Customer Service Is the New Marketing
Traditional marketing was used to get customers “in the door.” But today’s marketing keeps customers coming back. It’s more than a marketing message. It’s a marketing experience.
More and more, the case for customer service and experience is being closely linked, if not actually one in the same, with marketing becomes stronger. The marketing department has always been responsible for delivering a message or brand promise that makes customers want to do business with you. At one time marketing was all about the product. In some cases, it still is. However, the smart companies are recognizing that what they sell is a commodity; in that most of the time their customers can find the exact product, or something very similar, at another business or website. The smart companies market more than the product. They market the benefit of buying that product from them. And, the benefit that is commonly used is the promise of customer service and an amazing experience.
Think about the advertising on TV, radio, print and online that touts various customer service awards, such as JD Power. These companies want you to know they deliver value beyond the product. That is what they do to de-commoditize themselves from their competition.
The “New Marketing” continues long after customers hear or see the original message. It happens throughout the entire customer journey, and when the customer comes back, it repeats itself. The new way of marketing is to be so good throughout the customer’s journey – at every interaction or touch-point – that the customer not only wants to come back, but also evangelizes on behalf of the company. Hence, the term, word-of-mouth marketing. The perfect situation is when the customer tells their friends, family members and business associates about not only the product they love, but the company from which they bought it.
Tom Baldwin, the former Chairman and CEO of Morton’s The Steakhouse, used to say that the restaurant chain’s best marketing didn’t come from any traditional advertising on television, radio, newspapers or magazines. It came from the employees doing what they were supposed to do; deliver an exceptional experience that made their guests want to come back and talk about it to their friends.
The key is to manage all of the contact that your customers have with you throughout and after their experience that reinforces that they made the right decision to do business with you. It’s about how you handle the touch-points and interactions that the customer has with your people, your website, your support channels and more.
By : Shep Hyken