The Most Shocking Sales Stories of 2015
A colleague of mine told me a story recently about booking flights for a holiday and selecting a particular airline because of a promo offer – kids backs checked in cheap. But, there was no opportunity to book bags in during the online process, and therefore no offer. Called the help line she was met with a stroppy customer service clerk who was adamant that the “online bag booking facility” was correct and present and refused point blank to believe any other version of events. The call started with “I am sorry but I am afraid if you haven’t checked your bags in online then you have missed out on the offer” but after a request to speak to management turned to “I apologise. It seems that when our website relaunched there have been some glitches and the online bag booking facility has been broken. Let me book them in for you now madam“.
A group wide company intranet where customer service clerks can read about common issues and complaints might be in order.
2. British HAir (raising) Ways
Yes, another airline. My friend’s husband travels for work a lot and books flights well in advance. This particular air line, likes to “oversell” seats then allocate on a first come first served basis at check in. This means that anyone who hasn’t been able to check-in online 24 hours in advance is relegated to second class air traveler regardless of how early the flight was booked or how early they physically turn up and check in.
In this day and age, with so much fantastic software which prevents over allocation, I completely fail to see how this could be considered a fair or reasonable way to operate!
3. Window Pain
Earlier in the year I wrote about my folks’ experience of buying new windows from a company in desperate need of some CRM. At the time of writing the first blog, this company attempted to sell to my parents a further three times after they had signed the contract. I wrote a follow up blog a few months later when the calls didn’t stop. In total they were called over 10 times by 3 different sales reps. Someone tell Santa to get them NetSuite for Christmas!
4. The Wart
On a call to a company (who should have known better) I was recently called by my surname – Stewart. Fair enough, it can be a first name too. But the fact I’m female ought to have given some indication it was wrong. My colleague was also referred to by her surname – Auld. Certainly not a common christian name. This particular company uses email prefixes surname.firstname and must have been working on the assumption everyone else did the same.
Along the same vain, sometimes I receive direct mail from Littlewoods addressed to Emma The Wart. This happens when predictive text autocorrects my surname; Stewart. My personal favourite was House of Fraser who used to send Special Offers to me at my old house addressed to Lawson Guind-Lawson. This was their interpretation of my signature on a form I had filled out.
The CRM fail which tops them all has to be my mum, Morag, who still gets mail sent to Morgue Lawson, Death Ill Avenue. It’s close enough to the real thing to get delivered (as long as all other elements of the postal address are in tact). One has to wonder how many zombies are working in the marketing department of a company for that to bypass them!
Want to share your own scary sales stories? Get in touch
Written By Emma The Wart – Sales and Marketing Witch at Cofficient
We provision scarily good CRM software for companies who don’t want to make howlers when talking to customers.