This is a story many of you will be uncomfortable with. It touches upon the BIG FEAR many companies have in the digital age regarding negative press, comments and reviews freely flowing through the blog and socialsphere. While some of these stories end up in the horror genre, this one about Mindfire has a very happy ending thanks to a very smart, honest and proactive marketing manger. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent because Mindfire is admittedly guilty in this case, and fully aware this post is being shared. Here we go…
In 2012 I attended a conference in Las Vegas that Mindfire exhibited at, and they were given the attendee list. I started to receive a barrage of emails with valid opportunities to learn more about their products and services. I opted out because those products and services have nothing to do with me. Then I opted out again, and again, and again. When the emails kept coming I contacted the sender, IT intervened, and several weeks and many emails later I was finally off the list, or so I thought.
Last week the emails started again. I opted out, and opted out and opted out. I contacted the sender who assured me my name was removed, and yet the emails kept coming. After two days of troubleshooting, emails and a phone call, my inbox is currently Mindfire free again. However, this situation is not optimal for a company that sells services to help people with email marketing! And since they sell to printers, I felt it my duty to point that out to them, and share this story with you.
At Xplor International’s Xploration 16 Conference I attended a session presented by Chris Echevarria, Customer Experience Center Manager for Canon Solutions America. She spoke about the importance of customer experience through every touch point of the customer journey, and noted that it takes 12 positive experiences to negate one bad one. Chris was literally sitting with me as this email madness was happening, and was equally impressed as to how magnificently my complaints were handled by Mackenzi Farsheed, Marketing Automation Specialist at Mindfire.
Mindfire is very lucky to have Mackenzi, or this post would not have a happy ending. Her customer service, transparency and honesty about this email marketing FAIL was some of the best I have encountered. I could have easily just marked every promotional email from them as spam and went about my day, but I explained clearly that my concern was based on Mindfire promoting marketing services to print community, and if they couldn’t get it right with me, they had no business to be in this business. She agreed, and honestly it wasn’t what I expected to hear.
Normally in these situations you get a myriad of “reasons” as to why something has gone wrong, or no response at all. I challenged Mackenzi at every turn to provide a valid explanation as to why I couldn’t get off a list I already jumped through hoops to get removed from in 2012. I challenged her to explain how I got on it to begin with since I didn’t opt in, how I got back on it in 2016, and I challenged her to justify their email policies regarding opting out. She researched, reported, apologized and stated clearly how this situation was not the marketing practice of Mindfire, and agreed that a marketing company should be the example of good marketing practices, not the subject of a “WTF” blog post when we discussed this article during a call.
The results: Mackenzi set an internal process review into motion regarding Mindfire’s email marketing and list procurement, and she said she will (though she hasn’t yet) write her own article about this situation and post it on Mindfire’s blog.
While the glitch with my email seems to be an isolated incident – not for me, but no one else has ever reported having this opt-out challenge to them, what I will remember more than the aggravation is how it was addressed, and how Mackenzi turned me from foe into fan with spectacular customer service to make up for a crappy customer experience.
For everyone reading this – first thanks for your time. Now I ask you… When is the last time you reviewed your internal marketing processes and practices? Have you asked your customers if they find value in the information you share and the educational opportunities you offer? A little feedback may be all you need to get people clicking, and attending and yes, even buying.
Market Correctly and Prosper!
Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at PrintMediaCentr, a Print Buyerologist™, Integrated Marketer, Industry Speaker and Blogger, Cultivator of the Print Production Professionals Group, the #1 Print Group on LinkedIn, and host of the weekly industry #PrintChat on Twitter. She has more than 25 years experience working in advertising and marketing, and currently works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them to achieve success with their cross media and social media marketing endeavors.
Connect with Deborah through any of the social channels on PMC!