telemarketers."

For instance, I'm on the National Do Not Call list. By rights, this guy from Dove shouldn't have even phoned me. But again, I really don't care. I just joined the list to reduce the number of calls I receive. If I truly don't want to be interrupted by phone calls, I simply don't answer the phone.

We've all visited businesses where we received less than great service -- heck, usually it's less than average service -- but we tend to blame ourselves. We say "I never should have gone there in the first place", "I should have stuck with the other-guys", etc. But with telemarketing, you're reaching out to people who may not have heard of you -- people who never considered your product before. The whole idea is to make a good impression, and see if you can get them to consider your product or service in the future.

The Dove Organization didn't do this.
They most likely selected the telemarketing company that came back with the lowest bid for executing the project, and the highest quantity of phone numbers they could call (apparently because the telemarketers didn't care if the numbers were qualified buyers, nor if they were on the Do Not Call List.)

So, instead of telling you about a company that may or may not have a solution for finding better entertainment choices for your children, I'm telling you about a company whose name I now associate with a phone call that pissed me off.

I wonder how many other people they called this morning?


Anonymous Anonymous; said...

Surprize! The call you got was by a (semi-intellegent) automated voice machine that listened to your answers and gave you responses it thought you asked. Unfortuneately, this company is a non-profit and thereby bypasses the national DNC and the rules of no automated voice. In fact, they don't even have to put you on their own DNC list. Follow http://www.familyfirst.com/archives/006153.html for other comments.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Don The Idea Guy; said...

I don't think so -- I seem to remember the person answering some direct questions, as well as being rude as hell. I don't think machines have reached this level of bad service and poor attitude (yet) -- this is still an area in which humans excel.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous; said...

Hmm. I think it's crap. My daughter handed me the phone and I had not heard the first part of the spiel. A receptionist answered and I told her that I hadn't heard it all and asked "What's this all about?" in a friendly voice. She asked me if I wanted to transferred to a sales person, and this guy starting in with "Cable costs too much" and "DISH Networks is blah, blah, blah..." I asked him if he was familiar with the Nation Do Not Call List and he immediately told me that he didn't know where they got their phone numbers. I said, "Well the Natio..." "CLICK", and he hung up. This was yesterday, and today, they called me again. I've filed one complaint yesterday, and another today. The "Friendly Female Voice" is just a bouncer. Their web site is FULL of explanations about why you might be called, hung-up on, etc. This is a total scam. These guys are in violation of an enormous number of laws. They are a Third Party in UTAH, and they are GOING DOWN if I have anything to say about.

11:11 PM  

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