Customer Service is the New Marketing

To understand what marketing with new media really is, it helps to take a look back at what marketing with old media is. Let’s say you’re an airline and you want to be known for your customer service. You can market yourself that way. Sure you might upset a passenger or two every now and then, but at best, you’re looking at them telling a few people who tell a few other people:

Unless you upset a reporter who can then go print in a large paper, you’ll be shielded from a lot of people getting angry at you. Now, let’s say the same incident happens today. Maybe, you break a customer’s guitar and then won’t reimburse them for it. You might end up with something like this:

This new way currently has over 7 million views. A great deal more than the six people to hear about it. In fact, major media outlets even pick up the story and run with it. Reimbursing the guy for a $2,500 guitar now seems like a much more attractive proposition.

So what can a company do to maintain it’s image when everyone can run out and make a video about bad service? Simple. Don’t have bad service.

Not every customer is going to run out and make a video about each screw-uo (although that’s a possibility), but they can easily put up bad reviews of you on Yelp, tweet out to their friends about something they didn’t like, or blog about a hair they found in their food.

So if you’re a restaurant, offer a free appetizer if the food’s taking too long. Turn a bad experience into a good one. If you mess up a customer’s dry cleaning, offer to replace the shirt instead of saying it’s not your fault.

Really you should just offer good service. If for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do.

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