I've had this experience before - a service provider who dictates how things should be done. "Send the printed materials in shrink wrapped packets of 25, or else!" "We just want to make sure you understand how we work."
That is odd, given that I pay the invoices. I am not alone. Others have experienced if not such commanding circumstances, at least disappointing ones.
It's a let down on two fronts - as a customer, and as a marketer. What a wasted opportunity to win someone over and to make a good brand impression.
Rich Baker talks about two instances of making lazy: passive customer service. Scripted employees lead to mixed messages - why are we valued less once we become customers? If you've ever received an introductory rate for a credit card or a membership that was considerably more favorable to the rate you had as a paying (and loyal) customer, you know what I mean. As Rich puts it:
Considering how many companies lean toward intrusive marketing to push products and services (I even had a mortgage company come to my door yesterday), it’s equally amazing how many become passive once you become a customer (I hope you know that periodic calls to your credit card and insurance company almost always result in lower rates).
Stephen Denny wishes companies were ready to share what they know and increase their market share through the mere act of putting experts redux in the field and on the other side of the phone. Integrated marketing means that you are closing the loop on all the opportunities you are given to be in front of your customers with a message that is relevant to their circumstances. Stephen closes the loop for them:
How could Stihl make every homeowner an expert in handling chain saws? A skip tooth chain is an upgrade. A pole saw is an additional purchase. A neighbor is a new customer. A dealer is a teacher. Knowledge spreads like rings in the water.
If you were the marketing chief at Jaeger LeCoultre, how would you get your customers to buy more very expensive watches?
Think about it. Doesn't it make sense? There is one group of people we do not seem to poll often for such conversation. They are those on the front lines - customer service reps. I have done some informal and probably highly suspect research myself and uncovered 21 secrets your customer service reps would never share (not until now). That is the topic of this week's Fast Company Expert blog post.
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