customer service

Right under your nose lies one of the simplest and most effective approaches to marketing for any business of any size. What is it? Customer service. This may seem a bit odd. However, customer service is, in fact, an important part of marketing.

After all, a customer who has a poor experience with a business is likely to make it known how unhappy they are with the service they received. On the other hand, a customer who has a great experience is more likely to recommend the business to others. This is, in essence, free marketing.

Even businesses marketing to other businesses can benefit from upping their customer service game. Somehow, it seems some seem to forget the importance of customer service, even when other businesses are involved.

For example, think of a software company marketing a customer relationship management tool to salespeople. CRM software is easy to come by, and it seems there is a new product entering the market almost daily.

In this instance, customer service can often make or break a decision to opt for one software over another. After all, the foundational features will be somewhat similar to one another. So in order to win over the customer, something must be better.

Often, customer service falls by the wayside. It can be difficult to get in touch with a person who can help, and automated responses and phone systems can be nothing short of infuriating for the customer.

If the experience of trying to get help is too difficult or unproductive, this is often enough reason for a customer to look for a solution elsewhere. So find ways to make customer service more intuitive, more human, for every customer who requires assistance.

There are several ways to accomplish this. An easy way to increase the quality of a company’s customer service is to ensure that all communication channels are closely monitored.

This goes for social media, email, phone lines, and website inquiries. A customer does not want to have to search for the best way to get help, nor do they want to wait days for a response. Sheer volume often necessitates automated responses, which work well to notify a customer that the company has acknowledged its message or inquiry.

However, at some point during the service cycle, there should be a human element. This is as simple as a personal message from the communications team or a phone call made by the customer service team to do a follow-up. Indeed, customer service and marketing truly go hand in hand.

Poor customer service can have devastatingly detrimental effects on the success of a business, even those in the B2B space. Just a simple increase of effort to make sure customer service maintains a “human” feel will be a big step in the right direction to increase the effectiveness of a company’s marketing strategy.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.