Apothecary

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Posts Tagged ‘Customer Service and marketing

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

Customer Service, Marketing and Employees

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Customer service and marketing are tied together in that you can run thousands of dollars of advertising and if you have poor customer service, the word of mouth that comes from that negates any advertising money spent.

 

Earlier today, I was reading an article about customer service and how it relates to how employees are treated here .  At one of my former advertising agencies, I had a boss who lived by the motto that employees are the first customers.  If you treat your employees well, they will treat your business well.  The article I referenced above points out that first and foremost if you treat your employees with dignity and respect, your employees will in turn treat your business and the customers of your business with respect.  In another article pertaining to customer service and employees located here  indicates several ways to provide respect you employees including:

  • Be fair to all your employees, but be flexible
  • Empower your employees to solve complaints
  • Ask your employees for advice about running the business
  • provide additional recognition and rewards to those who perform above and beyond the call of duty, in single instances, and especially consistently throughout the year
  • Inject fun into your work place.

Written by apothecarycomm

2009/07/07 at 3:06 pm

Customer Service and Marketing

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How much attention do you give to the service your employees provide your current customers?  Do you have customer service training as part of your marketing budget?  Do you encourage your employees to go up and beyond and make their own decisions on how to please your customers? If you own a retail venture have you completed a secret shopping program to test your customer service training?

The service that is provided to your customers is the first step in the most important marketing — Word of Mouth.  In numerous studies it has been indicated that consumers take into consideration what friends and families say about a business before they purchase services and goods.  What are your customers saying about you?

Business Week did a study of the 25 Best Customer Service companies.  What can you learn from these companies?

Written by apothecarycomm

2009/06/09 at 10:35 am