Think about a good customer experience you’ve had: how elated you were and happy to share the news with your peers! In a world where we’re surrounded by negative-toned news, we often feel overjoyed when someone does something nice for us.
I recently had a nice experience with the online discounter, Groupon. I purchased a Groupon offer as a gift for my sister-in-law but later found out the retailer was not meeting Groupon’s criteria (obviously Groupon received complaints from people attempting to use their coupon for services and were not getting what they were promised) and as a result, Groupon provided a refund to everyone who purchased the coupon and they stopped offering the deal. I was so impressed with the fact that Groupon took care of me, when I called my sister-in-law to tell her that her gift no longer worked I explained how great Groupon had been – and how awful the retailer must have been to have Groupon nix the deal for everyone. Customer service in this case elevated my perception and loyalty to Groupon, but it also made me an advocate of how providing bad customer service can bite you.
When you have bad experiences (and those seem to stick out more than the good ones) they leave a taste in our mouths that you’re only too happy to share with your friends and neighbors. Add social media to the mix and now your interactions with bad customer service are known to millions of people.
An article in the recent issue of Marketing News cited that people generate nearly 500 billion online impressions on each other in regards to products and services each year. It went on to say Nielsen Online estimates the total number of online advertising impressions comes in around just under two trillion. Put that together and you could say people are generating around one-fourth as many impressions on each other as the entire marketing industry is generating. Now, taking that into consideration, who are you most likely to believe – a user of a product or service, or the company that provides it?
While testimonials are nothing new as a method of marketing for businesses, they become increasingly effective in the online age – prone to stimulate greater impressions among viewers – when they are honest responses from an end user and customer. When your business considers its marketing and advertising plans for the coming year, it’s important to check up on your operational touchpoints to ensure your customer experience lives up to your brand promise.
Ensure you have the resources and training to provide good customer service. Laying the groundwork will support the marketing messages communicated to your intended audiences, thereby increasing the brand loyalty and continued growth via word of mouth and blog to blog.