Blogbits

Have you checked out the Big Fat Marketing Blog yet? Here are a few recent posts from MCM’s senior writers.

CAN’T GET MAD AT DRS. FOSTER AND SMITH

Nope, that’s just impossible. Even if I think they made a mistake that I shouldn’t have had to deal with. Even before I realized I was the dummy who read a question wrong on the Drs. Foster and Smith Website.

I mistook “How will we receive Rx?” as the delivery method for my order, as opposed to how they’re going to get prescription confirmation from me. I thought when I placed the order, “Of course I want it in the mail. I’m ordering from you guys, why do I want to pick it up at the vet?”

Then I got an e-mail from Drs. Foster and Smith Pharmacy informing me that I had yet to mail them the prescription for Heartgard Plus, and it can’t be dispensed. Great. Now I’d have to call Drs. Foster and Smith and find out how to get the prescription to them — and why they didn’t just call my vet, since I had supplied the info.

But as annoyed as I was, as soon as I was connected to a call center rep, I melted. Instead of demanding they call my vet, I asked for their fax number — so I could call my vet and have him fax the information.

Lesson learned: No matter how great your e-commerce site is, even the most intelligent customers are bound to make an ordering mistake (and so can I).

If you can provide friendly service and not point out the customer’s error in a negative way — and do what you can to correct the mistake — you’re going to win a lot of lifelong friends.
TIM PARRY

USPS: BART SIMPSON TO THE RESCUE

Can Bart Simpson save the U.S. Postal Service?

Well, maybe not, but the USPS sure could use some of the mojo that has propelled The Simpsons to a 20-year reign on television. The USPS certainly hasn’t had much luck recently, what with mounting financial losses, layoffs, consolidations, and a proposal from Postmaster General John E. Potter to reduce mail delivery to five days per week.

Come May 7, maybe some of the karma that has made The Simpsons the longest-running animated franchise and longest-running U.S. sitcom in the history of television can rub off on the USPS. That’s the day that portraits of the five members of the Simpson family — Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie — will start appearing on postage stamps.

The USPS receives about 50,000 suggestions for stamp subjects each year, but it picks only 20 topics or people for postage. The Simpsons, which debuted on Dec. 17, 1989, is the only TV show to appear on a stamp while still in production.

Maybe The Simpsons stamps will encourage people to send more mail; or maybe they won’t make a bit of difference to the USPS and its financial situation. But in this day and age when good news and good luck are at a premium, the new stamps surely can’t hurt. It’s good PR, anyway.
JIM TIERNEY

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