Overheard the other day from a cashier at my local grocery store (a large chain, by the way): “Can I get a bagger over here? You aren’t paying me enough to have me bag the groceries, too!” I heard this as I was coming up to the check-out counter with my purchases (which were only a few items).
Wow, what does that do to the brand’s marketing messages?
The issue here is this: the customer doesn’t differentiate between what marketing is saying and what they hear from customer service personnel. All messages, regardless of medium or origin, add up to communicate the brand’s image to the customer. Yet too often, marketing and customer service are managed separately in a company or organization, they don’t speak to each other, and they don’t have common metrics (you know, those things that drive the behaviors?).
When we look at it from the company’s perspective, we see silo-thinking, each department focused on their own area. When we look at it from the customer’s perspective, what do we see? One brand, with everyone working together for a great customer experience? Or many experiences, looking like many brands, with the experience differing based on how customer service personnel are asked to behave?
Customers Rock! was started to focus on highlighting companies that understand these concepts. Customers Rock! doesn’t mean the customer is always right. It means we should view our customers as one of the most important assets that we have; therefore, we should plan each step of how we are going to get, keep, and grow these assets.
Who is speaking more loudly to customers at your organization? Do you need to bring those messages into alignment? What do customers think about your brand, from all perspectives? These are critical questions to answer as companies consider how to weather the current economic storms.
“The relationship that is formed when marketing and customer service meet is like saying that you’re making good on your promises.” Meikah