Kings Island Voicemail

Friday, June 29, 2007 12:52 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Gemini said:
How many companies have you given your phone to over the last year? You're OK with any of them calling you with a pre-recorded sales pitch?

Yes. Because if I've given them my phone number, I'm either doing business or considering doing business with them.

Pretty much all of my friends and family have my phone number as well. I don't find it too much of a hassle when they call to tell me crap I don't care about either.

What about snail mail? Every park I've ever given my address to for any reason has sent me something somewhere down the line. I look at it and either take advantage of the information they provided or I'm not interested and throw it out - just like I would an email or voicemail.

I honestly don't see much of a difference between an email, phone call or snail mail outside of the delivery method.


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Friday, June 29, 2007 12:58 PM
Gemini's avatar

Jeff said:
I'm pretty sure that's not me subscribing to any lists.

I should have been more clear. When I said "most companies," I meant "most companies that you do business with." Even with an established relationship, companies will still usually seek your permission and give you the ability to opt out. I wasn't even considering all the e-mails from unknown companies that flood inboxes on a daily basis, or from companies with whom you have no previous relationship.

*** Edited 6/29/2007 4:59:38 PM UTC by Gemini***


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

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Friday, June 29, 2007 1:01 PM
Exactly.

I know the do-not-call law. I know that if I give a company my number they can call me, so if I don't want someone to call me I don't give my number.

I don't see the difference between a phone call a snail mailed ad or an email, either. If I want to listen to the message, I'll play it. If I don't, just tap the DELETE button.

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Friday, June 29, 2007 1:05 PM
Level of intrusiveness.

Snail mail gets delivered once a day. It doesn't intrude; it waits for me to pick it up.

Email comes more often, but waits for me to pick it up.

Neither are instant forms of communication.

The telephone is intrusive. Like the doorbell, a ringing telephone is an indicator that someone wishes to have real-time communication with me.

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Friday, June 29, 2007 1:30 PM
Gemini's avatar An e-mail doesn't pull you away from what you're doing at that moment to deal with it. A phone call is answered when it rings. At the very least, you check the caller ID or screen the call. There isn't a loud, ringing noise throughout the house when I get an e-mail.

That's not to mention the difference in the level of communication. If I drop you an e-mail to see how you're doing, that's one thing. If I call you on the phone, though, that's a more personal connection. There is a difference. If you give a company your address, are you OK with them dropping by in person to let you know about their latest offer?

And how many of you fast-forward through commercials when using your DVR? But you'll happily accept a recorded commercial through a phone call?

I also wonder if there wouldn't be a least a little less acceptance if we weren't talking about an amusement park.


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

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Friday, June 29, 2007 2:02 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar You guys make a home telephone seem like such an inconvenience to your life.

If you put something intrusive that creates a loud, ringing noise throughout your house that is accessible & activated by anyone with a similar device who punches in the right series of numbers and then give that series of numbers to people - then whose fault is it really?

My home phone is neither intrusive nor does it create a loud, ringing noise throughout my house. Perhaps you guys are using yours incorrectly. ;)


Walt said:
If you give a company your address, are you OK with them dropping by in person to let you know about their latest offer?

And how many of you fast-forward through commercials when using your DVR? But you'll happily accept a recorded commercial through a phone call?

I also wonder if there wouldn't be a least a little less acceptance if we weren't talking about an amusement park.


Not an amusement park specifically, but based on the level of interest.

I'd be totally ok with someone stopping by with an offer I was glad to hear about or interested in.

I do stop the DVR on commercials that are of interest to me.

I was totally cool with Kings Island letting me know of their holiday activities.


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Friday, June 29, 2007 2:08 PM
I don't even keep the ringer on my phone on. There's just a quiet beep when the voicemail picks it up, then the message being left plays quietly on the speaker.

If I care about it, I'll listen to it if I hear it then or later on when I check it. If not, delete.

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Friday, June 29, 2007 3:22 PM
Gemini's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
If you put something intrusive that creates a loud, ringing noise throughout your house that is accessible & activated by anyone with a similar device who punches in the right series of numbers and then give that series of numbers to people - then whose fault is it really?

