I blogged about being annoyed by Freedom Escapes’ telemarketing calls a while ago.
I recently had a look at the comments. Talk about a mountain growing out of an ant hill (we don’t have moles in Australia). They are obviously still cold calling people. And those who are annoyed enough to go online to vent have subsequently found my site via Google. I also occasionally get personal emails from strangers complaining about Freedom Escapes.
When I made that original post, I was simply venting my annoyance. I had no idea my post was to resonate with so many others, and that they would use the comments on that post to share their thoughts.
If you knew nothing about Freedom Escapes, and your first impression is based on all these primarily negative comments, you could get a skewed perspective of the company. And believe me, I am not deliberately showing only the negative comments.
(Disclaimer: I have not, and will never take up Freedom Escape’s offers as I don’t do business with companies who telemarket. I personally do not know if they are scammers or not.)
People seem to be more willing to report the negative than they do the positive. And opportunities exist all over the Internet to have complaints voiced. This is a real and relatively new challenge to a company’s marketing and communications.
The only real defence I can think of, is for Freedom Escapes to legitimately respond to the negative comments, and present their story. Hopefully this may convince some punters; especially if they are being genuine and congruent. This is assuming they have an interesting and emotionally engaging story to begin with.
A business can’t hope, or pretend, to appeal to everyone anymore. Telemarketing done the conventional way is no more sophisticated than blind shout-at-them promotion. The best return is short termed.
But to have a real point of difference, a genuinely engaging story behind the business; that takes time and effort. That takes commitment and heart. That demands the appropriate and considered use of tools like telemarketing. It still won't make he business appeal to everyone. But it does enable a better chance to build a longer term, and more loyal, customer base.