Recently, I received a “thank you” from ATT in the mail. It was a $10 Starbucks gift card. A nice thought, I remember thinking, and set it to the side. A week or so later, I grabbed it to head out to Starbucks and realized they hadn’t actually sent the gift card. I had to call ATT, let them thank me in person, and then I would be given the card.
It was beginning to seem like less of a thank you. But it really went downhill when I picked up the phone. I had to go through a series of prompts, and I was then put on hold for several minutes. I found myself thinking what a lousy advertising promotion this was. And who was responsible? What were they thinking? Anyone who deals with ATT already knows that their customer service is terrible. Why would they want to highlight that? Why take a customer who is otherwise doing well and put them through a miserable phone experience?
When the representative came on the line, she thanked me for being a customer for so many years and asked if I would prefer to have the coupon emailed or sent by mail? Well, email of course – then I could use it before I forgot about it. Which is when she told me the email would take 6 weeks. Mail would take 12. It doesn’t get any worse than this, does it?
There are a lot of lessons here. Make sure you have clear goals with your promotions. Know your product well, along with its negatives. And never, ever highlight your negatives. Certainly don’t shove your customer’s face in them.