Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton
pne

The art of telemarketing

I just got a call from a research company on behalf of Enterprise Rent-a-car, where I had rented a car over the week-end.

The lady said she had a few questions for me and would I have a few minutes to answer them? I said sure.

She asked me how satisfied I was with the overall experience and how likely it would be for me to choose Enterprise again when I wanted to rent another car. Short and sweet, though the enumeration of the possible answers after each question I found a bit annoying.

But afterwards, she said that my answers were valued and that they were helpful for Enterprise, and thanked me for my time. Which would have made a better impression on me had it not sounded as if she was reading from a script.

Scripts are fine. Sincere appreciation is also fine. But "appreciation" from a script just doesn't cut it somehow. The way she read them off, they sounded like empty words—or shall I say, like words that weren't hers.

I think that was the most insincere bit: that it sounded as if she was reading them off a sheet of paper or off a computer screen and saying them because she was expected to say them, but without feeling and without giving the impression that the emotion expressed in them originated from her.

I suppose that's part of the art of telemarketing: making it sound as if you're speaking naturally and you're really interested in the customer's business, not reading formulaic phrases off a script that someone designed to make customers feel good. (Because lady: they don't if it's so obvious that you're not putting any life into them.)

It's not that she sounded bored with her job or anything; it was just a neutral delivery.

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