One of Your Best Marketing Tools—Great Customer Service

I never really thought this should be a revelation to companies in business. It seems like such a no-brainer to me. But apparently this is a concept that many companies are not familiar with.

Customer Service is very important.

Specifically, good customer service is very important.

Better yet, great customer service is very important.


That’s it. I can, in theory, end my blog post right here.

The reason I find it surprising is that I have had a string of extremely poor customer service recently. And with poor customer service comes much frustration. I found myself thinking about the companies who are providing this poor customer service and I truly have had such a frustrating experience with them, I will now do everything I possibly can to avoid the pain of dealing with them.

So…what does that mean?

It means, if they have a competitor, I will purchase their competitor’s product instead of their product. It really is that simple. I truly cannot afford to waste the number of hours I have wasted trying to get help from these companies. If I feel this way, I am quite sure that others feel this way too. When the purchasing public makes their purchase decisions, many factors go into the decision and customer service is one of those factors.

This is why Great Customer Service should be one element of any organization’s overall marketing strategy and plan. Like other elements of an overall marketing plan, customer service should be included. The level of customer service you provide to your current customers can affect the “free” word-of-mouth advertising your company receives from your current customers.

When you sit down and plan your marketing strategy, I imagine you are looking at the following things:

  • Your brand—what activities can you do to enhance and improve your brand and what people (customers and those who are not yet customers) think and are saying about your brand?
  • Your sales—what activities can you do to increase your current sales?
  • Your communications—what are the best forms of communications, internal and external, that will aid your sales team and your company in getting your message and brand out to potential and current customers? Is it a brochure, your website, a blog, an email campaign or some form of social media?
  • Your customers—what activities can attract new customers, retain current customers and bring back previous customers who no longer do business with you?

When I look at these 4 points above, I think about how much effort Marketing Managers put into the initiatives necessary to:

  • Build a reputable brand
  • Increase sales
  • Provide and make available valuable content and information to customers, employees and the general purchasing public
  • Acquire customers (and, by extension, retain and win back customers)

To be successful in any of these initiatives, the effort that must go into the marketing activities to accomplish the goals of the company is tremendous.

The way in which you treat your customers should be at the top of your priority list. It can make you stand-out from the rest in a crowded marketplace.

Continuous poor customer service will make all your other marketing efforts useless and for naught. Poor customer service can and will destroy a good and reputable brand.

What good is a beautiful website or a dazzling brochure if your customer has a frustration customer service experience and cannot get help for a problem he is having with your product or service?

What’s the point of a great loyalty program if the customer can’t use your product or service because of poor customer service? The rewards that a customer may receive in a loyalty program will be trumped by the bad feelings they will have about poor treatment they receive from your company.

Start with understanding your brand and what it stands for. Be sure great customer service is a very important element of what your brand stands for. You will stand out from your competitors and you will gain a loyal customer base as a result.

Remember, the best communication you can provide is not a brochure or a website. It is a memorable customer service experience. Make it a good one.

And don’t forget about it when you plan your marketing strategy. Make it an important initiative.

Advertisements

About Anna Brice, Pinnacle Peak Marketing

I am an Independent Marketing Services Provider and Principal of Pinnacle Peak Marketing. Pinnacle Peak Marketing provides companies, small and large, the opportunity to utilize a reliable outsource marketing resource and take advantage of the flexibility of the full menu of marketing services we provide. Clients can pick and choose the precise services they require and only contract for those specific services. This is what I refer to as On-Demand Marketing Services. Our work includes long and short-term projects or can be done on an hourly, retainer or project-by-project basis. I am a marketing professional with 13 years experience in the travel industry and 11 years in marketing. My past experience includes marketing management roles at Sony Electronics, Fujifilm and GoDaddy.com. I have worked in every level of marketing and the experience at each level has served me well. I continue to learn and in marketing today, the changes are so swift and dramatic, that one must continue to learn in order to survive and thrive. I work with a group of professionals and we work together and separately and are able to provide a wealth of knowledge and resources as a combined group. My husband, Ed and I also have two vacation rentals in Scottsdale and one vacation rental home in Edgartown- Katama in Martha’s Vineyard. We rent these properties through our company, BREO Vacation Rentals (www.breovacationrentals.com). It is great fun and we have been very lucky with great renters. We have had only one bad experience, so we really can’t complain. We have been very lucky to get many repeat renters (all of our properties now have had repeat renters), so we feel like we must be doing something right. We do try hard, that’s for sure. I am never far from marketing, between Pinnacle Peak Marketing and BREO Vacation Rentals. I enjoy it, love it and have a goal to help companies grow; connect those companies with their customers and their customers to them.
This entry was posted in Branding, Marketing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to One of Your Best Marketing Tools—Great Customer Service

