Sunday, August 05, 2007

Weekly World News Stops the Presses

First Call Center Magazine, now the Weekly World News! What will be the next precious news source to permanently stop the presses? And at what cost to our freedom?

According to the reputable news service Reuters, the 28-year-old Weekly World News tabloid will no longer offer its disreputable brand of conspiracy theories, curiosities and superstition in print.

Fortunately, "The World's Only Reliable Newspaper" will live on in electronic form on the Web, so we can continue to read the rantings of Ed Anger's My America column and tap into the primate wisdom of Sammy the Chatting Chimp.

I don't want to dwell too long on the end of the Weekly World News as a supermarket impulse purchase, so in celebration of the tabloid's best columns, here's a list of the most recent ways in which opinion columnist Ed Anger was angry:
I’m madder than kids stuck in summer school
I’m madder than a tea-drinker named Joe
I’m madder than a smoker on a submarine
I’m angrier than a beaver in the desert
I’m madder than a porcupine stuck in a thorn bush
And here, for those of you out there who wonder about Sammy's qualifications as an advice columnist, is his story in brief:
"After leaving the circus to make a better life for himself, Sammy the Chatting Chimp started his own exotic pet business and made a fortune. Now he wants to share the many facts and secrets he's learned, not only about business, but life in general."
Finally, to bring this all back to Call Center Magazine, that beleaguered trade magazine of the customer service industry no longer in print and now known as ICMI's CMI, or, The International Customer Management Institute's Customer Management Insight, here's Sammy's advice for telemarketers about keeping potential customers on the line:
First, you should accept the fact that most people will hang up on you whatever you do. Sales, or telemarketing, is a numbers game. It's wading through as many people as possible until you find the ones that stick. However, in my opinion there're a few things that telemarketers do that turn people off. First, they call during dinner. That encourages a hang up. Second, they mass dial, which causes a telltale delay between pick-up and the time they come on. Finally, they're too robotic and formal. They say things like "Hello, is this Sammy the Chatting Chimp? Well, my name is such and such, and I'm calling on behalf of such and such.' Because the telemarketer is so insincere and scripted, the person feels at ease with blowing them off. However, if you call up like you already know the person, you'll get a very different reaction. Start off with something like 'Hey, Sammy? Hi, this is Dave Gibson!' That opening will intrigue the person you've called, because they’ll wonder if they actually do know you. Then, when they realize why you're actually calling, they may perceive you more as a human being to be respected, rather than a phony telemarketer. However, keep this in mind: many people have signed up with do-not-call registries. Don’t use any of those numbers. Heavy fines may result; you sure as heck aren’t going to get any business there and you should honor a person’s wishes not to be disturbed.

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