I got another spam phone call today from an Indian call centre. They had all the usual characteristics:
- The one minute delay upfront.
- They knew who I was, but did not say who they were.
- They talked AT me; with the fake “you are my long lost friend” tone.
- The script was very defensive – we are a community organisation, we are incorporated in Australia…
The community organisation part did perk my interest. But I assumed it was probably a lie, and told them to piss off.
The really sad thing was, Southern Phone Company is real! They are community based. And community owned. And 100% Australian.
And now I hate them as much as I hate any other business who makes unsolicited and disrespectful phone calls.
Southern Phone Company completely blew their one major differentiator, by sinking to using the same low-brow hard-sell technique that every other small and try-hard telco uses. No doubt, this decision was probably driven by the same short-term symptomatic fix mentality that runs other telcos. It does not bode well for their community efforts.
According to their website, they are supposed focused on regional Australia and the specific telecommunications challenges there in. The reason regional Australia is so poorly looked after by telcos is because the bush is imply not lucrative enough – it simply costs more to service regional customers.
And now this supposedly regional-focused business is trying to get into the urban market. By using the lowest common denominator way to do it. It says volumes – and the wrong things about Southern Phone Company.
They have a powerful cause that could have been leveraged to garner support from both regional and urban customers. Cause-based businesses and marketing works. But they blew it!