Tuesday, 4:02 PM

Dear Friend,

They say first impressions are lasting impressions.

If that’s true (and it probably is) you better make a darn good first impression with your prospects.

If not, they just might go elsewhere.

I’d like to share a recent experience I had.

Now technically, this wasn’t my first impression with this company. But it was the first time I’ve communicated with them by phone.

They provide a really cool service… and do a GREAT job at a very low price.

And they’re super fast. In fact “48 Hours” is part of their name. I still can’t believe they do what they do so quickly… literally within 48 hours or less… and are able to do it so cheaply.

I’ve spent a bunch of money with them and will continue to do so.

But check out my first impression of them by phone:

[media:http://dobermandan.com/audio/DD bad cust-service example.mp3]

To me, that guy sounds like he’s either pissed off, really tired, bored… or maybe was born without a personality.

He may be great at his job, but he is NOT the guy you should have answering your phone or speaking with customers.

To their credit, the lady I eventually spoke with had a very pleasant phone personality and handled everything just fine.

But if this were my first impression of this company, it wouldn’t be a good one.

Remember my Clients Suck post where I talked about the copy only being a small part of the success of a promotion?

Imagine dropping 50,000 pieces of direct mail only to have the phone answered like this. And when the response is less than stellar you blame it on direct mail.

The problem isn’t direct mail. It got hundreds or thousands of people to call.

The problem was having Mr. Surly answer the phone.

EVERYTHING is marketing!

Disney even considers their janitorial and housekeeping staff as part of their marketing.

Any interaction with a prospect or customer is part of your marketing… and it better be good.

It’s pretty stupid to invest thousands or millions of dollars getting prospects to call you, visit your website, or come into your location… only to hand them off to some apathetic, crusty employee who acts as if it’s an inconvenience and an interruption to deal with them.

Every single employee who has contact with your prospects and customers better know where their bread is buttered. They better understand that because of the customer, they can feed their family and put a roof over their head.

Any employee who doesn’t get that… or has a personality like the guy on this phone recording… should be kept far away from your customer… or fired.

Or go to work as a civil servant.

Only your best and brightest should be allowed to interact with your prospects and customers.

And that’s my most humble (but accurate) opinion. :)

All the best,