The worst kind of marketing is bad customer service

“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
~ Damon Richards

We all hope the products and services we purchase, after great consideration, will not be met with disappointment or costly repairs. But few things in life are perfect and you’d be naïve to think that problems will not arise at one point or another.

For me such problems decided to pay a visit in threes – an airline, a car company and a promotions warehouse.

I wish I could say that my dealings have been noteworthy – a model for true customer service in the marketplace. But it hasn’t. As Donald Porter once said, “Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” And there seems to be the problem.

As a marketer I know how important it is to retain positive perceptions from loyal and perspective customers for continual growth and success. But lately I feel organizations care very little about the issues and concerns facing their most valued assets – the customer.

Some have been down-right rude; others make you feel as though you’re nothing more than an inconvenience; and far too many simply ignore your calls and emails all together. Are such behaviors supposed to make a customer feel respected and valued? Do they not realize the frustration and time required to continually seek answers paints an unflattering portrait of the organization in the mind of the consumer?

You would think in this age of social media, companies would be concerned about the negative ramifications, which could quickly and easily spread, regarding a negative customer experience. And yet I’ve found three popular organizations in various industries that don’t seem to be all that concerned. Sad really, because they’ve just lost a customer who will never recommend or speak highly of them to others – the worst kind of marketing there is business.

Mahatma Gandhi once remarked, “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”