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Bill Farquharson

The Sales Challenge

By Bill Farquharson

About Bill

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."

 

Crazy Customer Service Story

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You are not going to BELIEVE this one!

I pride myself on writing a good letter. In fact, I write two good letters. I write a good “praise you” letter and I write a good “screw you” letter. The latter is generally the one that gets the most attention and I could easily fill up a cocktail party regaling you with stories of past nightmares (my former wife used to call me the Black Hole for customer service). Anywho, here’s what happened...

Last November, I was looking into buying a car, one of my most favorite things to do (as evidenced by my previous blog entry). I love the research and along the way found a website that had an extraordinary amount of information that was available no where else. It was www.edmunds.com. In fact, I was so impressed that when I was done perusing everything I could find, I sent them an email thanking them profusely and complimenting them on the quality of the material, ease of use, blah, blah, blah.

Skip forward to last Thursday night. I was at my computer and the following email comes in from Edmunds.com:

*******
I’m writing to let you know once again how honored we were to receive your note of thanks last November, telling us how useful our site was while you were shopping for a used car.
 
We’re so honored, in fact, that we’re inviting you, at our expense, to join us along with a few other select Edmunds customers as special guests at our upcoming all-company meeting, to be held on Tuesday, July 13th in Santa Monica, California. You all will be a valued part of the Reader Appreciation portion of the meeting.

At the meeting, a member of our senior leadership team will read your note to the audience, and you will be invited on stage to receive a plaque of appreciation from all of us at Edmunds honoring the occasion.
 
For those who can attend, we will be providing a round-trip airline ticket to Los Angeles, two nights lodging near our headquarters in Santa Monica, as well as transportation to and from the airport and the company event.

We do have a limited amount of time to make these arrangements and can accommodate a maximum of four honorees, so please let us know as soon as possible whether or not you are able to attend.
 
Feel free to write back or call with any questions you may have.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!
 
Sincerely,
 
Mark Holthoff
Manager, Customer Support
Edmunds Inc.
*******

Isn’t that hilarious? Can you imagine? So, I call the guy and it’s legit. They wanted to fly me out to Santa Monica on July 12th or so to get a plaque. Honestly, I wish I had the time to go. But after considering the fact that I’m in Alaska the following week and that spending 48 hours away from my home is not what I had in mind, I emailed back a “Thank you, but no thank you.” along with a few site improvement suggestions.

Good for Edmunds for reading “praise you” emails, too. Keep me in mind for your January meeting. I’m sure that I’ll be able to find the time during snow season!!!

Industry Centers:

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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Kelly - Posted on July 07, 2010
Um, Can I go in your place? I'm not nearly as busy as you...Oh wait - yes I am. But seriously, I think it is a greast lesson in communication in general, and that all companies should encourage and solicit feedback from their customers. Sorry you can't go - I have never even BEEN to California!
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Kelly - Posted on July 07, 2010
Um, Can I go in your place? I'm not nearly as busy as you...Oh wait - yes I am. But seriously, I think it is a greast lesson in communication in general, and that all companies should encourage and solicit feedback from their customers. Sorry you can't go - I have never even BEEN to California!