For every question I get about the wonders of “web 2.0” it’s rare that we hear clients ask “what can I do to make my customer happier?” Will a mobile version of your website make them feel better about the washing machine they just bought? No.
It comes down to customer service- and understanding that the best marketing is outstanding customer service- “marketing as a service.”
Amazon got it when an ad agency suggested they spend at least $30 million a year on ads- and instead they decided to give their customers free shipping (of course, once they started into their own products like the Kindle- they had to start advertising).
One has to credit Crispin Porter + Bogusky for taking on Domino’s Pizza- and not only telling them that the quality of their pizza is the problem (they probably told VW that being below average in the JD Power car quality charts wasn’t helping sales too) but getting the company to pay money to tell customers that their pizza did suck, but it’s better now:
You can spend all the money on marketing you want- just remember, if your product or service is less than stellar- good advertising will only kill your product sooner.
That’s the beauty of web 2.0, not, when you screw up, someone will tell a lot of people- either on your site, where you can respond and try to fix it- or on anyone of millions of other sites, including their own- where you may or may not be able to respond. If you haven’t set up Google Alerts on every product name, company name, key people in your business- you may be finding out the hard way when things are going wrong.
If there is one place we need customer service 2.0 it’s government. Unfortunately, most politicians and bureaucrats think they are immune from finger pointing (although they’re all aces at it). The rest of the nation already understands the value of open, honest communication, unfortunately we’re still doing government with rules from long before the information age.
If you want an in your face take on customer service, I give you Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library speaking at SXSW (parental advisory for naughty words):
As a parting thought- thanks to Gary- it also doesn’t hurt for your company to have a personality either. Try reading “Personality not included” by Rohit Bhargava- it’ll wake you up to what kind of service is possible with personality.
There is no “App for that” when it comes to customer service- it all comes from the choices leadership makes. Advertising or free shipping? Quality product or lower pricing? A warranty that customers can believe in, or a legal trap to play gotcha?
Customer service should be first on everyone’s mind, everyday, because there is an app to tell the world when you screw up- you’re looking at it now. Comment below at will.