In football, the quarterback would be pulverized if not for his offensive line. The right and left tackle, right and left guard, and the tight end positions serve as a wall of protection for the quarterback to do his job and pass the ball.
Marketing doesn’t mean jack if it’s not protected by those who serve on the front line of customer service.
There are many businesses that run ads with happy, smiling employees who are eager to serve you, even employing a … ahem, smiley face to really emphasize the sunny disposition of their front line workers.
Most of the time, the advertising falls amazingly short of reality.
One “big box” store shows their employees as being upbeat, positive, helpful, and efficient. But when I visit one nearby, nothing could be further from the truth. I can’t find an employee to help me when I need one and their cashiers are sullen and unfriendly.
Because of it, I’ve not visited this store and overall avoid them even though they advertise rock-bottom pricing. Although there may be other stores that represent this brand better, the ones near me never have. It’s always been a hassle to shop there, from the mammoth parking lot to the enormous interior of the building where I feel swallowed up by bland consumerism and resentful employees. No thanks.
Consistency is key to great customer service. If there is one employee who is stellar, great. But if you have a platoon of them, it’s even better. People remember when they’ve been treated well — and consistently, from the front desk to the cleaning crew to the restaurant’s manager.
So what does this mean for the entrepreneur and small business owner?
Make sure what you advertise is what you deliver.
It’s pretty simple in theory but takes work to implement.
If you advertise that using your product is easy, make sure you include clear directions on how to use it. If you advertise that you’ll go out of your way for a customer, don’t show annoyance if they call at 5:05 PM on a Friday with a last-minute change on a project.
If you market your service as innovative and exciting, don’t have a robotic voicemail message or fill your social media updates with boring content. (Or worse, not updating your status on a regular basis.)
You can create incredible marketing campaigns, but if the person who answers the phone sounds irritated, all that work goes down the drain.
Today people have more choices regarding who gets their hard-earned money. Make sure they choose you by presenting consistent customer service that matches the brand you’re promoting.