I wrote recently that Embarq could have saved a lot of marketing moola by providing great customer service in the first place: The Huge Marketing Reality That EMBARQ Forgot. I, along with a likely heard of horses had already left the Embarq barn so it was too late to whistle us back. But, did they give up? No, now they are starting to sound irritatingly desperate.
Here’s their headline:
We don’t blame you.
We blame the cable company.
Come back to Embarq and get up to $100 in
bill credits when you sign up for Triple Play.
What’s wrong with this approach?
In this lame effort, they make it sound like we broke up a personal relationship and that they’re not blaming us(even though they imply we might reasonably expect to be blamed). Instead, they’re blaming our new beloved who has made us misleading promises.
First, it never occurred to me that we should be blamed. After all, it was their suboptimal service and careless customer care that drove us away. So, why should we feel gratified that Embarq doesn’t blame us.
Second, we didn’t go to the cable company. We went to Vonage. After all, we’re not that crazy about the cable company either. But, they suggest that we might be so dumb that we’d fall for the cable company’s smooth talk and city slicker ways. Well, gosh, we might be dumb but we’re not so dumb as to miss the fine print.
Third, somewhere in their records they missed the fact that we switched our service to Vonage—even though they had to give explicit permission for our old phone number to be moved over to Vonage. I guess they must not be paying careful attention to us. They aren’t even showing us authentic, post facto love.
After my first post, I got a slightly irritated email from an Embarq PR guy who suggested that if I had checked with them, I might not have had to write the critical article. Of course, he missed the point that if their customer service team had looked after us, not only wouldn’t I have written the article but I wouldn’t have cancelled our Embarq phone line.
Great customer service is an essential underpinning to effective content marketing. But, when both are floundering, you really have a problem. Thank heavens local phone service is no longer a monopoly. But, wait! Maybe the Embarq customer service people never got that memo.