Customer Servicing – Missed Opportunities
3 March 2011, Tracey Stern
Yesterday, I had an alarm crisis. Thankfully, it didn’t include anyone attempting to break into my house, but involved a constant bleeping in my front room. Upon calling the information number on the alarm box, I was informed that they couldn’t help outside of standard office hours. When I requested any guidance in help with the matter, I was told to look in the Yellow Pages.
This astounded me on three count:
- Firstly, does anyone actually use the Yellow Pages any more? Had the support team member not heard of Google?
- Secondly, what a missed opportunity this was for affiliate marketing to come into play. I would personally like to phone the emergency alarm support services in the area and alert them to their missed business opportunities.
- Thirdly, is this really the progress of our customer service operations now?
In many cases now, the customer journey is often thought out to within an inch of it’s life. We design websites that are created purely to help the user navigate through the maze of information we want to relay. We use eye tracking and heat mapping techniques to ensure we have the right balance of imagery and call to action on the page. We try to always ensure best practice in Search Engine Optimisation techniques so that our wares can be easily found, and passed on to others. And we engage in user testing and conversion rate optimisation to incrementally increase our website performance.
Yet, as with this example, a brand can fall down by failing to join up the whole brand experience. At Emarketeers, we talk about the benefits and business advantages of having Affiliate partners. In the instance of last night, I would have been very happy to have opened my door (literally in this case) to a trusted partner of the aforementioned Alarm Installation company. This would have extended my relationship with, and loyalty to, the Alarm Manufacturer, and resulted in a new relationship developing which undoubtedly could have had positive revenue benefits for all parties involved.
Finally, a call today from them to enquire as to my safety and progress with the situation, may have helped to recover what has now become an untenable and dissatisfying relationship. In the words of Bill Gates: “Your unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”.
In addition, an additional page on the Alarm Manufacturer’s website with emergency information would have helped to deliver a most positive and productive experience.
In my view, joining up the dots in our desire to please our customers is as key to business success, as having the right product. With the customer revolution well and truly established – these principles will allow the strong brands to flourish, and the weak to be vulnerable to their competition.