  1. cindy kim says:

    Great blog post. It’s amazing to me how some companies just don’t get it. There has been a major shift with the introduction of social media – the way we listen to customers and engage with them. What companies must embrace is the new shift – and unless they can respond in real time they risk bad publicity that can spread like wildfire. We now have the tools (that we didn’t before) to really listen what people are saying about our brand. Unless they listen and monitor, they’re missing out on some great opportunities to spread positive word of mouth. They should take a lesson or two from companies that are doing it right. Thanks for the post.

    Twitter: http://twitter.com/cindykimpr
    The Marketing Journalist Blog: http://cindykimblog.wordpress.com
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/myprofile?trk=hb_side_pro
    Co-founder of Linked WOW 3.0 Group: http://bit.ly/womenofweb

    • Thank you Cindy. As example of how much some companies don’t seem to put an emphasis on good customer service, my latest bad experience was with AT&T and my email service. I spoke with NINE customer service or tech reps and person #9 was the one who finally was able to help me. I wasted a total of 2 1/2 hours of being transferred EIGHT times before I finally got someone who could help me. Now, I think having to speak with NINE people is absolutely ridiculous. I even said to some of these reps–You are now the 4th person I have spoken to and been transferred to…you are now the 5th….you are now the 6th etc. If I was the person who received a call and the person on the other end of the phone said that I was the 4th person they were speaking to, I would take ownership of that call and make sure this person got help. I am guessing they are not allowed to go “above and beyond” and are not empowered by their management to do so. At the very least each and every one of those reps should have put me on hold and spoke to their supervisor. The handling of this matter says a lot of their brand and what it stands for.

  2. Trelly Ong says:

    The article is so interesting. I run a small business doing clothing alteration in our neighborhood. I have made it a point to do a good job. I put myself into my customer’s shoes, when they give me a piece for alteration, I sew it to the best I could. I do my own QC check after the piece is done. When I see a crooked stitch or uneven stiches, I gaze at it closely and whenever I don’t feel satisfied,( thinking of it as my own piece) I will undo all the stitches and try to improve it! This way, I get many repeat customers and by word of mouth, they refer me to their friends. It can be tiring to undo the work I’ve done but when I see the delight on my customer’s faces, it becomes all worth it! When they utter the remarks like ” Oh perfect!” , it makes it my day! One time, I was given a pair of Cricket pants to shorten the length, he gave it to me on a Thursday night and needed them for the game on Saturday that week. It was a new pair but was too long. I strived to get exactly the very same thread so it would look nice. To my surprise, when I gave it back to him , he paid me double the service charge we agreed earlier! Isn’t that wonderful? This is what I believe in , do good to your customers, put yourself into their shoes and you will be appreciated and even rewarded for your extra efforts! Just sharing.

    • Trelly,

      Thank you for your comments. I was shaking my head “yes” as I was reading through your comments. I cannot stress enough, how important I think customer service is. And there is no better marketing that could be done than positive comments by a happy and satisified customer. It’s authentic. It’s real. It says so much about your brand and you, as a marketer, do not have to create positive things to say because real, positive comments have been created for you by your happy customer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s