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Dial America and Their Horrible CRM

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So, I got a bizzare phone call today.

It started as innocently as any other telemarketing call. I checked the CallerID (thank you Vonage), and the caller was Conde Naste Publications. I figured it was worth picking up, in case they were calling about a magazine subscription of mine or something. Little did I know they would give me the hardest laugh of my day.

The girl on the phone had a pleasant voice, but really sounded very disinterested in her job. She was clearly reading her script, and here’s how the conversation began:

“Hello, Mr. Blankenburg? This is Jenny from Dial America. I’m calling in regard to your subscription to Cookie Magazine.” (My wife is the subscriber, but I know you’re gonna make fun of me anyways.)

Ok, so her software told her which magazine I have been subscribed to, and that we have let the subscription run out. She also knows my name, gender, and presumably my address, etc.

Now, I’ve always thought that it would be a great idea to know things about the person you’re talking to when in this role. For example, if you’re calling someone, and you know their address, why not comment on the weather in their area? Surely you could rig up some web service calls to weather.com and away you go. “My goodness, it certainly has been hot in Phoenix lately, right Mr. Jones?” It gets the callee talking, which is the best way to make a sale. Get someone to talk about themselves. People just love it.

Anyways, so here was Jenny’s personalized pitch to me (keeping in mind this was most certainly scripted):

“Mr. Blankenburg, I’m calling from cold, rainy Columbus, OH. How’s the weather in Westerville?”

(I did some research. They have a calling center in Columbus.)

At this point, I couldn’t help but laugh. “Um, it’s cold and rainy? I’m 3 minutes from Columbus.”

“Oh, yeah. I guess you’re right. Sorry about that.” *Click*

She hung up on me! That’s funny stuff.


3 responses to “Dial America and Their Horrible CRM”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    I worked for DialAmerica. I had the same dumb assed boss that insisted on the weather thing. They transferred him back to Ohio in 2002 from my office when he had a less than stellar performance. I argued about the stupid beginning, but he would not listen to me. It is not company policy. Blame the manager not the company. I love working for them when I do. They have donated over $200 million to charities (primarily Special Olympics) in the decades they have been in business. I did honest work and made an average of $23 per hour.

  2. Jessica Avatar

    So are you out of a job yet Larry? As you know, many Americans are out of work. Did you ever think that buying a silly magazine subscription to Time instead of looking all your news up online for free would put people to work. The publishers, journalists, the people that work at printing presses, even the people that call you. The idea of getting a magazine could actually help a lot of people. By the way, all call centers use an automated dialing system, if you are getting calls 4 times a day, it's not purposely; it's because the computer didn't reach you yet. Just pick up the phone and talk/listen to the other person. That should solve the problem. Who knows, they might make your day! And who in Ohio doesn't know that Westerville is right next to Columbus?

  3. Larry Avatar

    Hey, Anonymous I can donate money to the Special Olympics without having to buy magazines. They may donate but that is because they make so much money from the magazines and I am sure the money they donate is a drop in the bucket compared to what they make. If you were making $23 an hour I wonder why you are not still there? Pretty good pay for sitting and talking on the phone to get people to buy magazines they don’t want. We don’t subscribe so they are not trying to renew anything with us and we get about 4 calls a day.

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