I just went to Jiffy Lube today to get my oil changed.
I expected the all-too-familiar process with every other car repair place in St. Louis: walk in, get some smug looks, somebody unenthusiastically gets you checked in, then you wait an hour just to get your oil changed.
Today, however, it was not the case.
I pulled my car up to the garage doors, and I was greeted by a worker who took my keys and opened the door to the waiting room for me. Not two minutes later, I was escorted into the shop so I could (a) pick which oil I wanted, and (b) look at the car itself while they explained to me the small things that need to be fixed. In addition to the services I was paying for, they also vacuumed my floor boards, washed my windows, and topped off all my fluids.
In ten minutes, they had finished, and escorted me to my car and opened my door for me.
This was the first time I have ever walked away from a car repair place with an uncontrollable smile plastered across my face.
All companies should take into consideration using their marketing budget on improving customer service. With the increasing demand for individualized, personalized products, the services realm needs to transform as well.
One perfect–not to mention successful–company investing their marketing budget on customer service is Zappos.
We discussed in class one situation with a Zappos customer who also happened to be a well-known blogger. She had just purchased a pair of shoes for her ailing mother, but before they could get delivered, her mother had passed away. She called their customer service line to ask for a refund, and not only did she get that refund, but she also got a bouquet of flowers from the Zappos company, sending their condolences.
So what’s the point in investing your time and marketing budget towards customer service?
Zappos got lucky. When they sent the flowers to their customer, she made her many blog followers aware of what had happened. Word of mouth got out, and it built a stronger reputation for Zappos.
Going back on the point about the need for personalization and individualization, people are more likely to use a product or service if a source they know and trust recommends it. Their personal connection with that person then becomes a personal connection to the service, increasing the likelihood that they will give business to that trusted source.
As a future Public Relations practitioner, it is important to know the trends.
Though appealing to a niche audience is always important, addressing the customer as an individual, not a part of a group, is an increasing priority. That’s where customer service marketing comes into play.
Do you think that customer service marketing is increasing? Or should it be?