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Why Corporations Need Real Writers

freelance writers create communicationOver the weekend I emailed a well-known, international company about the problem I’m having with one of their products.

Shortly after I clicked send I received an automatic response telling me how wonderful the company is and that someone would address my problem in 48 hours.

Today, which is at least 96 hours, I got the following email message from them:

Unfortunately our e-mail system has been the victim of technical difficulties. All incoming e-mail from 1/15/2010 – 1/23/2010 have been not accessible. The issue prevented us from viewing and responding to all emails received between that time. The good news is we have resolved all technical problems and our Helpdesk team will be back to their normal state of delivering the great customer service that has kept us in business since 1979.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If you have a question that has not been answered through another contact channel please feel free to reply to this email, chat or call us by clicking here.

Thank you very much for your understanding through this very difficult and challenging time for us. We look forward to exceeding all of your expectations in the future!

What’s Wrong With This Message?

There are at least two problems with this message.

The first is it doesn’t make clear if I need to resubmit my problem.

That could have been handled so easily with a simple You don’t need to resubmit your message, but do give our staff a couple of extra days to respond or You’ll need to resubmit your problem. Click here.

The real kicker for me, however, is the link they ask me to click in their email doesn’t have a link!

I also find the yada yada about how marvelous the company and how difficult this has been for them totally useless. That’s about them, and not my problem, nor my interest.

They Need A Corporate Writer

The company obviously needs a corporate writer to help them communicate clearly with their customers. They need someone who understands what customers need.

Which brings me to you. If you’re a corporate writer and you lived near this company, they might have called you IF they knew you exist.

This company is big enough so I’m sure they have staff writers, but I know big companies hire freelancers occasionally.

Do the companies you live near know about your services? They should.


Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • My latest drama was with BestBuy – a tech co! I couldn’t buy a gift card and change my address. And I either failed to connect or got bumped off the call 4 times before I got a live person to help me.

  • I couldn’t agree more with you, Anne. Some companies don’t seem to realize just how crucial written communication is to the customer experience.

    I encountered a similar situation the other day attempting to order a last-minute Christmas gift online. Not only was the website writing ambiguous (and in some areas just plain confusing), it was also littered with spelling errors that a simple proofreading could have easily prevented. I didn’t end up buying anything from them and I have to say the poor online presence did shape my perception of the company in a negative way.

  • Looks like you may have gotten one of the PolarUSA gadgets for people with low blood pressure, instead. The email is all part of the service.
    .-= jorgekafkazar´s last blog ..Tenirax, Ch V =-.

  • Anne

    Thanks for noticing – always looks naked without that e

  • Anne

    Tempting Carson, but I’d rather someone else do it… okay, I’ll blow their cover – http://www.polarusa.com/us-en – I use one of their plus monitor thingies when I exercise… it now tells me my plus is always 57… no matter what… not sure what I need to replace because the watch works and when I’m wearing the strap on the treadmill the treadmill will display the right plus… high 😉

  • What a good idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • Oh, and I’m sorry I left the “e” off the back of your name, too!

  • My guess? The thought never crossed their mind. They found a problem, found a fix and someone involved with the fix dashed off the email (which, as you noted, is brimming with suckiness).

    That’s why the last part of your post is so important… Do they know about your services? I’d take it an extra step: Do they know about your services and exactly how they can use them to improve their bottom line?

    Maybe you should pitch ’em, Ann. Turn your miserable customer service experience into a gig!

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