22 September 2009

What's the Standard of Your Marketing Communication?

I recently received the following email via a recruiter who had it forwarded to her from one of her clients, who had it sent to her from a recruitment agency.

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t read it. I have cut and pasted the email, exactly as it was forwarded to me. The identity of the sender, and their company has been withheld to keep the focus on the email's content.


From: [name and email address withheld]
Subject: Trust Us Please

Good Afternoon

I'm so sorry, I know I'm always being a pain but just want to keep in touch in case you need help with anything now or in the near future.....I can't stress enough how different we are from other agencies, we are probably the lowest charging agency you'll ever come across...

We can help with TEMP, PART-TIME, CONTRACT or PERMANENT (Permanent rates are extremely low, we can quote you anytime)

Remember we specialise in :-

·         Receptionists
·         Secretaries/PAs
·         Data Entry Operators
·         Filing Clerks
·         Accounts/Bookkeepers
·         Storemen/Warehouse/General Hands

And we are on call 24/7, we don't mind even if the work is literally 2 hours of filing we can help with anything..Call or email me anytime [telephone number withheld].

We will beat any competitors rate by 10% (written quotes must be supplied.)

The highest compliment I can receive is an introduction/referral to your friends, and business associates. I'd be honoured if you passed on my details. Thank you for your trust and ongoing confidence

Kind Regards,
[name withheld]
Team Leader
[company name withheld]
[website address withheld]


Argh!
At which point would you have hit the DELETE button?

After reading the subject line, I was surprised my spam filter hadn’t turfed it into my Junk Mail.

It’s hard to know where to start identifying what is so wrong about this marketing email being sent from a professional recruiter, but I’ll give it my best shot. Here are just 9 reasons to start you off:

1. The agency is RCSA Certified for Service Delivery. One inappropriate marketing email can undermine all the hard work that went into the certification process.

2. The subject line screams ‘SPAM’ and is completely undignified and unprofessional.

3. If the consultant knows they are ‘being a pain’ (of all the phrases that could have been used, why on earth would you use that one?), then why do they keep doing it, especially when the company's website proudly proclaims ‘the key distinction between (our company) and other agencies is …. we listen!'

4. ‘The lowest charging agency you will ever come across’. – normally the cheapest service is cheap for good reason.

5. ‘We will beat any competitors rate by 10%’ – Because I assume they can’t think of any other reason that a client would use their services, other than price. By now, it’s sounding like a Bunnings ad.

6. Asking for a referral to another client when the consultant admits ‘I know I am always being a pain’ – Wow! I bet the client cannot wait to refer this “pain” to someone else so they too can receive these brilliant marketing emails.

7. The email signature lists the consultant’s title as Team Leader – Say what! This doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence in the quality of the consultants if this is a typical example of leadership behavior within this recruitment company.

8. ‘I can't stress enough how different we are from other agencies’ – Really? I would hope so. Just imagine if this was the type of email sent out regularly by recruitment agencies to their clients or prospects.

Here’s something for the owners and managers to think about:

  • Do you know what written communication is being sent out by your consultants and/or team leaders, on your company’s behalf?
  • How often are you listening to your consultants’ conversations?
  • Do you know how effectively they are verbally communicating with your clients and candidates?
  • What auditing of processes do you have in place?
  • Do your consultants know what is acceptable and what is unacceptable with respect to their communication?
  • But above all else, what training have you provided so that your consultants are absolutely crystal clear as to your expectations and standards about your external communication?
I don’t know the owner of the agency concerned but I suspect they would be horrified that such an email was sent out. But worse still … to how many clients?

6 comments:

  1. Gail Whipper23/9/09 10:48 AM

    Ross,Do you get fries with that?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ross, I'm so glad that you are highlighting these sorts of issues with your readers... no wonder recruitment companies (in general) have such shoddy reputations with this tripe out in the marketplace. And if this is what they send out to potential clients, imagine the communication that goes out to jobseekers...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for letting me know about this. I can't stand temp agencies they are such liars!!!! I think they like to make profit out of people's lives and hopes. No wonder they are so quick to the gun towards helping someone out. That is what they claim!!!! I have been hired in many jobs due to temp agencies sending me out there. Then for a couple of months, without a reason, I was either fired or layed off.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Interesting comments on this blog I must say, I think it is good to highlight these issues. Yes, I have seen a lot of this and I don't see a confident consultant writing this letter but a desperate one! But despite this Ross, to name the company is wrong isn't it? I would have expected more from you in regards to how you would have educated your readers. Well mate what goes around comes around; I hope you haven't made any mistakes in your career that might get paraded on the internet with your company/name attached



    I saw this article on Recruiter Daily and though I have respect for you Ross I think on this one you kind of went too far. You should have left the company name off. I agree that the letter was SPAM really and the vocab well hmmmm.....however I think even if you hadn’t mentioned the Name of the Company you would have still made your point, what have you achieved by leaving this on. Do you want to see a company’s reputation get damaged more then it is? Or do you have a personal grudge against this company?

    In regards to the Anonymous post on the 24th, well you can complain all you want but at the end of the day if can't be grateful that you got not just one but a few temp roles through an agency, then better find your own job! You must have been real awesome as a temp to get "layed off" :-) I think you should start talking to your referees to see where you went wrong and what you need to do to improve yourself. Good luck for the future...

    ReplyDelete
  5. There are a few companies out there that are run by Charlies (no offense to the Charlie's that work for reputable firms) and it is a blight on the rest of us that deliver excellent service. That marketing attempt (if you can call it that - more like professional suicide) is desperate and a call to inaction on the part of the recipient.

    My advice to Key People Personnel - look at your own recruitment process and sort out your own backyard before offering to sort out someone else's.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks everyone for your comments. Given the feedback, and on reflection, it was a mistake to publish the name of the company on my orginal blog post. If the conversation becomes about the rights and wrongs of me 'naming names' and the way I have written the post rather than about the actual content of the email then I haven't achieved the purpose of my post.

    I am passionate about the recruitment industry. The purpose of my business as a speaker, trainer, writer and coach is threefold; to highlight recruitment as a great career, promote the importance of effective recruitment practices and to assist raising the standards of our industry.

    So when I have an email, such as the one I wrote about, sent to me with the client commenting; 'we regularly get these from this company and they're always pleading, begging...' then you can appreciate why it gets me fired up and despairing at the same time.

    I have now re-written the blog post removing all direct references to the company concerned as well as editing other aspects of the post.

    ReplyDelete