:: The guy who posted the MP3 of his phone call to AOL to cancel his account is back in the news, because someone has "leaked" the AOL training manual for the employees who handle the cancellation calls. The major revelation here is the idea that a cancellation call is viewed as a sales opportunity by AOL.
And here's what I wrote over a month ago on this:
Now, this particular operator most certainly does go way over the line in dealing with a customer -- we can all agree on that -- but what interests me isn't so much that this call shows how far customer service has fallen in today's business world, but rather what today's business world thinks customer service is.
For companies, it boils down to one simple rule: Service equals sales. Seriously, that's how companies view service today. Customer service is indistinguishable from sales, and every interaction with the customer is to be approached as an opportunity to sell.
I was a month ahead of some guy who writes for the New York Times. Heh! But really, for anyone who's ever worked in any kind of sales environment, there is absolutely nothing shocking about AOL's "retention guide".
:: Sean e-mailed this to me a week or so ago, and I promptly forgot about it until he linked it himself today: Forbes's 150 cheap places to live rich. Buffalo's on the list, and here's what they have to say:
Don't let Buffalo's reputation as a frigid Lake Erie town fool you. There's plenty of heat here—particularly in the arts. Keep your toes tappin' at one of the major concert venues in Buffalo, which routinely bring jazz, chamber music, rock, blues, and bluegrass sounds to town. For more urbane fare, take in a touring Broadway show at Shea's Performing Arts Center, a restored 1926 movie palace. And Buffalo isn't the year-round icebox you think. The "snowbelt" actually lies south of the city.
OK, but who gives a shit about the snow belt? Why not point out that we have awesome winter sports, our winters aren't as cold or windily unpleasant as, say, Chicago's, our summers have never once tipped 100 degrees in all the time they've been keeping records, and our autumns are utterly stunning? Oh well. Good press for Buffalo is always welcome.
:: OK, that's it. Don't forget to Ask Me Anything!