Yahoo! Search Marketing: Dropping The Ball

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Yahoo! Search Marketing: Dropping The BallAfter speaking with several of my colleagues this morning about our recent displeasure with the Yahoo! Search Marketing platform and specifically with their lack in customer service, I feel the need to vent my frustration through blogging. Yahoo!, without a doubt, has "dropped the ball" in their recent customer service efforts.

Yahoo! Search Marketing: Dropping The Ball

After speaking with several of my colleagues this morning about our recent displeasure with the Yahoo! Search Marketing platform and specifically with their lack in customer service, I feel the need to vent my frustration through blogging. If you're new to my blog, please know that this is very uncharacteristic of what I normally publish. However, I am hoping that by making my grievances public, that I will have provided a platform for others to air their frustrations as well. Maybe some good will come from all of this bantering. If nothing else, maybe I'll feel better.

Yahoo!, without a doubt, has "dropped the ball" in their recent customer service efforts. I wish I could place blame on a single employee who was rude or unhelpful. However, that would mean having had an actual conversation or correspondence with a Yahoo! employee. Instead, our problem stems from the fact that no matter how hard we try or which contact channels we choose, we're unable to even get a response from our supposedly "always available to help" Yahoo! representatives.

It wasn't that long ago that our company had a great account representative with Yahoo!. He was polite, knowledgeable, and fast on his feet when handling our requests. Just recently, Yahoo! had pulled our rep and replaced him with the "Yahoo! Search Marketing Gold Team" - a team of individuals who'd be able to do the same tasks as our one rep. Originally, I was pleased by this switch. The idea that many hands were better than 2 hands crossed my mind and gave me a false sense of security. I thought we'd be well cared for. I was wrong. When we're lucky enough to get in contact with a Gold Team rep, we find that they are not on the same page with one another, nor do they have means for solving our issues.

In addition, we were also assigned a district Representative who isn't much help either. This person never answers the phone, never replies to our emails, and never checks in with us. If we're lucky enough to track her down, say at a conference, she begins to put on a huge front like she actually gives a damn. She'll listen, take notes in her notebook, and assures us that our issues will be addressed immediately. When the conference ends, we find that our problems were never addressed, that we can't get in touch with her, and that we're back to square one. It literally is the ultimate run-a-round.

It's mind boggling to think that in order for my company to speak with their local Chicago rep, we have to purchase a plane ticket to San Jose, purchase an SES conference pass, attend the conference and hunt her down in the exhibit hall. I ask you Yahoo!, is this the kind of customer service you intended to provide?

I'll leave you with this. Yahoo!, I am well aware that you are a major player in the search world, but if you're seriously having a problem with earning our 7-figure yearly budget than I must say your priorities are a bit off. I know of several up-and-coming paid-search providers that would gladly answer their phones for a portion of what we currently spend with you. All were asking for is a little customer service.

My advice to you is simple; don't get too comfortable sitting on your thrown. Understand that it was companies like ours that helped you to build your 'kingdom', and know that it will be companies like ours that help you to keep it. It's in your best interest to take care of those who ultimately take care of you, wouldn't you agree?


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  1. Karl -

    Thank god someone finally said it. I swear the minute they changed their name from Overture to Yahoo everything went downhill. I'm a PPC account manager, and I have had nothing but headaches working with them lately, and truthfully it's really not worth it when you look at the conversion rates. I have compiled my complaints into my top 10 reasons I hate Yahoo! Search Marketing.

    10. We paid $50.00 to become a "Yahoo! Search Marketing Ambassador" - which got us nothing

    9. Yahoo! - Seriously, what's with the exclamation point, your company isn't that exciting.

    8. Who searches Yahoo anymore? Everyone "Googles it", they even have a hip word for search.

    7. After my rant at the SES show in December I still haven't had any follow up, and of course service hasn't improved.

    6. Every other weekend the system is down for "maintenance".

    5. I have to make several phone calls before I can get someone that knows what I'm talking about, or is able to help me.

    4. It's pretty bad when it takes 6 weeks to change the URL's for a clients ads.

    3. I know more than the reps.

    2. I complain to my district rep (via voicemail as she has yet to answer the phone) and never hear back.

    1. All I can say is I can't wait for MSN to get their PPC program out of BETA so they can blow Yahoo right outta the water!
    By Anonymous Anonymous on February 17, 2006
  2. I love it when a plan comes together.

    Perhaps if other companies step forward with their thoughts on YSM services, you can get them all together and present them it to them via email or on your next trip there. Try and get them to realize they are in need of some serious over-hauling with their "Gold Team".

    Anti-Yahoolians unite!
    By Anonymous Anonymous on February 17, 2006
    By Blogger iamdubz on February 17, 2006
  4. Thanks for the comments guys!

    Nicole, I can total agree with you. As weird as it may sounds, Yahoo! PPC went downhill immediately after changing their name from Overture to Yahoo! Search Marketing. To me it seems as though Yahoo! has all of these new ideas, but very few actually seem to work in benefiting the user's experience. Definitely not a good thing when the competition is as heated as it is in the PPC industry. By the way... I love your top 10 reasons for hating YSM. My favorite is #9.

    Jessica, I think I found some other "Anti-Yahoolians" who are uniting over at the Search Engine Watch forum. Check out Yahoo! Finally Changes DTC to Enhance User Experience - NOT!. I recently posted in this thread to inform their readers that we too are not satisfied with YSM. Maybe representatives from Yahoo! will come around to finding my post and your comments and possibly address some of them. I'm not going to hold my breath though!

    In the words of the great "iamdubz"... EAT IT YAHOO!
    By Blogger Unknown on February 21, 2006

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