Thursday, December 24, 2009

Customer Service is the New Marketing | ICC/Decision Services

Customer Service is the New Marketing

The end of the current year and the beginning of the new always bring many different kinds of lists: wish lists, shopping lists, resolutions, top stories of the year lists, etc. This story in Small Business Trends offers up a list of things to look forward to in 2010. It calls the customer experience the, “new marketing,” and the, “only truly sustainable competitive advantage.” Here are a few items from the story:

The coming year will be a good one for marketers to imprint upon their employees who interact with customers. Why? High unemployment levels will encourage employees to hold onto their jobs by being good at them. They will try harder.

Service will become your identity, not the product you are selling. Companies will learn from the online model of Amazon and Zappos who show that you can build a business based on service.
Along the same line, successful internet companies have trained consumers to look for highly personalized service. Internet sites greet us by knowing our names, habits, likes and dislikes. This expectation will transfer to face-to-face transactions and thus the bar will be raised.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube will force higher service levels due to the consumers’ ability to transmit satisfaction or dissatisfaction to a large audience. Brand marketers will have to react quickly and completely to avoid reputation damage. Brands are working quickly to increase their capability in the social networking medium.

This is only part of the list, but you get the picture. Almost every single factor for going to market is changing. Companies are finding out through experience and analysis that the common denominator is providing a great customer experience at every turn.

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