In The New Now I made the point that, whatever your promise in business, that you’d better be able to keep it, because when you make a promise or offer and don’t keep it, you usually do more damage to your brand than if you’d never made offer in the first place. By way of example, here’s my experience from this last week and how a company that I had fairly neutral feelings toward has turned me completely against the company, simply because they failed to follow through on a promise – a promise they didn’t have to make, but did.
Last Monday, Oct 26th TV Pro Gear sent out their regular newsletter (which I signed up for) with an offer for a free entry to the SMPTE show exhibition last week. I duly signed up for that free entry, figuring I’ll go if it’s free (normally $25).
I heard nothing Monday, nor the next day. So now I’m feeling like TV Pro Gear has let me down, particularly since there was no email or any follow up other than an acknowledgement that I had successfully filled out the form.
When I finally rang I was told (by their receptionist “Crystal”) that “Oh yeah, something happened and we couldn’t do that”. There was nobody else there to find out what had gone wrong and the only “solution” would be for me to go down to the show (and pay $25 for an exhibition of unknown quality). Crystal promised to take my number and someone would get back to me. I also sent an email to their general contact address asking what had gone wrong and requesting both an explanation and an apology.
No email and no phone call a week later, I decided to call. First call gets dropped by the receptionist; second call I get put through to “Bill”. Bill declined to tell me what went wrong and why I wasn’t contacted by phone or email. Basically, the company apparently simply doesn’t care about potential customers or their public reputation or they expect a simply “we’re sorry” – without explanation – to be enough. Bill, that is NOT enough!
Let me be clear: making promises to your customers (or readers of your newsletter) that you cannot or do not follow through on is very bad for your reputation. It certainly makes me think I’d never buy anything there because, how would I know what is true and what they are just saying to get me in, like the false promise in the email newsletter.
So, be very careful when you make promises: you better have the resources to follow through or you damn well shouldn’t make the promise because it will just backfire on you. Like this has.
Deal with TV Pro Gear, Flower Street Glendale at your own risk. It seems to me they don’t care. Of course, they could care, but simply not be competent enough to deliver.
There are lots of great Value Added Resellers in Los Angeles (Keycode, Advantage Video, New Media Hollywood come to mind immediately), deal with them and make a note to not create a disaster for yourself when you make an offer or promise.