Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Being a Whisperer

I have this friend.  She is the best friend.  She has this quirky talent of finding very objectionable people and adjusting their attitudes.  "Troll Whisperer" and "Douchebro Whisperer" were just some of her nicknames.

I mention this today because I had just completed ordering a Triple-Play FiOS package from Verizon.  I've had Verizon FiOS for several years now and discovered a bundle that would give me more channels and faster internet speeds for the same monthly rate.  It's a minor shame that I had to find this out myself, but we can discuss broadband concierge services at a later date.

How does this tie in to my best friend?  Let's see how well I connect these dots.

We're all intimately familiar with telemarketers.  Those unfortunate souls who whore-out their work-hours by calling phone numbers and reciting a script trying to sell people things.  We're all intimately familiar with cable companies.  Those more-unfortunate souls who whore-out their work-hours by making us jump through hoops just so we can get online from the comfort of our own home.

Combine a telemarketer with a cable-company and you have a recipe for one of the most-hated individuals in existence.  There are several million stories of the hell people experience when interacting with their cable-company.

But realize this.  They aren't doing this to punish us.  They're doing this because research tells them it works.  They have a script that they read to you because the statistics prove that if you are asked to buy something three times, then you are very-likely to buy it - as infuriating as that sounds.  Even if you threaten to cancel your subscription by asking them NOT to sell you something, they will reply "I understand.  Let me tell you about our newest promotional package..." because EVERY manager above them knows the script is to be followed and zero-tolerance otherwise.

I could have completed my entire broadband upgrade online - but I decided to voluntarily interact with my cable representative.  In a way, I felt much like my best friend.  I knew this employee-of-Verizon was looking for another successful statistic.  I knew that I was a potential 2-year contract renewal.  I had this intrinsic value and I wanted to use it for the good of someone.  So, I sought out a sales rep.  We chatted about promotional packages and channel lineups while guiding me through webforms.

I got my package, the rep got his renewal quota, and I saved someone else 20 minutes of having to deal with this person.

Maybe there's a demand for this kind of service?

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