That line from the title song of the 80s sitcom “Cheers,” represents such a positive feeling to most who remember it. It means something entirely different to me, though.
Saturday was my birthday. I had a really nice day. But, I also received about a half dozen emails like the one in this caption all wishing me a happy birthday. Ecommerce sites, web vendors and other service providers are just so sweet. They all must have really caring customer service people who spend their days writing down customers’ birthdays just to send us e-cards with a smile, right? Not. Instead, the reality is that they’ve acquired every bit of data and information on our personal lives and habits. Thus, sending me a birthday email probably takes very little effort. But for some marketers, it’s a smart way to establish closer bonds with audiences they care about.
Here’s the rub about this specific one. I hate Quicken Loans. Quicken wasted my time for over four months this summer when I tried to refinance my primary mortgage. Quicken deceived me and Quicken lost me forever as a customer or someone who will ever recommend its service because at the 11th hour, this banking intermediary told me that the type of mortgage I had been accepted to receive, was now dead and buried. That’s right. I had a closing basically scheduled, when Quicken pulled the rug out from under me and said it could no longer finance this product.
I’m pretty busy. The only care I have when doing anything like this, is that the service provider is dependable and makes it simple, quick and, ultimately, shows me the money. In the end, Quicken did none of that. Ironically, one month later, I chose another mortgage broker who promised me much of the same. You know what? This time the promise was realized in just three short weeks. I had a new mortgage. It was so easy, very quick and I got the money… at a much reduced rate.
What’s the point of this post (you might be wondering)? I had put the distasteful Quicken experience behind me. Then, I received this email. Some idiot there never took me or my private information out of the Quicken database, even after I ranted and raved for a few days at them when the fiasco happened. So, because this company has reengaged me, I’ve decided to now let everyone know that I hate Quicken.
Of course there is a marketing lesson in this tale. Mass marketing without any quality control can have some very real consequences to a brand. Problems always exist when a company promises one thing in its marketing messages but delivers a totally different user experience? I think it's such a huge problem that we're actually beta testing a possible solution.
I am not a fan of this company. Many people there heard my roar. Someone should have removed me from this smiley face database before this automatic email went out. Before, I was simply done with Quicken and the brand was no better or worse for it. Now, I’m actually an anti-fan who is passing on a negative experience to anyone else interested in hearing about it.