Recently I contacted Verizon Superpages on behalf of my client to determine the viability of maintaining an advertising listing. To give you some background, my client has been using Superpages for the past year with practically no idea of the listing's effectiveness. No one from Superpages has ever called them to review click-through rates, hits, or anything of the sort.
The Account rep who initially sold my client the advertising is no longer with the company. So, I was kicked up to the "manager" for handling. While she was very pleasant, she really missed the boat in terms of sales and service. She never once apologized for my having to track her down after numerous mind numbing calls to various 800 numbers. And, when I let her know I was seriously contemplating the cancellation of the advertising, she suggested she would mail the past six month's results to me (rather than review them on the phone) to illustrate how well we (they) had done. Then, she asked me to call her in four days to ensure I had received the packet of information (she indicated the mailroom sometimes loses the mail. But, she was certain I would get it).
Give me a break!
I constantly preach that you must Stay Ahead of The Customer. It is essential to performing beyond expectation and doing it in a memorable way......hence, it is also a key concept in the Memorable Solutions approach.
This is a clear example of a company having countless opportunities to stay ahead of me and my client, and failing miserably. They knew the contract was expiring, they have all of our contact information, they host our website, they have all of the stats, they have me on the phone... Instead, I have to do all of the work...and in the end make a stupid phone call to make sure their mailroom didn't lose my mail. Good grief.
Needless to say, Verizon Superpages will lose my client's business. But, the really sad thing is that they could have avoided all of this by simply staying ahead of me....and keeping in touch (another key concept to be reviewed at another time).