Apothecary

Curing your marketing ills

Operations, Customer Service and Marketing

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A further thought to yesterdays post about Advertising and the economy.  In addition to on-line and PR, operations and customer service are equally important marketing tools.  One could argue that these two items are distinctively more important for your marketing than ANY other advertising (traditional or not).

Zeus Jones provides many examples in his article , Great Examples of How Operations can Become Marketing, of companies that use their operations as a distinctive part of their larger marketing.  Examples include delivery of product (Zappos and Mercedes), Sourcing of product(s) (Trader Joes, Patagonia), construction of product (Apple, Howies, Threadless), internal metrics (Amazon, Current) and repair of product (BMW, Apple, Genius).  The article is great read with some terrific links and I highly recommend to look through this article for your own internal operations inspiration.

How customer service IS marketing has been discussed here before, however, I believe a pretty constant reminder on this is needed.  By now anyone in the service industry is aware of Zappos, Nordstrom and LL Bean’s stellar customer service.  These are the companies that article after article are written about.  What about the other side of the coin though?  How does bad customer service affect your marketing and your bottom line?  One shining, and extreme, example is Circuit City.  When Circuit City replaced their knowledgeable and helpful employees with entry level retail associates sales fell.  And Circuit City is now closed.  CRM Daily provides an excellent “Income Multiplier” effect example on how poor customer service can affect your business.  How does this relate to marketing?  Any busy can run a truly stellar marketing campaign and everything for this campaign, but if the customer (or potential customer) comes in contact with this business and receives poor customer, you have likely lost this customer, in addition to every person this person knows.

How do you train your employees in providing excellent customer service?  Do you have monthly meetings to drill customer service in their heads?  Do you talk to the customers yourself?  Do you have a secret shopping program?

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Written by apothecarycomm

2009/08/11 at 2:09 pm

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