Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘marketing

Customer Serviced

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It was my mistake. The website was precise in clarifying the quantity was “1 bracket” and I knew I needed two, so I ordered two. When my package arrived, the box revealed it was “One kit.”

I didn’t need to order two.

These weren’t cheap. Despite my preference to simply ignore the whole dilemma and have it fade away as if it never happened, I figured my time was easily worth recouping the otherwise wasted money.

There was no information about returns included in the package and the emailed receipt was incredibly oversimplified and devoid of any helpful detail. I pulled up the site online. While I was hunting for links hinting about support or customer service, an invitation to chat materialized in the lower right-hand corner of the window.

I always prefer chat sessions over waiting in the queue after navigating a phone maze to speak to a customer representative. The chat window launched with a well-labeled “automated response” offering me an opportunity to see the latest sale promotions.

Discounting that opening gambit, I typed out my initial query asking how to proceed with a return.

A notice appeared indicating there was one person in queue. No problem for me. The chat window was off to the side and I was simultaneously multitasking on actual work.

After a reasonable wait, a second “automated response” popped up asking for my email which would allow them to contact me at the next opportunity. I willingly complied.

Minutes passed. Eventually, many minutes passed. I watched my email and that notice indicating “one person in queue” for any hint of activity.

In hope of priming the pump again, I typed into the chat window asking if communication would move exclusively to email.

Do you know that scene in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” where principal Ed Rooney is at the front door and finally hears the taped dialogue start over again? That was my experience when it was confirmed for me that I was talking to a bot.

The chat window responded to my latest question with an opportunity to see the latest sale promotions.

After a pause, a second “automated response” popped up asking for my email which would allow them to contact me at the next opportunity.

Later in the evening, I spotted a new message in my email from the company. Subject line: “Hot Exclusive Prices That Won’t Last Till 2021!”

I’m pretty sure they have me right where they want me, and it has nothing to do with providing information on returns.

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Written by johnwhays

December 22, 2020 at 7:00 am

Not Christmas

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Not yet. Don’t fall for it. Everyone is not buying each other new cars to put a ribbon on for Christmas. If you happen to pay any attention to the barrage of commercials on broadcast television lately, that is an unmistakable impression advertisers and auto dealers are attempting to convey.

That, along with the perception of needing to stress over an increasingly oppressive societal pressure to outdo all of history by striving in October and November to come up with a better gift than ever before on an ever-earlier date for that one holiday near the end of December.

Somewhere I dream there are people starting a new trend of cultivating a mindset of purposely NOT seeking to buy more things, despite the onslaught of sales pitches bombarding us at every turn.

Maybe it could also include a focus on striving to full-heartedly love all others each and every day throughout the entire year.

Imagine us all exchanging a ubiquitous greeting of “Happy Between Holidays!”

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Nostalgia Happens

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Nostalgia. I can’t help it. Against my own wishes to deny the inevitable chronological orientation of my being, which fits precisely in the place where nostalgia begins to dominate ones attention, I am powerless. For years and years I enjoyed living in defiance of marketers who flooded the airwaves with attempts to bait and hook the primary buying demographic.

My tastes and interests were usually out of sync with the times or just far enough from center to be of little consequence to the purveyors of must-have products and services. My hobbies and interests leaned toward the years of my older siblings more than they matched what was aimed at me and my peers while we were coming into our prime.

Or so I like to think. In reality, there is every likelihood that the cunning advertisers of the products that I did fall for were deftly plying their trade to make me think I was forging my own bold path on the journey of maturation. I blindly wandered directly into the cross-hairs of their financial machine which worked its grips for brand loyalty deep into my unconscious.

With each passing year I have to work harder to deny that my value as a consumer is fading fast from the ever-changing entertainment industry and flying headlong for the entry gates of the AARP and pharmaceutical marketers.

During this wonderful NCAA basketball tournament month, my primary radio station for music has decided to run their own playoff bracket pitting match-ups of record albums from the 1990s. Yawn. How come I don’t care about any of these artists? I get the hint. I’m getting old, thank you very much.

In the same week that I was going through that realization, Cyndie turned on the television in our bedroom to see what was on and landed on a mesmerizing review of my home state, Minnesota in the ’70s. Produced with the Minnesota Historical Society Press and inspired by authors Dave Kenney and Thomas Saylor, the incredibly familiar scenes dredged up completely neglected memories of the world I experienced as a teenager.

I couldn’t look away for fear of missing something. I wanted to soak in every last morsel of what was appearing on the screen.

Did these images trigger my latest re-fascination with long-lost music memories or is the timing incidental? Again, just last week, I was pulling out old vinyl albums that weren’t to be found anywhere in digital form, hoping to feed the hunger to listen to songs from my collection that I haven’t heard in decades.

There was an old Loggins & Messina album in the bunch that I realized was totally available for download, and after giving it a spin on the turntable, I went right to the iTunes store and bought it. That should definitely be in rotation on my iPod.

The advertising genius of showing other similar albums at the bottom of my screen found me powerless to its allure. I hadn’t thought about Seals & Crofts for so long that I’d forgotten they existed! I bought that, too. Jim Seals and Dash Crofts’ voices together are a spectacular combination.

Since I hadn’t listened to that harmony for what feels like forever, it sounded good as new to me again.

It also makes me feel like I might be getting a little old.

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Written by johnwhays

March 25, 2017 at 6:00 am