[Really, I’d prefer sticking to writing about good branding and marketing strategies, but Salesforce.com makes it too easy to keep this thread going.]

The saga continues. First, Salesforce.com cannot figure out what my needs and expectations are, even though I’ve expressed them many times before (previous post). Then they cannot follow up properly on their own promises (other previous post; FYI, once I finally chatted with the Radian6 rep I had a phenomenal experience, and I made sure her boss knew).

As you recall, I renewed our Jigsaw (Data.com) subscription. However, you don’t know that once the renewal had kicked in our points were set to zero, meaning we could not access and download data anymore. NOT what should be happening after renewal.

My first step was to reach out to customer service. I filled out the service request form at Jigsaw’s website, and immediately received an auto-response email with my ticket number.

A day passed. Nothing happened.

I responded to the email, copying my account rep and my renewal manager.

A day passed. Nothing happened.

I forwarded the service request auto-response email to customer service at Data.com.

A day passed. Nothing happened.

I called and learned that (a) they are really backed up, and (b) my ticket is not in the system—so it doesn’t really matter how backed up they are because they’ll never get to my issue (?).

I also finally learned through osmosis that the corporate-, training-, and customer service cultures at Salesforce.com are to not give a crap. The person I spoke with did eventually get my issue resolved, but that is beside the point (taking responsibility the first time around is the point).

The lesson for marketers? Customer life-cycle experience is your brand. Else, your best hope for survival is to have a permanent monopoly, this way you have license to deliver crappy customer service round-the-clock.