Generating positive word of mouth is an investment that can build trust with prospects and customers. The single most valuable asset your company can develop is the trust your customers place with you. It is likely more important than the features of your product or service. This trust can support Demand Generation by stimulating recommendations and highly qualified leads. Squander the trust and the risk irreparable harm to your company’s brand as unhappy customers spread their complaints. No amount of marketing budget can overcome the mistreatment of customers.
Customer service is an investment in building trust with your customers. Companies such as Zappos and Southwest Airlines demonstrate proactive customer service, where they seek feedback and opportunities to help customers. Zappos doesn’t have discount prices, but it guarantees customer satisfaction. This focus on excellent customer service becomes powerful differentiator and can grow existing customers into your best salespeople.
Unfortunately, many companies treat customer service as an expense and outsource it. Call centers where problems that aren’t easy to solve via a scripted conversation are bound for failure. Remember the “United Airlines Breaks Guitars” fiasco? Its cost was estimated to run up to 10% of United Airlines market capitalization.
Social Media gives power and a voice to the customer. Smart companies use it to listen, interact, and help customers and prospects.