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Technology Overuse: Be Annoying = No New Business

Don't have annoying customer outreach or service.

I’ve noticed an increasing trend in business outreach. And it’s not good. I will share some of my thoughts on these experiences to shed light on unintended consequences and help you avoid them in your business.

In a day where customer service often seems anemic and trying to get in contact with just the right person sometimes seems impossible, can too much contact actually exist? Too much customer service? Too much reaching out?

Yes, and it is annoying.

Can there be too much of a good thing?

That can happen when the processes where humans used to be involved are overautomated and not personal. Is that truly “Customer Service” when systems and software just send emails and texts repeatedly?

Not in my book. More and more, I am experiencing what is almost stalker-like outreach.

If I reach out first, I expect an email, phone call, or voicemail. The ball is now in my court, and I’ll get back to you when I can. (Remember, patience is a virtue.)

What about if I did not contact you to warrant your outreach? In that case, there are proper ways to cold call via email.

To be honest, I’m not opposed to folks sending well-thought-out personalized outreach emails seeking a partnership. When there is an obvious synergy and again when done correctly.

But when you start annoying me, you lose me and my potential business. So, what do I mean by annoying?

Redundant incessant follow-ups…

When I made my initial inquiry, I expected to receive a phone call, voicemail, or email. But multiple texts? I don’t remember being notified or checking a box that texting me was okay.

I don’t know you, and I don’t want unasked-for texts to sell me something. Never assume you’ve been given permission to text anyone who contacts you. If I am interested, I’ll call you back or email you when I have time.

In this last case, every morning at 10 a.m., a different “agent” contacts me, leaves a voice mail, and sends another text. Even the following morning, after I emailed the fourth different guy, noting I would be in touch when I had time.

Ongoing follow-ups “just in case”…

Just in case, what? I missed the first five emails. Emails pitching what you want to accomplish that benefits you more than me, which I didn’t ask for, probably won’t receive my response.

I know these are autoresponders or bots set to send on a predetermined schedule, but now you are a full-fledged spammer. This is especially true when I clearly state on my website that I don’t buy what you are selling, such as accepting guest posts.

On my websites, I clearly state one or two things on the contact page: I don’t accept guest posts and don’t promote products that I don’t use myself. I receive emails daily about both.

This tells me you didn’t read my website; you just farmed my email. You are using an automated process to see what sticks to the wall.

If you email another business that did not ask for your information, the lack of response is your answer. Don’t annoy them to the point where they only remember you to remember not to do business with you.

In most cases, I have no problem with one follow-up. But after that—enough. You’ve annoyed me into not wanting to do business with you, which is your fault.

Different contacts with each email…

For five days straight, the one particular service I inquired about had a different person follow up via email, voicemail, and text. Why wouldn’t one person be responsible for my inquiry? Why all three formats? Make it stop!

You’ve just made me feel like I am just another contact being passed around daily to whoever is working that day. Not very personal.

It’s very easy to become annoying fast…

Technology allows us to automate much more than we used to. Just because you can automate doesn’t mean you do — every time or all the time.

This is where it’s wise to map out how your service processes flow in advance. Avoid auto-pilot software bots sending on a predetermined schedule for weeks on end. Without a personal touch, you can create an unintended negative impact.

  • Don’t over-automate.
  • Don’t email incessantly when you don’t receive a response.
  • Don’t email, call, and text redundantly.

Reach out, wait for a response, and follow up once. Then, if you don’t hear back, the final follow-up should note where we can reach you when we are ready.

Don’t lose that personal human touch. That’s the only way to leave a positive imprint on a potential customer or lead who may need you in the future.

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