Thursday, June 18, 2009

This is all your fault

I've probably already used that topic title before since these kinds of issues come up so often, but this time I'm talking about outreach.

The word on the street is that these days, if you don't get your 3 outreach appointments, you're getting written up no matter what. As one commenter pointed out, when CPI makes its reports it says that sits are down because of the bad economy, but on the studio level, they tell you that sits are down because of you. Here are two further comments expounding on the problems:

Anonymous writes:
"I asked what happens if we book 100 appoinments but none of them are for the next week...yup still a write up!"


Anonymous [a different one: you guys have to start choosing names like burntoutmgr did] writes:
"Today on a conference call we were told we have to speak to 10 customers a day during outreach or we get written up. 1st time corrective action 2nd time termination. that means if im alone and booked and only have one hour to outreach 10 people have to pick up the phone and speak to me or im fired? because i control the people at home now too? where is this magical wand im supposed to have to do my job? did it get sent through UPS on my day off? one person asked what if no one answers the phone do we still get written up? the reply was i highly doubt you can call ALL the call lists and not one person answers. i think im gonna go get a job telemarketing. ill make more money and when my schedule says off at 6 ill be actually going home not calling home and saying sorry honey we cant make the movie/dinner/boat ride/5 minutes alone/anniversary/birthday party/BBQ/birth of child/wedding/graduation/too tired to procreate... OH EXCUSE ME LIFE!!! because im chained to my studio. even though i spent all day with no appointments telemarketing myself into depression and someone decides to walk in at 5 effing 55!!!"


And I also hear from another commenter that now some lower volume studios are being tasked with making appointments for larger volume studios: bringing their job title closer and closer to telemarketer.

My main problem with outreach appointments is that a good majority of the time, they wouldn't even show for their appointment: they would just make one to be polite (while I appreciate the appointment, it just makes me look like I'm making fake appointments when so many are no shows).

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why arent you spreading more traffic to this site? Dig.com, diigo.com, delicious.com, etc.
social networking websites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites
Social bookmarking
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_bookmarking

Anonymous said...

They would know if your faking appointments. They can check the phone records and see how long you were on the phone with the party you were speaking to plus when you called. If they care to look in that instance.

Anonymous said...

heres my question. do they really pay someone to check the phone records and call times against ALL the studios to see if we are really faking? or is that yet another scare tactic? with all the blown up conversation about labor are they really going to waste someone on that. how about giving us some breathing room and let that person doing the checking just outreach for that studio that day. train one person in each district to effectivley outreach and they can spend 8 hours on the phone. that way your not begging a customer to book while someone rudely walks up to you and says excuse me can i pick up pictures? when they can plainly see your on a business call. thats lost me quite a few outreach appointments. or how about im spending so much time on the phone that people are trying to call back and actually book and can't because the line is busy so they give up. so its as usual damned if you do damned if you dont. this job is no longer about making a living. i had a closing appt booked today and the lousy extra 10 bucks im getting for the hour i stayed is NOT worth the tongue lashing ill get tomorrow about going over labor. (yet i could get fired for refusing!) im SO fed up

Anonymous said...

They have all records on their billing and whenever they get online with the phone companies servers to check their accounts. You probably have a printout of your cell phone bill. At least mine from AT&T does. For large commercial business it is the same way. For your residential phone you can call them up and get the info as well. The phone companies have to keep that detailed info because of the anti-terrorist stuff.

Anonymous said...

How the hell could they track any calls made from a phone attached to the Sears switchboard? The CPI line I can understand, but caller id doesn't even pick up the Sears line.

Anonymous said...

Just because the caller ID does not show up on your phone at home does not mean the phone company does not know where the call came from, how long it was and the location it terminated at.

Any phone call you make from any phone in the US and elsewhere is tracked. They don't listen to the conversations but the phone companies equipment knows where it came from, when it was made and who it went to. If I get harassing phone calls I can get the phone company to put a trace on every phone call to my phone.

Most businesses don't pay attention or care to watch their phones that religiously but telemarketing companies do. That is what we are part of the time these days.

Remember the phone is not yours it is a creature comfort the company is paying for. That is just like Email with your computer. The company does not watch every single email but it is all stored. so that when they want to put the screws to you they can look them up and see what you have been up to. That is not the only reason emails are store though. That email is not yours it is the companies.

Anonymous said...

I worked there for YEARS, and one time i was told that they could see every time i was talking to another studio on the phone..... So I know they have looked at that stuff years ago I just don't know if they look now!!!

Thank god I was the manager when it was only 10 a week and not 3 a day!!!!

Anonymous said...

Kill me please

Burntoutmgr said...

I am pretty sure this evening I had a mystery caller try to make an appointment at 7:00 pm. They were pretty stuck on 7:00. I didn't offer to change it but I did tell them I am closing the studio if they don't get there at 7:00 p.m. The nerve of that bunch. Needless to say they didn't show up for their pictures.

Anonymous said...

i agree with kill me please and add a burn in hell CPI

Anonymous said...

My final quitting straw was when I got yelled at by a customer because we called her 5 times in a week. She said "If I want to make an appointment, I will...Now quit calling me"

I was done.

