Technical Difficulties rebranded as Opportunity

Yesterday I ran a teleseminar on 4 Ways for the Introvert to Overcome Fears of Public Speaking.
I chose to have the session recorded, thinking I could use a link to it for marketing purposes. Then when several interested callers told me they couldn’t attend that day and wanted access to the recorded session, it made sense to send out that access right afterwards.

I had a very busy day yesterday and should have realized I would run into difficulties since I had never experienced running a teleseminar before. Murphy’s Law – when something Can go wrong, it Will, especially when it involves technology.

I ran the teleseminar, handled the questions, then after my closing, I hung up. Immediately I started the email for all the registrants then put that on hold while I went to the conference call account to access the recording to insert into the email. The clock was ticking. I had only 20 minutes to complete and send that email message, eat lunch, get directions to my next client location and then drive away.

When I saw my recording wasn’t yet showing up on the account, I panicked. Oh no. When will I have the chance in my day to finish this email if I don’t do it now? Finally after refreshing the page a few times, the recording showed up. I wanted to listen to it prior to attaching it in my email, but I hit Play 4 times and nothing happened. Immediately I thought I did something wrong during the seminar when activitating the recording feature. Yet, it showed up in my account, so I persisted in clicking on the button and even attempting the download. All this failed.

Finally I placed a call to the help desk and learned a way to copy the code for the recording and place that into my email. Remotivated to get my email out, I plugged in the link, hit Save, and saw an error message. Crap. At this point I felt inefficient, felt my customer service rating take a dive and wondered how I was going to fulfill my promises to the registrants.

Now I called the E-marketing company I use, seeking a way to insert the necessary link. They couldn’t help me – only told me it wasn’t possible. Crap. Next I went back to the conference call tool, made a second call to the Help Desk and requested guidance on giving my registrants access to the recording. This time I was referred to a page that demonstrated 2 choices: one for an RSS feed and another for an I-Tunes feed. I selected one, inserted it into my email and sent it off! Finally, I grabbed a bite to eat, found directions to my next appointment and took off.

After spending the afternoon with a client, I saw a registrant response in email to me. Merri, I can’t get your recording link to open, and neither can my IT team.

Oh no! In my haste, I hadn’t tried the link myself. Only wanting to be expedient with my email out, I sent a problem through the E-waves! Once again, after 5pm, I called the conference call Help Desk. Finally, I was given a very NON-technical solution (giving out a number to call and access code) to supply in my email. Re-inspired, I quickly inserted these directions into my email and hit Send.

My email message sent, I decided to call and access the recording. This is when I learned a third necessary piece of information – what I hadn’t supplied. The access is granted once the caller requests a recording number. I hadn’t provided that in my email.

Here is the state of things. I sent out 2 error messages to 42 people. This is not the reputation I wanted. I was ready to ditch my conference call program, seek out a new one with more user-friendly features, and still had a problem to solve: getting the recording out to interested registrants. Help! This time I knew all the right answers. But should I create a third email to send to prospects’ inboxes? Yes. Although it did take me until the next morning to create this plan, and to do so, I needed to wear my humble hat. So here’s what I did.

In the body of the letter, beside all the call-in details, I supplied the following:

I don’t know why, but mistakes happen in 3’s.

For those of you patient and persistent enough to want access to yesterday’s recording, please note the number to call is at the left, new access code, and THEN, the session # to request.

How is your day going?

Speak with confidence, even when with humility (as how I feel right now for invading your inbox so frequently!).

Then I simply signed my name. I knew I did what I thought was best. Apologize, use a sense of humor and let it be. Hopefully my recipients saw a human side to me they can relate to. Great opportunity.


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On October 27th, 2011, posted in: Uncategorized by