Nothing is more annoying than to receive boilerplate, random emails from companies or people that I’ve never heard of. Guess what, busy decision makers feel exactly the same way! I wish I could say that the problem was getting better, but it definitely is not. For example…
The research company that sent this is selling their research report and encouraged me to check out the introductory chapter. First of all, I can’t think of anything more boring to read about, but what makes them think that I am even a potential customer for this product? Obviously, they scraped my email address from somewhere, because if no one ever “shares” your email address when you sign up for something, how did they get it?
Automation versus Message
In the quest to do everything faster, and in a more automated way, message is being sacrificed. Companies might as well just take their brand out back to the woodshed and put it out of its misery. Doesn’t anyone THINK about the messages and offers they send from the prospect or customers point of view? Don’t they understand that the failure to do so leads to bigger problems down the road.
Yesterday’s post included the unedited email that I received from a co-founder of Infusionsoft. The campaign is designed to win back former customers, and I just cannot imagine who went running back with open arms after reading it.
The Discussion Continues
This morning, I received another email from Infusionsoft. This one from a “loyalty manager”. Did I get the offer, he really wants to help, people love him – just check out what they say – the company is dedicated to my success… oh my. I didn’t feel the need to post the email, as I think my point has been made.
Experience matters and in a world where people share their experiences with global networks, companies need to pay more attention.
As my post became widely circulated, there were some great comments from Dan Waldschmidt, Kelley Robertson and Leanne Hoagland-Smith. Dan, in particular, has had his own ongoing problems with Infusionsoft and has a cadre of colleagues that do too.
The other co-founder showed up to apologize and offered to talk to me on the phone. He wants to understand what wrong. He wants to help fix it. If he read my posts, and it didn’t feel like he did, he would know what went wrong and that speaks volumes. But maybe, just maybe, by sharing my experience, Dan and others will receive the support they need. After all, they are paying customers who deserve to be treated better.
Then there were the Infusionsoft lovers who showed up to sing their praise for the company and the service.
I think it’s great that their experience was/is more positive than mine. That’s how it should be. The point of sharing the story though is to remind companies that even if customers aren’t leaving – yet – that doesn’t mean everybody is happy. For my part, I stalled cancelling my Infusionsoft account because the thought of moving my data to another system and basically starting over made me cringe.I finally couldn’t justify wasting money on a service that wasn’t being used. But I am still working to get that process functioning successfully again, and that is a bummer.
The only reason I wrote about the experience in the first place is that Infusionsoft made my life more difficult and wasted more of my time when I tried to cancel my account. If they hadn’t done that there never would have been a blog post.
One gentleman went on to suggest that is was unfair to expect “big companies” to tailor their marketing messages. And on that point sir, we disagree. More sophisticated technology makes the ability to tailor messages a true reality. Buyers expect it. I mean really…sending me email about hydraulic cylinders? I love what Dan said. If you can’t tailor the message, don’t send it.
The reason why more companies (and their salespeople) probably are not tailoring messages is that it takes more work. Yes, it does. It takes more work to think about what real value you bring to various types of customers and industries. It takes real work to craft messaging that demonstrates you took time to figure out what was important to the buyer. It takes real work to learn about a prospects business. It takes real work to develop a trusted advisor relationship rather than simply to be known as a transactional seller.
The Final Analysis
I ruffled some feathers. That’s OK with me. I merely told my story and shared my experience – as a customer. If more people were willing to speak up, perhaps companies would listen.
The simple truth is that experience matters. As Jonathan Farrington put it, “If they (Infusionsoft) are serious about keeping customers, rather than being totally focused on winning new business, this situation would not have arisen.”
If you don’t know your audience or care about their needs, pretty soon you won’t have one!