The Greatest Marketing Tool Ever!
No, I am not going to unveil a new great and wonderful technology, website, or other marketing silver bullet that will rocket your company into super stardom.
I am talking about great customer service. It seems obvious to say that. Everyone knows that great customer service is a proven method to grow your business, but from what I’ve seen, many companies have forgotten it. If they haven’t forgotten it, at minimum they’re missing the opportunity to enable the voices of their own happy customers to grow their business.
Everyone has their own horror story about customer service and everyone has their own story of great customer service. As marketers, we need to remember that these stories are being told every day to prospective customers and clients. And now – social media has amplified these conversations!
Customer service has the power to cut both ways. That bad story has the power to send new prospects and existing customers to your competitors. That great story may bring new customers and increased sales. It’s your job to improve customer service to silence the bad, and provide a bullhorn to amplify the good!
So how do we make sure that the story is being told? Lately, I’ve seen some inexpensive, practical ways of making sure that the story gets told. One company I know of is allowing customers to write and post their stories on the company’s blog and sharing them with anyone willing to read.
Some companies have started client networks on the Ning platform. They’re using these networks as a knowledge base, forum, help desk and testimonial site all in one. It’s a great way aggregate the customer experience and paint the true story of your company’s great customer service.
So what are you doing to make sure that your prospects hear about your great customer service?
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I believe the elephant in the room with any technology discussion is always going to be to not forget about the people that you want to use your technology. If you forget about the people then all of the great technology in the world cannot make your idea profitable or beneficial.
Julie, Thanks! I agree, technology is only as good as the person using it.
This can't be said enough. And yet companies *still* don't seem to get it. This is something we are starting to talk about more on our blog, and we're going to be digging deeper on how exactly companies can go from social media marketing to social media customer service, but I still think the first step is just reminding companies that customer service is the best marketing tool out there.
Well said Adam. The wheel is not being reinvented, it's just being molded to make it easier to move. –Paul
Customer service is one of those things that is always under appreciated and over valued. But yet i'd like to see them flip-flopped. Having a positive customer service reputation gives companies leeway when they slip. But they've earned that latitude.
Some companies seem remiss over customer service because they have no direct control. However you are correct in saying that it is the greatest marketing tool ever, especially when you factor in the coveted word-of-mouth.
Although it seems like it should be obvious that you should have good customer service, it apparently is not, judging by how few companies really have good service.
Tom – Eye Associates