My virtual friend, kindred spirit, and the author of the highly recommended book - Go for No!, Andrea Waltz, sent me a list of suggested rejections. I liked one in particular - asking for a live interview at a radio station. I liked it because I know I can inject more color and variety into their show with my story.
I was not surprised that I didn’t get through, but I was very surprised by how hard the receptionist worked on my behalf. Very similar to Jackie at Krispy Kreme, she took my request seriously and immediately started trying to find solutions. Her actions included trying to schedule me, calling a colleague for directions, giving me the contact info for the responsible party, and suggesting an alternative – calling into the listener line. She is a model receptionist and made me a fan.
Moreover, because I was able to see her hard work in front of me, I was able to appreciate for her effort. However, if I called her over the phone, and she put me on hold while working feverishly behind the scene, I wondered if I would appreciate her as much. This probably happens a lot during over-the-phone customer support, when representatives work hard but don’t receive the appreciation from customers, because the customers were put on hold, got annoyed by the wait, and didn’t realize the work.
As for me, I again experienced how tough it is to negotiate with a non-decision maker. No matter how hard she worked, a simple no from the decision-maker would completely negate her effort. What I should have done is to ask for the decision-maker, and discuss with him/her one-on-one.
1. Effort and attitude can satisfy a customer regardless of the outcome.
2. If the customer can’t see the customer support’s effort, he/she won’t appreciate the work as much. In that case, the representative could list her actions in a non-bragging fashion before and after she does the work.
3. Always negotiate with the decision-maker.