Thursday, February 21, 2008

The value of human contact in branding and marketing

There is a lesson to be learned by examples set by some of the larger companies who have forgotten the value of human contact in branding and marketing. There is nothing like getting an automated system when you call a company verses getting a real person. I know of some companies that have lost a lot of customers, like me, this way. All you ever got was a machine you had to fight with it to get an answer or directed to the right department, then maybe you might get a real person. I am now dealing with a company that advertises that they have real people answering the phones. I know that a lot of companies have re-evaluated the cost savings of automated systems verses customer loss due to perceived poor customer service. Quit a few companies now advertise the fact that you reach real people when you call.

If you have a store and your customers spend more time looking for some one to help them then looking at products you have a problem. If the staff they find tells them it is not their department so they cannot help, you have a problem. Every thing people do or do not do when representing your company affects how people view your company. If some one gets poor service in a restaurant, they are not likely to go back. It’s the same in any area of business. Word of mouth is one of the strongest marketing tools out there; the people working for you have a direct influence on what is being said.

If you don’t have good people in contact with your customers you will not have a good relationship with those customers. This goes from the person who answers the phone, to taking orders, or resolving issues. If you are not going to take the time to help me I will take my business else where thank you. To day the customers control where they buy from, and if you don’t meet their needs and wants they will find some one else who will.

There are more companies out there succeeding because they know how important any and every contact with a customer or potential client is. People are willing to pay more when they get good service. People judge your company on how they perceive their treatment and the quality of your goods/product. I don’t care how good your product is, or what a great deal it is price wise if your employees treated me poorly.

The bottom line is customers want to feel valued. Having a person willing and able to help resolve problems effectively and efficiently makes some one feel more valued then having to fight with a phone system, or search on a web site for answers or dealing with an unhelpful person. Every person who works for a company represents that company when dealing with others, they are branding your company no matter how much marketing you do.

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