Sunday, January 20, 2008

Telemarketers Can Ruin Your Brand

The Wyndham Hotel/Resort in Round Rock keeps calling to offer me some kind of free offer. I can't even find a Wyndham in Round Rock when I look in the internet, but it sounds like a new property by the way they want to offer me a free stay to listen to a pitch (time share???). I looked on the internet to find a phone number so that I could call to voice my complaint.... but found nothing.

My wife told them "No" the other day. Then they called back and asked for me. I told them "No" three hours after her denial. Today they called back looking for my wife, but she was out. They called again an hour later and identified themselves. I told the "NO", but the guy kept talking....and talking...and talking. I had to tell him that because of his call I will now avoid all Wyndham properties for the rest of my life. I was clearly perturbed. He hung up on me. Yes, he hung up on me when I told him to stop calling, he had nothing left to say since it was clear that I was upset and he would not get a "live one" on this call.

Companies who cold call (oh, may I add, I am supposed to be on the "No Call List" at home) and do not properly respond when someone does not want to talk to them miss the mark. I know first hand that cold calling does produce results, but hiring unskilled telemarketers can backfire on your corporate brand. Cold calling only works when you find someone who has an interest to learn more about your product or service.

When I have cold called in my sales career I usually have to leave voicemail messages. I leave polite messages, and continue to call from time to time until I reach a human. If they say "not interested" I do not call them back a week later. That just makes people angry.

Cold calling can be a great way to start building relationships with people, as it is simply a first contact. But you have to be respectful of how the other person reacts. I was very clear that I did not want to be called. My guess is they either did not check their records very well, or they ignored my earlier comments of "no interest".

I doubt I will hear from the president of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts as a result of this blog post. They most likely have success with this calling program, so a few upset people is just par for the course. But dang, I am steamed right now. It has made me realize that you have to be very careful when you reach out to potential customers. Having just anyone make calls can backfire if they do not have the ability to relate to those whom they call.

Sorry Wyndham, you blew it on this one.

Have A Great Day.

thom
www.thomsinger.com

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was probably someone who rented meeting space at the conference center. There's, for example, a free dinner I've been invited to this week that involves hearing a pitch about money making software on the Internet. I doubt if the Wingate, now Wyndam, has any timeshares since they are just a hotel chain with a conference center. Who knows, though.

Anonymous said...

If you look up Wyndham on the internet, you will see that they have annoyed lots and lots of people in lots and lots of countries... They do not give up last night they called my husband 4times, and they have all ready called me this morning. They dont stop talking so I turn the phone off... This is very very poor marketing, I can usually be talked into anything, but these guys are so pushy that it gets even my back up...

Sarah said...

I work for Wyndham..as..*gasp* a telemarketer.

I can honestly say, if someone is legitimately calling from wyndham, from my experience anyway, it isn't free. As far as I know, we just do discount packages for our resort locations.

Some of us are pushy, some aren't. I try to avoid high pressure sales. But face it, people can be jerks. I have customers press buttons on the phone, yell at me, swear at me, tell me to get a *real* job on a daily basis.

I am a single mother and I have three kids to support. Wyndham is a great company to work for, the benefits are awesome, and the pay is pretty good when people actually listen to me and realize I'm offering a great product. Its getting them to the point of realizing what I'm offering is beneficial to them that is challenging and sometimes getting to that point may seem "pushy" but its sometimes what you have to do to get people to listen.

Telemarketing isn't an easy job, and overall I'm not crazy about telemarketers myself when I'm at home.

But as far as calling several times a day, we are only allowed to call once in a certain period of time, I believe its 2 weeks, if we make actual contact with a person, unless they specifically ask for a callback. There may be more calls if theres no answer, an answering machine, or something like that.

Anyway..my point is..give us a break. We're just doing our job. Its not like its a hobby for me to call people from 9am to 3:30pm talking about your next vacation. Really. It isn't.

Thom Singer said...

Sarah-

I do not deny that it is a job, a good job, and one that is staffed by good people.

However when I say the words "I would like you company not to call me back" and I keep getting calls (just this week I might add), then someone is not paying attention to the rules.

Alas, there is a fine line between honestly calling to promote a service and breaking what I understnd the rules to be. I am on a no-call list. I have asked this particular company to stop calling. AND, to use your words, I am asking the telemarketing company to "give me a break" - and being ingored.

I see a difference between honest cold calling and this. I see this as an over zealous telemarketing firm who can care less about how I feel. Wyndham is who gets hurt as I have an icky feeling about them to this day.

Anonymous said...

Wyndam has called me every day for the last week. It is unbelievable. Phone number is 407-967-4715. I called the corporate Wyndam office and asked to be removed from their telemarketing list but they keep calling.

I will never stay at a Wyndam property again because of this harassment!