Now I’m not saying here that I am a demanding customer or one of those people that will complain at every chance I get, but when I hear the phrase, “we’re sorry for any inconveniences this may cause” it just reminds me of how “cold” some corporations can be. Warning: This may turn into a rant.
Case in point: Me trying to change the home location for my gym membership at GoodLife Fitness. When I first went to the gym I wanted to make my ‘new’ one, I was told that I couldn’t go gym-hopping (I signed up almost a decade ago, how was I supposed to remember if I signed up for it back then?) and if I did indeed want to switch, I would have to pay more than double what I was already paying! Who would agree to that?!? I left my name and number at the desk for the manager to call, and of course, never heard from them.
So then I went to their website in search of information about cancelling and switching gym locations. Of course, no information was there, so I opted to send a message to their customer service stating my dilemma. (And before you point it out, yes, I cancelled a gym membership when most other people are running to the gym during this New Year Resolution time).
What did I get back?
“I am sorry to see that you are looking to cancel your membership.” Of course you are! That means no more money from me. This reminds me of a sarcastic remark someone would use during an argument (have you ever used the “I’m sorry you feel that way!” when you’re angry?)
“Currently, you have a great grandfathered rate” I know!! Why do you think I’ve stayed with you for so long? So much for taking care of the long-standing customers. And then the kicker….
“We’re sorry for any inconveniences that this may cause.” Right. I’m sure you’re actually sorry. I’m sure you’re sympathetic to my situation. And what’s with the “may”? I just told you that you are, in fact, inconveniencing me!
What would have made me less irritated? A non-nonsense e-mail that simply stated that I would have to pay more or cancel my membership, with instructions on how to cancel. Not make me curse the corporate apology procedures.
After my next e-mail, this is what else I got:
“We truly appreciated having you as a member of the GoodLife family” No – actually, you don’t. Truly appreciating something is being grateful for having a roof over your head. If you did truly appreciate me being ‘in the family’ you would have helped me in my situation. Family members help each other.
How did the message end? With a “yours in fitness.” Another incorrect statement….see, with me cancelling, I have effectively removed myself from any fitness activity with you.
If there is one thing I remember from my undergrad marketing class, it’s the 80/20 rule (which I pretty much apply to everything). If 80% of your customers are happy, they’ll tell 20% of their friends. If 20% are unhappy, they’ll tell 80% of their friends.
Guess which one I fall into. Oh – and I’m sorry for any inconveniences I may have caused while you spent the 5 minutes reading this. (Really, I’m sorry! I’m sure you had better things to do!)