Let's stay on target here. The point was the difference between the phone and e-mail. I never said I hated the ringer or anything to do with that particular form of communication. I was attempting to explain how e-mail and phone calls are indeed different, and trying not to assume that it didn't need to be explained. BogeyMon did a much better job of that than I did.

The acceptance level of this technique would no doubt plummet if it was a call from your credit card company with a pre-recorded message offering you their credit card protection insurance. Since it's from Kings Island, though, it's more local, more personal. But being OK with a telemarketing call from an amusement park is not the same as being OK the overall practice of telemarketing from any company that you've ever given your phone number to.

If it's something you're interested in, then it doesn't matter whether the message is from a company you know, or completely unsolicited. It could be a random cold call, and that's OK if they have something worthwhile to say. But most people don't feel that way. As many public opinion polls have shown, the vast majority of Americans would prefer not to be called. While I understand the no-call list doesn't apply in all cases, I don't think people on that list care if the call is from a known company or not. To many consumers, a telemarketing call is a telemarketing call, whether they've ever done business with that company before or not. Just because the law allows exceptions, doesn't mean consumers do.

Kings Island might be able to make the assumption that calling season passholders, who are more enthusiastic than the typical park guest, will work out for them, but the overall argument doesn't change.

This page is used for Cedar Point's ticket giveaway. In addition to other data, the online form asks for daytime and evening phone numbers, as well as an e-mail address. Below, the park asks for permission to add you to their e-mail list. It's reasonable to assume that providing a phone number gives them a way to contact you if you're a winner. But, if by giving a phone number, you're really implying that you'd like to receive telemarketing calls, why do they ask for permission for the e-mail newsletter?

*** Edited 6/29/2007 7:25:30 PM UTC by Gemini***


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

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Friday, June 29, 2007 3:47 PM
rollergator's avatar I've been on the National DNC registry for quite awhile...works great, mostly. Now if I could just get BellSouth to *forget* we have a prior business relationship... ;)
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Friday, June 29, 2007 4:00 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

But, if by giving a phone number, you're really implying that you'd like to receive telemarketing calls, why do they ask for permission for the e-mail newsletter?

I think that falls under the same 'it's just assumed and doesn't need to be explained' thing.

That's just the way it is. Most reputable companies - or ones trying to seem legit - do the opt-in/opt-out thing with email. It's just the way things have developed. (and there might be laws at play too - I don't know and don't really care)

Like pkidelirium is saying, I have my life set up in a way that makes unwanted calls/messages every bit as unobtrusive as unwanted email.

With email (and many people have some sort of notification set to alert them to new messages which they then attend to) you have to see who the mail is from, decide whether or not to look at it, then either look & delete or just delete - however you handle email.

With the phone, I look to see who the call or message is from, decide whether to answer/listen or not, then listen & delete or ignore - however you handle calls/messages.

Seems awfully similar to me and takes about the same effort and time.

I treat my phone much like Donald (pkidelirium) and I even said in the original post that I never answer the phone...that's not a lie. In fact, I passed this along at 6:26pm yesterday. Just checked the caller ID and the call came at 11:27am.

A little before 6:30 I got around to checking messages (not unlike email), with the push of a button deleted ones that didn't matter in an instant (not unlike email), listened to the ones that mattered (just like email) and in this case even passed the message along to others who I felt might be interested (exactly like email) - and I did it all on my time.

The same system works on my cell too.

I just can't see where this affected me in any more of a way than an email would have. (I do understand everyone might not treat the telephone the same way, but that's akin to someone not too savvy with email - like trying to explain to my Grandmother why she shouldn't give the Prince of Narobi her bank account numbers ;) - I'm sorry people haven't adapted their phone use habits to the changing times)

Come to think of it, I just checked and I did get the exact same information via email on Wednesday the 27th at 4:52pm and disposed of it in an equally convenient and simple fashion.

The difference is, I barely glanced at the email. I listened to all 60 seconds of the voicemail.

