02 Jan Your biggest marketing resolution for 2013
Your biggest marketing resolution for 2013 shouldn’t have anything to do with sales, or social media or content marketing. Your biggest marketing resolution for 2013 should be stellar customer service. As a marketer, I see my efforts destroyed time and time again by poor customer service. It takes a lot of money to get a new customer, but not a lot to keep them. Yet I’m constantly fighting the fact that the bridge between marketing and customer service is either shaky, or non-existent.
As a marketer, here are several ways to make sure that customer service and marketing are working together well.
- Make sure the back-end always knows what marketing is doing. Earlier in 2012, I had a couple of campaigns that flopped because the administrative folks were not aware of what marketing was doing, mainly because operations and service “weren’t marketing’s responsibility.” It was a shame but a lesson that was worth learning. Don’t EVER let an operations person stand in the way of marketing communicating with the operations folks. It’s essential for the campaign to work.
- Stay positive when negative reviews arise. Social media, particularly Yelp and other review sites, makes it easy for customers to complain. In the “old days” those complaints would have occurred at parties or through traditional word-of-mouth. Business people need to see this as an opportunity to provide stellar customer service in full view of the public. Comcast has re-branded themselves by dealing with irate customers via social media in a fast, more than fair, manner. You can do the same thing, so embrace these complaints and let your marketer help you address them in a non-defensive, positive manner.
- Invest in customer service training for your folks. I had to deal with some individuals in the ticket office at Breckenridge Ski Resort this past week. The first person I dealt with was supercilious at best, and refused to believe that I had been told incorrect information by their staff. I left frustrated and feeling like I never wanted to ski there again. However, I found the paperwork I had been originally told was unnecessary, girded my loins and returned to the office. This time I was greeted with a smile, and offered an apology for the miscommunication. How sad that the customer service at this particular place relies on the personality of each staffer! Train your team so they know how to make customers feel valued.
- Use your marketers to help craft internal communications. You’d be surprised how often employees feel like they “don’t know what’s going on” or when external messaging doesn’t match internal communications. This is just plain BAD. You have experts in communications available to you. Have them help you draft emails or newsletters internally so they read well.
In summary, you can’t keep marketing in a silo anymore. I’m told all the time that I “do much more than marketers usually do.” This isn’t true. With the advent of content marketing and social media, marketers are becoming much more integrated in the operation. We should be tied tightly to your customer service folks in particular. Don’t let that gap ruin all the great marketing investments you make in 2013. Make stellar customer service your biggest marketing resolution for 2013.