Holding & Customer Service

6 Aug

Sorry for missing Wednesday’s post (informal schedule is new posts on M/W/F in case you haven’t noticed) —  It’s been a crazy week (moving, kitchen reno, painters, interviews)

@lonnietaylor on Twitter agrees.

We all hate when big companies put us on hold.  We think “If they’re so big, can’t they afford a couple extra operators?”  The worst is when they have the gall to include the “your call is valued” recording – how disingenuous.  The problem seems to be unavoidable; no matter what you do, sometimes customers will have to hold.

Part of the problem is that hold messages lack originality.  They’re all boring and mundane.  Most use the exact same scripted recording.  Yet how often do marketing professors have to tell their students “Every touchpoint with your customer is invaluable” for the learning to sink in.  Remember, you’re only as strong as your weakest link and a convoy can only move as fast as the slowest ship.  Use hold-time as an opportunity to tell your customer’s a little more about your company.  Retaining and growing customers is just as much a marketing function as attracting them.

If you’re a funky, cool tech start-up, you should have a cool holding message.  The same holds if you run a hip and happening – I don’t know – handbag store.

Even the so-called “stodgy” corporations can stand out in this way.  Just because you run an insurance company doesn’t mean you have to be dull and boring.  Look at Aflac and Geico.

What about hygiene products?  Say…Old Spice?  If I call 866-348-7798 Isaiah Mustafa should tell me something random while I’m on hold (he doesn’t, I tried).

Every point of contact with your customers is a chance to tell them about your brand.  It’s like going on a date — how often do people compare marketing to dating ? I’m going to do it anyway because it’s accurate but as an industry we need a new analogy — clean, wrinkle-free clothes, combed hair, clean car, manners, body language, etc.  In everything you do, your date is picking up clues because actions say more than words alone.  Don’t *say* you care about your customers.  Prove it.

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