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HC's Blog - Industry Information and Inspiration

The worst kind of marketing is bad customer service

“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
– Damon Richards

We all hope the products (and even services) we purchase after a great deal of consideration will not lead to disappointment or inconvenience on our part.

While companies can certainly strive for excellence, perfection is an impossibility. Donald Porter once said, “Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.”

Which is why companies as large as Lowe’s and The Home Depot or as small as your local garden center all have customer service policies and procedures in place for when things do go wrong – and they will.

Customer service is directly related to marketing. After all, retaining customers with positive perceptions of your business offers some of the best word-of-mouth marketing out there (and it’s free!).

However, the flip side is also true. Leave a bad impression and people will talk about it.

Some organizations are not customer focused. They’re ill-mannered and ignore the customer’s complaints all together – creating the perception that you’re not a valuable customer they’re willing to retain.

More and more (regardless of your business) disgruntled customers are turning online and to social media as a means to express their displeasure.

Sprout Social, a social media management and advocacy group, conducts a quarterly social index. According to their Q3 report from 2017, “Brands receive 146% more social media messages needing response than they did in 2014.”

Many of those are related to customer service issues, and yet companies on average only respond to 1 in 10 social messages regarding a comment, question or complaint according to Sprout Social.

Online complaints (be it through social media, Google or any other online platform) can have negative ramifications, which will quickly and easily spread to other potential customers – thus impacting your marketing efforts.

Your marketing team works hard to bring customers to your business. Are they working hand in hand with customer service to make sure when things do go wrong – and they will – you’re putting your customer’s needs ahead of your own inconvenience?

Mahatma Gandhi once remarked, “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”


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