Are You Guys in Sales Listening?


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The new computer came with a very nice software package, and a lot of trial packages already installed. Some of it was virtually useless to me for my purposes, but one in particular was very helpful, so we decided to buy it. My wife, who teaches computer technology locally, sat down at the computer to do this. Thirty frustrating minutes later, she stood up, and said, I am going to best buy, and I will just buy the disk!

The problem was not the installation, nor the checkout, the difficulty that drove her to drive off to the tech shop, was maneuvering through the software companies website! The irony is utterly overwhelming to me!

We have a well educated, intelligent, well trained, multi lingual woman, having difficulty getting to the right page of a software manufacturer, which specializes in making it easier, to build and move through web pages!

I had a similar experience earlier in the week, dealing with a hosting company. The idea was to buy a short term hosting package to play with, and decide on whether or not I liked the way it worked before signing on for the long haul. I had already been burned by one company who promised the world, but only gave me a piece of it at a time, in the form of mud balls. I wanted to be more cautious before making the plunge. I bought a month of hosting.

I had a test page built up, and started trying to download, I tried the hosts provided ftp, I tried cute ftp, I tried netscape communicator, I tried others. I switched browsers, and did it over again. I did this with four browsers. I called there help line, and sat for thirty minutes listening and typing, still nothing. My wife tried, nothing!

I decided that the package was not what I needed! The company graciously offered a refund. I accepted. At first I thought it was me, then maybe the computer, or the browser, or the ftp program. I was wrong. I talked to others, on and off line, who have met with similar trouble. It is apparently widespread. Systems so convoluted, and confusing that people give up and walk away. Customer service so bad, that it seems the goal is to drive you away, and websites devised so poorly, that people leave in frustration before buying the product.

Are you guys in sales hearing this? Your products and services are becoming so difficult, that you are losing customers! The automation is great, I know it helps you sell your products more cheaply, but if it begins to drive consumers away from your goods and services, you might want to give that “live talk" program a little re thinking.

The really ironic part, was what happened after I canceled the hosting package, and went back to check on the status of my domain. I typed it into the browser, clicked the mouse, and there before my eyes, was the page I had been trying to transfer!

James Burns is a licensed pest control professional, has been a Certified Professional Turfgrass Manager for more than 16 years, has a lifetime of experience in horticulture and agriculture, and is the owner of Rational Environmental Solutions, an IPM based pest control company in East Texas. He also has many helpful gardening tips at .


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