Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Marketing Society - Set Example to Staff on How to Treat Customers

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Marketing Society - Set Example to Staff on How to Treat Customers

Article excerpt

Each time I see another woolly polemic on the subject of customer relationship management technology or media neutrality, I pause to remind myself that great brands are never built from these foundations.

When did you last hear one of your customers praise a fantastic treatment they had received? Or a marvellous piece of segmentation? They do want some of the outputs of these well-intentioned approaches - to be treated as an individual or to have their affairs properly administered - but we are in danger of becoming fixated on the means rather than the ends.

Equally, people may enjoy the spectacle and entertainment of good advertising, but we all recognise that this does not necessarily translate into a perfect recall of the beer brand involved or a delightful long-term relationship with that comically diverting car advertiser or droll pensions provider. It's the reality of the product that shapes customers' belief and brand loyalty.

Given that we are now largely a service economy, for most marketers this really means one human being involved in delivering a 'differentiating proposition' or 'unique insight' to other human beings - our customers.

With this in mind it is worth reflecting on how we marketers spend our time. The best investment would arguably be in ensuring that this human capital is fired up and inspired to convey the warmth and enthusiasm that a 'systems-driven front-end' so sadly lacks and a fellow human being so desires. This is not the dry old topic of staff communications. Neither is it a Luddite thought; even cavemen needed the right tools. …

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