I’m astounded at the number of companies who are tone-deaf today. Case in point, after an egregious email by a sales rep at Avaya, we were astounded that all efforts to reach a responsible party fell on deaf ears. Despite weeks of trying, no one ever responded.

I would NEVER buy an Avaya product – period. And I’ve also told that to the 67,000 readers of my blog. And my 4,000+ Twitter followers too.

It’s not just me. Here’s a comment on my blog:

I have three similar examples from unresponsive companies listed as leaders in a Forrester Wave report on email marketing that did not bother to follow up on email and messages I left on their webforms.

In one of those three cases, I managed to get in touch with a sales guy who redirected my request to his colleague in charge of my geographic area. After explaining what I was looking for and a partial response by email, nothing. No sign of intelligent life. So much for “lead generation“.

Listening is critical today. Blogs, social media, etc. – bad news travels fast. Remember the “united breaks guitars” video? Get control of the story before it controls you.

Here’s what companies need to do:

  1. Respond quickly to incoming messages. Put someone in charge of that.
  2. Follow discussion on social media. Use tools like Radian6 to track mentions.
  3. Listen and respond quickly.

Avaya gets an F. What grade do you get?