Recently we blogged about exhibitions, and this article is about how easy it is to damage a fledgeling relationship by not empathising, what can be done to empathise, what you can do to recover from it. Or rather, what should not have happened.
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Red Letter Day
I meet a lot of people at exhibitions, and sometimes I am mad enough to take part in the quizzes that have a opt in form at the bottom of them. So, it’s my own fault that I received a letter in the post from somebody who had met me at an exhibition and had intrigued me with their clipboard and quiz. I did open the envelope when I received it, and was not enthused by the brochure.
One month later I find a letter on our communal doormat which had a large red stamp on it, saying “Important Insolvency”. However, it shows a stunning lack of empathy to issue such a mailing. Yes it got my attention, but it then went in the bin because I was a little annoyed that it could have upset a neighbour having a touch time financially .
Service recovery – what is that?
I removed the newsletter from the envelope before I binned it, I didn’t want to receive mailings from them any more. At this point, they asked why I wanted to come off the mailing list? Full marks, this was going to turn itself around and they were about to action a recovery of the situation.
But when I said I found their way of addressing their mail off putting, they lady took it personally. I deal with a lot of departments that are not always staffed with the most amenable people. I find myself having to reassure those in call centres, or those answering phones, that any issue is not with them personally, it’s with their company. So after I have tried to calm her down I sighed “it’s your mailing list that I want to be removed from, not your Christmas card list”. Humour sometimes helps.
Not in this case, the conversation took longer than I expected because I was remaining polite and trying to understand why this lady was having such a bad day. But I also have work to do, and people to meet, so conversations have to stop when there is no mutual benefit to continuing.
Why does this happen?
Perhaps this form of marketing is only measured by their positive results? I know Insolvency practitioners that don’t come on so strong. It must be hard enough for people who have financial trouble, without having their noses rubbed in it. So I don’t see the point in continuing the receipt of the newsletters, it didn’t fill me with joy when I saw this headline on an envelope in a communal space.
And that’s before I noticed that it was addressed to me. So if anyone I know hasn’t been paid and is suffering financially I know who to introduce them to, and it will not be those who lack empathy when things don’t go to plan.
Wrap Up: If you are dealing with people in trouble it’s best to assume that they need a bit of TLC. I wouldn’t recommend an Insolvency Practitioner that wasn’t discreet. They actually failed to take me off their list.
Top Tip: If you are concerned about clients not paying you, it is the biggest risk in business after all, do something about it now. If you are considering direct mail, tread carefully. You might put off those who found you engaging in person.