I stand by my declaration of brilliance.

(That's what we're debating, right? Whether this is a good thing or not.)


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Friday, June 29, 2007 4:11 PM
It's brilliant for the customers who like being contacted this way. It's idiocy for the customers it aggravates.

From now on, I'll put Gonch's and Donald's phone numbers on all the forms I fill out. :)

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Friday, June 29, 2007 4:23 PM
Gemini's avatar The fact that most Americans view the phone differently than they do their e-mail doesn't mean they're all behind the times. Again, as BogeyMon said, most people who use the phone are looking for real-time communication. It's not just another messaging system.

Your acceptance and approval of telemarketing calls puts you in the minority, and there's nothing wrong with that opinion. I can understand how you would feel that way and your points are valid because it works for you. But, keeping in mind the point of this discussion, the vast majority of Americans don't want telemarketing calls. I fail to see how doing something most people don't want is brilliant.

Even if I thought it was a good idea, I think brilliant is a pretty strong word. It's not revolutionary or new, but rather an established marketing technique. Telemarketing is like junk e-mail. Most people hate it, but there's enough of a payoff for businesses to keep doing it.

Kings Island may come out OK in this case, but I think they're walking a fine line.

(I wonder if rollergator thinks BellSouth is brilliant. :) )


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

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Friday, June 29, 2007 4:24 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I still don't think so.

If you have a KI pass and you completely HATE the fact that you got this call - are you never doing business there again? Will you never visit Kings Island? Will you now decide not to buy a 2008 pass because of this call?

My guess is that they lose absolutely no business over this and most likely gain some by making passholders aware of upcoming seasonal events.

Still not sure how it's much different than an email except for the opt-out. Perhaps an extra 5 seconds at the end of the message listing a number to be called if you don't wish to receive these messages in the future?

EDIT (Walt slipped one in on me) - I use brilliant for the very reason you describe, Walt. It's been around forever and not a single park that I know of (and no one is chipping in otherwise) has done this - even though it's pathetically obvious. Seems pretty friggin' brilliant to me to use the info you have on your customer base to find another way to remind them about you.

*** Edited 6/29/2007 8:28:28 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***


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Friday, June 29, 2007 4:45 PM
Gemini's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
My guess is that they lose absolutely no business over this and most likely gain some by making passholders aware of upcoming seasonal events.

Oh, I agree. Like I said, most people hate it, but there's enough of a payoff for businesses to keep doing it. Most don't hate it enough to vote with their wallets. But, there's a fine line here. Taking advantage of passive acceptance won't work forever.

*** Edited 6/29/2007 8:46:22 PM UTC by Gemini***


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

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Friday, June 29, 2007 5:19 PM
Now, why the idea may be brilliant, but this particular application of the idea wasn't.

Short of interviewing a statistically significant proportion of guests at the gate, there is no way to know if this marketing tool worked.

You can't compare numbers to the prior week. Oranges and apples with the holiday and the special events.

You can compare attendance from this period in prior years, but that leaves a lot of uncertainty how much of an increase is due to the phone calls, and how much is because of the special events that are different from prior years.

Running a campaign like this in two more equivalent weeks, like the weeks following next, would give better feedback about the effectiveness of the calls.

Putting money into a marketing campaign without having a valid tool to measure its result is not a good business practice.

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Friday, June 29, 2007 11:36 PM
I was very happy with the call. I didn't know that they were offering discounted admission later in the day. Since I know that, we'll be sure to take a trip and bring my grandpa, since he doesn't have a pass.
ALSO. The recording said the fireworks were only going to be on the third, right? Well, on the 4th of July I would've walked ALL THE WAY up the block to watch the fireworks, and there wouldn't be any extraordinary ones. ;) I expect there will be some mad people who make a trip to the park on the 4th expecting huge fireworks, but none come.
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Saturday, June 30, 2007 1:19 PM
As long as she wouldn't be asking me for her vote, I'd be cool with it:) In the last election in the Baltimore area, there were so many candidates using robotic vote-for-me messages that people were seriously saying that they'd vote for anyone not using one.
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