I have a client who is always thinking about not only what to market, when to market and how to market…but what’s going to happen on the operational side when a campaign hits. Although we all have a tendency to think of this person as a “debbie downer” when we’re being creative-y and inspired, she’s the smart one. Without good customer service you might as well be flushing your marketing money down the toilet.
I had a an experience with a window washing company a few months ago. Great social media campaign, well-placed ads, etc. But after I booked them, they showed up hours late and then decided to take lunch after working for about 45 minutes. When I called the manager to let him know I really didn’t have all day for this, I got a bunch of excuses and insinuations that I was being a pain. Needless to say I won’t work with them again. I also left a review on Yelp that shows up very high on their search results. All that marketing went down the drain in my case.
It’s sometimes hard to experience your own customer service. In some cases you may have been working with an office manager or other employee for years, and built up a bit of denial. Here is a short checklist to make sure that your customer service capability can meet the new marketing demand.
Involve whomever will be on the receiving end of responses in the marketing planning. Not only will they have ownership in the program, they will help you create a process that will work AFTER the campaign starts.
Run tests and pilots to begin with. You probably aren’t going to get a big response from your first time out, but keep it manageable in the beginning and build on what works. This will be easier on your staff and easier on your budget as well.
Engage your customers and ask them for reviews. Or better yet, use someone as a “secret shopper” to test the experience.
When complaints come in, don’t be defensive. See it as a learning opportunity to improve your service and solidify a customer relationship. NOT as a headache.
A marketing campaign ends with customer service. If there are problems, embrace them and use it as a tool not as an annoyance. You may find those obstacles turn into even more marketing opportunities.