I quietly emailed my Dm and said I was no longer a photographer..I was a telemarketer. Fun is gone..nice knowing ya.

I quit.

Anonymous said...

Well I wonder what are they going to do when all of their good people are gone and maybe if the economy picks up?? They will be very sorry one of these days when they have the bottom of the barrel working at Sears and Walmart.

Anonymous said...

i had been ill for almost 2 weeks. i dont plan on sharing the unhappy details however.... i was scheduled to work alone in a studio open to close (my normal sunday gig). i dragged my sorry self all the way there, walked in on wobbly legs clocked in and near passed out (among other things.) i was TERRIFIED to not stay. there was no one else to cover and it's fathers day. i had a panic attack and my mind was whirly trying to figure out what to do. no one was answering their phone ( and i couldnt blame them in the least either) i finally picked myself up and explained to the store manager that i had to go i wasnt safe around children not knowing what was wrong. i went straight to the hospital. turns out i had a bad viral infection and was severly dehydrated. now i went through the long drawn out explanation to come to the point of....why do i have to feel guilty for being sick? especially in the germ fested environment we work in? my blod pressure was sky high when they checked it. now i put a lot of that pressure on myself but still. you feel obligated because we've all been in the situation when we have a planned day off and someone calls you and says im sick i can't work. and you have to dissappoint whoever and drag in (and curse your fellow employee the whole way) you dont really want to be the one to do it to someone else. and when there is NOONE to cover you have to pull your hair out wondering if you'll get in trouble for not covering your shift even from a hospital bed. when did we stop living life and begin making a living? (and a sparse one at that) what do you do really? i know i can't sleep at night anymore. i only dream about working. i hear shrill 2 year old screams in my daydreams. i shudder at crying kids in the diner. i need something more positive in my life. does anyone have positive for me? oh i know this should be posted under "how dare you go to the hospital" but oh well

Anonymous said...

i really hope you have realized that your health is far more important than CPI's bottom line. I hate that you had to feel guilty and scared for feeling bad in the first place. If your DM would have said anything to you, or if they do, turn around and tell Tammy Christiansen in HO. Her job is to protect CPI from lawsuits and such, but it will be documented so nothing negative can happen to you. I really hope you get well on your own time and can find a way to place your loyalty where it is deserved.

Anonymous said...

3 calls a day....how about 10 calls per shift, per employee! Are you freakin' kidding me?

Anonymous said...

OUr most recent e-mail about outreach........

Team,
You must hit 3 appointments per day outreach. The company is coming down hard on this. All associates/managers must make 10 calls per shift. If they don't. It will result in finall/termination. You must average 3 a day.
Thank You!



Yea, because its not like we are on SINGLE coverage 99% of the time and running around like idiots already. When are we supposed to do this?! I guess while we are enhancing and ringing out.

Anonymous said...

The work experience at SPS has slid progressively down hill. Constant and evolving threats rule the day now. Our shifts now start with the daily threat reminder, detailing what we have to accomplish not to be fired. This week, and probably for some time to come, outreach will be the primary topic.

At some point, after combing through the customer contact lists multiple times by multiple associates and managers, it will become extremely difficult, if not impossible, to book 3 appointments per day. Also, at some point, repeated, and in many cases, unwanted re-calls to customers will result in alienation. Do we want to drive a bunch of our customers to the competition for short-term number gains? I refuse to do business with companies that hound me repeatedly via outreach. I'm sure others feel the same. And, yes, there will be problems for over-booked, single-coverage associates/managers. Will we drop our customer service yet another notch so they can do outreach while neglecting the customer?

I wish some of those in the high command could spend some time on the front lines to see what's actually going on. But, then again, that probably wouldn't matter, because they clearly don't give a s___ about their field personnel. Numbers will rule and, as usual, the numbers guys will divine initiative successes from their soulless metrics.

In many ways, the latest corporate policies remind me of the desperate actions in losing military battles, where large numbers were spent as pawns in a final and futile battle. However, unlike those battles, CPI may very well prevail. The benefit to the troops: a job--if you can call it that.

Anonymous said...

i now have many customers say "no wrong number" when i ask for the person on the list. even if they are regulars and KNOW it's them. they just don't want the calls. at least 10 % of my calls tell me they wont come back because i called them too many times. if it was so important i should have left a message. another customer outreach backfired. i called her in she came in and bitched because she didnt like her daughter's dress. (as if i chose the fod awful dress) then took her offered free sheet and left. then called back and bitched for a resit which i of course booked. then she called corporate and bitched about something completely off base and they gave her more free stuff so besides her free sheet she got 6 more and a new sit and got to keep the old ones and then had the nerve to say "well you guys are hurting for business you called me" well we are hurting more because in total of phone calls lab work complaints and studio work you've wasted 12 hours of labor and didnt spend a dime. and have more merchandise than we offered to show for it. wake up home office you are driving customers out not in. oh and the teddy bear search? get on the intercom and say "help help theres a lost teddy bear that belongs to the portrait studio" caused a small panic in the store because parents heard key words help lost and portrait studio and assumed it was a child and spread the word. i had people call and cancel because they heard through the grapevine thought we were irresponsible and canceled.