Monday, February 08, 2010

My name is Sami, by-the-way...

We marketers get so excited and up in arms about our message, our value proposition, our differentiator and the rest. We create interesting ads to portray these messages in ways that will delight our audience. For most marketers, almost all of their focus is on customer acquisition... finding and selling that next customer.

Regardless of our best intentions, one thing that most marketers forget is that the actual customer experience in the field is the best marketing! The old adage of "word-of-mouth is your best advertising” is more true today than it was ever before. And, of course, bad word-of-mouth is your worst nightmare, particularly in the age of Facebook and Twitter. Anyone want to guess the damage to Toyota’s brand, as measured in billions, based on their recent car mishaps (and PR/marketing mishaps on how they handled it)?

So, what exactly started me on this tirade? Well, I recently called a PC manufacturer (ok it was DELL) regarding an issue with a laptop. Recently thereafter, in preparation for their service technician coming on-site, I receive an e-mail from their support department that looks like this:

Dear [Action.Contact First Name] [Action.Contact Last Name],

In an effort to increase your satisfaction with the support you have received, please take a moment to review the following information regarding your recent call on [Action.SR Created Date] regarding service request # [Action.SR Number].

Dispatch # [Action.ISP DPS #] In order to perform the necessary service, …

No, I didn’t change the above to protect the innocent – that is the actual dumb e-mail letter template, complete with ugly colors, ugly fonts, etc. and all of my actual information missing, including my name (my wife has never called me Action.Contact First Name, to my recollection.]

I am willing to bet that the marketing folks never reviewed or approved this e-mail letter, and that their marketing department is worried less about my actual customer experience than selling me another DELL. Well, I have news for them – I am not buying another DELL due to my customer experience with their products and service. I don’t think this situation is unique to DELL… it plagues all of us marketers. We need to pay more attention to delighting our current customers so they will buy more and get their friends to buy more, rather than focusing most of our attention on new customer acquisition.

Oh, by the way, DELL… My name is Sami.

Sami Jajeh

Arketi Group


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