Return on Behavior Magazine
Home for marketing and customer service professionals

Customer Experience

September 26th, 2009

Thank you, Bob Cocksedge, for teaching all of us

Your call center is probably the cheapest investment you can make in building your B2C or B2B brand among customers and motivated prospects.

I met the chief designer for Nokia at Ted. Marko is a great guy, but it was fascinating to watch the interactions he had with people. Every single person he met came up to him, pulled out a cell phone and began whining. Mostly, though, people didn’t hate their phones. They hated their carrier.

I know. I hate T Mobile.

My annoyance at my carrier didn’t decrease when I had to pay not once, but twice to buy a four day online pass to use the Net in my hotel. Sitting at the airport waiting to fly home, a few shekels left on my British phone card, I decided to take a whirl and called the hard-to-find customer service number for T Mobile, figuring I’d try to get a refund for the first $60 Net pass I purchased but that didn’t work (Hah! I thought. Hah! I can hear you thinking).

Bob Cocksedge answered my call. On the third ring. He was intelligent, thoughtful, even kind. He apologized for taking a while, using their antiquated database. He never found the purchase, but he emailed me the contact info for his manager so I can submit the transaction number once I got my credit card info at home.

You’ve already guessed the lesson. It only took Bob a few minutes. It didn’t cost T Mobile much of anything at all compared to leaving me on hold and then being rude to me. But for a tiny tiny fraction of the cost of one of those full page ads that they buy every day, T Mobile actually built their brand.

I’ve said it before-your call center is probably the single cheapest investment you can make in building your consumer or business to business brand among customers and motivated prospects.

Thanks, Bob, for reminding me.

About the Author

Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change.  Godin is author of seven worldwide bestselling books: Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus , The Big Red Fez, Survival is Not Enough, Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside, and All Marketers are Liars.  His latest book is called Small is the New Big.

Seth is a renowned speaker as well. He was recently chosen as one of 21 Speakers for the Next Century by Successful Meetings and is consistently rated among the very best speakers by the audiences he addresses.  Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, the industry's leading interactive direct marketing company, which Yahoo! acquired in late 1998.

He holds an MBA from Stanford, and was called "the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age" by Business Week.  Godin is founder and original squid at in his spare time.

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