How Not to Manage Your Customer Relationships

We are constantly collecting examples of effective marketing, customer relationship management, and entrepreneurship that we hear about. Most of these examples come from our wonderful colleagues and some come from other businesses and industries. We think it's important to share strategies that work with colleagues around the world, and we like to emphasize the positive. However, this time around, we wanted to give you two examples of things you should NOT do. Have a look:
  • Judy's dentist just sent her an appointment reminder card for her next cleaning. While this is, in theory, an excellent idea, this dentist is also one that Judy reported to the authorities in Nevada for beginning to perform a root canal on a tooth without informing her (really). Perhaps the dentist needs some help deleting entries from her customer database?
  • Just like many of you, we receive frequent unsolicited e-mails from people asking us for work, even though there are clearly no job openings posted on our website. We are a two-person twin sister operation and occassionally outsource projects to trusted colleagues. We used to respond to unsolicited e-mails with a template along the lines of "Thank you for your interest....". However, our new strategy is to delete all e-mails that come addressed to "Dear Sir or Madam". If the job-seeker can't go to the trouble of addressing us by our names, we won't take the time to answer. We've received several e-mails addressed to "Dear Sir or Madam" this week. From the same person. Think of yourself as a customer: would YOU give work to someone who doesn't bother to look up your name (and we make it so easy for you, website and all) before sending you an unsolicited e-mail pitching you services you don't need or want?
That's it for the short what-not-to-do list. We will be back in the very near future with lots of positive examples! What's on your "you should never do this but it happened to me" list? Have you had any bad experiences with customer relationship management? We'd love to hear them.


3 comments:

Riccardo on February 25, 2010 at 11:25 PM said...

I get several "to whom it may concern" (or similar) e-mails a month. I imagine that they get our e-mail address from our company's web site (which contains only a few pages, and clearly states the names and surnames of all four partners); or maybe they get my e-mail from my blog (where my name is clearly displayed) or my profile on ProZ or other similar sites (ditto).
Are these people under the misguided impression that it is more professional or chic not to address a message to anybody in particular?

speakingoftranslation on March 3, 2010 at 9:22 AM said...

I had someone who wanted to work for me complain to me in email that "your secretary" is not getting back to me in a timely manner. Um, that would be me, buddy.... He thought I was a man and that the woman he had spoken to was my secretary.... So, I hired him right away...not!

Rose Newell on January 1, 2011 at 8:26 AM said...

I get such emails too. I wonder if our emails are listed on some "translation agency database" somewhere?
I don't think anyone could possibly think it is better to write Dear Sir or Madam... Yes, it is better to simply delete such messages.
@speakingoftranslation - That's awful! I think I read somewhere that Judy and Dagmar have been addressed "Dear Sirs", too.

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