Customer Service Part II – Do Your Customers Hate You?

On Friday we wrote about how customer service still matters. Today’s Boston Globe reiterates the importance of great customer care in a Business Filter blurb titled, “Customers Hate You.”

The Globe pulls a few gems from the recent Marketing Daily study, “America Suffering Customer-Service Meltdown,” indicating, “that about 62 percent of Americans say companies “don’t
care much” about their needs. That’s up from 52 percent in 2004.”

Looks like we were on the money last week when we mentioned that it’s nice to experience some human interaction in the day and age of “do-it-yourself” online services – the report states that “92 percent [of survey respondents] say they have tried to circumvent an automated phone tree
to find a real person, futilely jabbing at the zero and pound sign,” and that it’s one of their biggest frustrations.

Marketing Should Focus on Existing Customers as well as New Ones
“67% of the survey participants say marketers care more about selling existing products than really helping the customer, an increase from 58% in 2004.”

Marketing is often solely viewed as a lead generation function. But this report, and the loud frustrations echoed by today’s customers, indicates that it must wrap current customers into the mix as well. How does your marketing department work with customer service and relations? Should marketing focus on customer retention in addition to customer acquisition? Perhaps if more marketers worked closely with their existing customers they could build more honest, compelling and effective campaigns.

Your customer base is one of the best mouthpieces for your business – treat them well and they will naturally become a key part of your customer acquisition and marketing strategy – nothing speaks louder than a referral from a happy customer. Except maybe an unhappy one.

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