How often have you walked into a retail store, restaurant, business meeting or called a customer service line only to be treated as a nuisance? The first person you encounter is either not paying attention, too busy doing their “work” or just plain rude?
Some people may not realize, I have a degree in hospitality and tourism management. My early jobs all revolved around the hospitality industry so it seemed like a natural direction to take my life. (Look at me now!) Anyway, in my senior year of college—you know, when you think you have all the answers—one of my instructors asked of the class: “Tell me one industry that isn’t a customer service industry.” My dad worked in a paper mill and I could only think about his role in that process. Boom, a paper mill is not in the customer service industry! Wait. Who does the paper mill sell their products to? Oh yea! Their customers. He had us. The entire class was stumped and his point was valid. Every industry, no matter business-to-business or business-to-consumer, is in the customer service industry.
Tom Fishburne of the Marketoonist mentioned in a recent blog, “Customer service is every bit a part of marketing as any other tactic.” While he is referring to large customer call centers in this instance, this statement applies to all customer service, therefore, all businesses, large and small! This is the reason customer service is your #1 sales and marketing tool!
The marketing tactics used in media buys, the size of your advertising budget, the creative message—while all important—can only get you so far. If your team cannot treat your customers in a friendly, engaged, or—at a minimum—polite manner, customers will be reluctant to return. The brand and rapport you work hard to build through all of your marketing efforts, must come to life through your employees. You must invest in training your employees in customer service that reflects your brand.
The adage that “the customer is always right” is antiquated … but customers are, after all, the component in any equation that keeps your business flourishing! Taking care of customers will reinforce your external brand and make your marketing tactics even more effective.
If you need help developing your brand, give Insight a call. I promise we’ll smile and say “hi!”
Brian brings a varied background in hospitality, Green Bay-area media sales and over 20 years of account management experience to his position as an account executive at Insight. His ability to listen carefully, strategize and make smart recommendations helps his clients meet—and often exceed—their marketing goals. His outgoing personality and attention to detail are always appreciated. Brian holds a degree in hospitality and tourism management from the University of Wisconsin—Stout.