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Old 05-03-2018, 08:48 AM
6,520 posts, read 2,791,892 times
Reputation: 5470


Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
I own a company and some of my clients are older (over 65). My company is very demanding and fast paced. Time is *always* of the essence and there is never enough of it. When I need to get some information from my owners I text them. Because the nature of my work is physically demanding and again, time is of the essence, making a phone call is not the most efficient way to communicate. Texting is perfect. It's short, sweet, to the point and allows me to check my texts when I have a second to do so, rather than taking precious WORK TIME out to make a long, laborious phone call.

Older people, even those with cell phones, do not seem comfortable texting. They would much rather call me and spend FOREVER on the phone going into, long, drawn-out, unnecessarily detailed explanations of things. Sometimes I want to scream..."Get to the point".

If I am especially busy, I will be unable to answer the phone at the INSTANT that they call. Of course, they will *always* leave a voice mail and go into painful detail about whatever it is they want to talk about. My favorite messages are the ones that say. Please call me. Then they can't understand why it took me three days to find enough time to call.

How do I get older people to "get with it?" What it is it about older people that they have absolutely no sense of urgency about anything? I don't have all day for them to explain some big long convoluted story that ends with, "Would you check to see if the sink is leaking?"
The customer is always right............or maybe not in your case.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:55 AM
6,520 posts, read 2,791,892 times
Reputation: 5470
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
OK true story from the past coupla weeks.

I got a call from my former employer - I was the sales manager there and while I was in sales and marketing with that company, we won numerous local, state, national, and international marketing awards, and we grew from a ranking of about 300 out of 400 offices, to #2 out of 600 offices internationally. Not trying to brag but honestly, we were a marketing machine and I was a big part of that machine. I do know sales and marketing!

Anyway, so I haven't worked there in about ten years but I consider that office and the owner and many of the employees to be lifetime friends, and we're often in touch, so it was no surprise to me to get a call - but the content of the call was surprising.

Apparently they are having issues with their outside sales people, because apparently they have the OPPOSITE approach to what mine was. Mine was "Don't send a text or email when you can send a personal letter or note, don't send a personal letter when you can make a personal phone call, and don't make a phone call when you can visit in person instead." Now it's completely flipped - all in an effort to minimize actual in person and human interaction. There are numerous marketing attempts, but all with the intent of actually avoiding as much "real" interaction as possible. And guess what - this approach doesn't build relationships that result in long term business.

So they asked me if I would meet with the new staff and tell them how we did it "back in the day," (ten years ago). I can hardly wait! They are going to be SHOCKED at my advice which will be to do as much as they can to develop personal interaction with clients - preferably face to face, but if not that, real phone calls and only if that fails, then texts or emails. I mean, I see the need for electronic communication, but in my opinion, businesses need to use both.

My oldest daughter will often text me, and that's fine - I'll text her back too. But if we get into a "text conversation," she knows I will reach saturation point pretty quickly and text her this: "Apparently you're holding a phone in your hand. I'm holding one in my hand too. We can actually talk to each other using our voices on these things! Call me when you can talk." And she will - sometimes immediately and sometimes later - but I just love hearing her voice.

I enjoy using texting for quick, simple answers but I HATE drawn out text interactions. HATE THEM.

It's my opinion that a good business will meet the needs and desires of it's customer base WHERE THEY ARE - yes, you can encourage customers to use different forms of communication but it's my professional opinion that a company should NEVER insist on customers communicating in one particular mode.

AT and T tried to "train me" to use paperless billing and in fact, in order to save a little money, I went that route. About 8 months into it I realized they were billing (and deducting) my bill every three weeks instead of once a month and they owed me about $1000 for that and a couple of other recurring (and ridiculous) charges that I would have caught if I'd continued receiving a paper bill. They were lucky to retain my business after that, but it was only on the condition that I receive paper bills. This doesn't make them all that happy but I don't care. If they want my business (including company business) they will continue to bill me in the manner that I prefer, not what's easiest for them. I'm the customer. It's my money I'm choosing to spend with them.

Just food for thought, OP.
Very good post. I agree. Concerning the paper bills..... definitely will not allow a company to have or take money from my accounts.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:20 AM
Location: California
4,740 posts, read 5,852,966 times
Reputation: 10280
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
Wow, what wonderful customer service!

If I were in Branson I certainly would want to know your real name and business so I could avoid ever giving you any of my business.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret here: the troubles you have managing your business are OF NO CONCERN to your customers.


Most of us old folks know we have our retirement accounts and we decide who we will do business with. After working for many years, arrogance is something I do not tolerate in my life.
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Old 05-03-2018, 04:37 PM
2,360 posts, read 1,398,873 times
Reputation: 2097
Setup a internal chat system.. something like TEAMs or Slack that can be use on phones and your employees computers? If its customers that are calling instead of texting, then setup a receptionist for this and deal with it. I would prefer to call you with a issue that needs answers directly, vs text and wait.
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Old 05-05-2018, 02:28 PM
1,568 posts, read 823,159 times
Reputation: 1676
Originally Posted by aslowdodge View Post
I don't know if the op relies on repeat business or not, but in today's world it is all about building relationships and the customer experience.
If those older people don't like working with the op because it's inconvenient or they feel he doesn't value or respect them, unless he is the only one they can get that service from, they will likely move on.
Also if the op relies on any word of mouth or reviews, his business could take a horrible hit. If you get one bad thing said about you, it takes about 20 people saying great things about you to offset it.

I will also add that some people have texted me and it doesn't show up for hours.
an old saying, a happy customer will tell 3 people an unhappy customer will tell everyone they know.
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