Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

You Can't Market Good Service.

A comment on the previous post indicated the reader's willingness to include good service in his insurance purchase decision. A common sentiment that might make insurance companies think about emphasising good service in their marketing.

The problem is I'm not sure you can actively market good service.

You can make all the claims you like backed up with all the data you like but for claims to have real impact they have to be provable.

To make claims before purchase is to court sceptisicm and to risk disappointed customers. To make claims afterwards is to risk disbelief - be it of the relevance of the tiny survey samples so evident in beauty product advertising or be it the viewers' questioning of your vague definitions of satisfaction.

No, I'm not sure you can market customer service. You can truly only provide it on a one to one personalised basis. Its provision is part of your marketing. Its promotion isn't.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Dan Thornton said...

I just can't think who you might be referring to!

I'm afraid that I have to disagree with you on marketing good service - I think it's very achievable, but requires a slightly different way of thinking.

Cases in point could be John Lewis (Who I believe have done better this Christmas than most), Zappos or Craigslist.

The latter two aren't really accessible in the UK, and yet not only have I become familiar with Tony Hsieh and Craig Newmark, but they're effectively synonomous with the companies they founded/work with.

The interesting thing is that I don't think many companies offering good service need to actively advertise that fact - what they should do is allow customers to be able to discuss and share that fact with other people more easily.

I'm basing more and more purchase decisions on the sole basis of on and offline recommendations precisely because I know so much 'evidence' might just about be statistically valued in theory, but is actually far from the truth.

I wrote a post years ago about how IT staff could be heroes for a company by being given more freedom and I think the same is always true for Customer Service.

The only big problem regarding marketing customer service is when it isn't backed up in reality.

9:34 AM, January 10, 2011  
Blogger john dodds said...

Zappo's were clever about it. But they only really started prosyletising after they'd be doing it for seven years.

Before then you could argue that they marketed it internally, but really they followed my argument and just did it.

4:09 PM, January 10, 2011  
Blogger Rob Mortimer said...

I guess its all about the perception of service, which is largelt wom, long term and hard to shift (easier to lower than raise).

2:12 AM, January 12, 2011  
Blogger Carol L. Weinfeld said...

Agreed. It needs to be intrinsic to the organization, which will lead to a reputation for good customer service and increase the company's goodwill.

6:23 PM, January 17, 2011  

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