I’m a marketer by trade. It doesn’t matter if it’s traditional marketing, or digital/online marketing – at the end of the day, the tools may differ but the trade stays the same.
Yet in a previous life, I also headed up the main call centre for the U.K.’s largest communications company, and that was based around the service side of things.
And you know what?
Service beats marketing hands down any day if you want a successful company.
You can have the greatest product; the most amazing sales pitch; the must-buy item of all time. And yes, they’ll bring in the dollars.
But that’s where they stop.
Sure, you can regurgitate a sales or marketing message into a different campaign, and call it something different. But at the end of the day, it’s still a limited experience.
Service, on the other hand? That’s the gold in the jester’s hat.
A Tale of Three Service Superstars
Jordan Kretchmer – Livefyre.
I’m currently testing the new Livefyre comments system. While I’ve written before on why I generally don’t use third-party comment systems, the features Livewyre have at the minute – and the ones in store – have piqued my interest, and I’ll be writing about the service in more depth shortly.
However, when I first installed the system, I noticed the comments box was drifting past the bottom of the comments area. The reason for this was the Headway theme I run on my blog and the way it codes the column heights. Step in Jordan Kretchmer (Livefyre’s CEO) and the company’s tech team.
They contacted Headway support, explained the issue and took it on themselves to get it resolved – which they did. All before I even started using the system. But it didn’t stop there.
Once installed, I found that some of my threaded comments hadn’t formatted properly, so informed Jordan. Again, up steps Livefyre who manually fix every threaded comment that hadn’t dropped into the right place. Colour me impressed.
Chris Howard – Headway Theme Support.
While the issue was going on with Livefyre, the main point of contact with Headway was Chris Howard, based over in Australia.
He kept me in the loop on the Headway development team’s solutions, as well as possible reasons for the issue.
On top of that, he’s been an immense resource for the girl that’s currently coding the final part of my blog redesign. She’d run into a few issues with the way Headway runs Easy Hooks and code, and Chris has been a tower of knowledge for her.
He even set up a dummy site and ran some code testing to replicate the issues my designer was experiencing. Now that’s service, and one of the reasons I promote and endorse Headway as much as I do.
Lisa Kalandjian – SceneStealer Graphics.
Speaking of “the girl that’s coding my blog redesign”, Lisa Kalandjian (owner of SceneStealer Graphics) is just pure awesomesauce. A WordPress whiz, she’s been having a few issues with some of the premium design tricks she wants to implement on my redesign.
Through the process of getting this resolved, she’s been in constant contact with me and Headway support, and kept me up-to-speed on progress (even though I had no concerns with it).
Additionally, I’m setting up a site for my wife’s new e-commerce project (more info on that soon), and Lisa offered to help me with that (since it won’t be running on Headway). Again, just like Livefyre, colour me impressed.
The Relationship Behind the Sale
I speak a lot about the relationship behind the sale.
I see it as a key part to any business. As I mention at the start of this post, yes, marketing and sales and advertising and all the other cool and sexy stuff is great. They’ll get you the keys to the front door.
But the real business success stories come from service. Service is the solution to any problems or aftershocks created by sales, or marketing, or advertising. Service is the host that’s waiting to look after you once you use the keys that sales and marketing have given you.
Simply put, by all means, have the best sales, marketing and advertising team around. But make sure you have a superstar service team or mindset, because that’s where your customers old and new will really be.
Just like I’ll be there for Jordan, Chris and Lisa, because they’ve just made me an advocate for their brand, personal and business. Even if I personally stop using them, I’ll still be happy to recommend.
And that’s all you can ask for your company when building service success stories. Agree?
Image: James Callan
Note: This blog no longer runs on the Headway framework. Instead, it’s a custom WordPress design by Lisa Kalandjian of SceneStealer Graphics.