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 Two Service Superstars
The other thing about great service is it not only builds loyalty to a company, but encourages organic marketing via the advocate(s) that service has created.
You listen to a customer, and show you care about their support of your product, and they’ll be the first to share your details to friends, colleagues, family, etc., when it comes to them looking for the types of product or service your company creates.
Point in case – MeanThemes and Postmatic.
Nothing Mean About MeanThemes’ Service
Anyone that’s been around this blog for a while will know I tend to change its design more than Madonna changes “dance partners”….
It’s become a running joke, and I’ll admit to tinkering with the look and feel much more than any blogger should. But, for me, it’s all part of the ongoing evolution to present the best experience possible, for both reader and myself.
I’m a huge fan of the Medium approach to content presentation – large featured image, clean typography, no distraction content area. So, for me, Myth was perfect.
Setting the theme up was pretty easy, but then I ran into some roadblocks with some settings (mainly, plug-in conflicts and some drop quote styling).
Any time I wrote to Chris, one of the co-founders of MeanThemes, through their ticketing system, he was on the ball and responded within 24 hours, often much less.
Not only that, but I’m currently looking at the Lasso plug-in for front-end editing to tell stories more effectively on here, and that has some weird CSS tricks it needs you to implement.
Chris spent a week looking at the plug-in, how it integrates with themes, what CSS improvements it needs, etc, and is submitting all that info to the Lasso creators.
Now, remember, this isn’t part of the MeanThemes toolset. Nor is it really any of Chris’s concern.
The fact he took all this on board, though, and advised me to wait until his suggestions reach the Lasso team, validates my decision to go with MeanThemes and make them my de-facto go-to if/when I decide to change up my theme again.
Postmatic and the Art of the Customer Journey
I’m a huge fan of Postmatic, as anyone who’s read my blog posts over the last 6 months can attest to.
For me, they make blog commenting fun and more social again, and they make it so easy that anyone can take part and enjoy.
They’re also great at implementing updates that make sense, both from a blogger and from a reader/subscriber perspective.
Yet, more than that, they have one of the most awesome user support teams in place.
For example, I mentioned earlier I’d had a conflict between Myth and a couple of plug-ins. Postmatic was one of them, where the little check box to subscribe to posts wasn’t showing.
While Chris from MeanThemes helped me resolve that issue (with some CSS, then a full theme update to fix the way the theme hides labels on the comment form), Jason from Postmatic set up a test server to go through the Myth theme and see how Postmatic could help.
I also had some issues with how Postmatic’s comment plug-in Epoch (currently in beta) displayed comments when activated.
Instead of blaming a theme, or citing incompatibility, the Postmatic team worked to add new features to Epoch that meant the native styling of a blog’s theme could be adapted by the Epoch plug-in.
And to put the icing on the cake, when I borked my theme because I dropped in some rogue code, Dylan – the Postmatic lead dev – jumped in to fix it for me. On the friggin’ weekend!
To say I was impressed would be putting it mildly…
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.Service is the solution to any problems or aftershocks created by sales, or marketing, or advertising. Click To Tweet
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 Chris and the MeanThemes team, and Jason and the Postmatic team, because they’ve made me an advocate for their brand, personal and business.
Even if I personally stop using them, I’ll still be happy to recommend their businesses.
And that’s all you can ask for your company when building service success stories. Agree?
Note: If you want a top-notch WordPress or Ghost theme with awesome support, please do check out MeanThemes. And if you want to make blog comments and engagement fun and social again, sign up for Postmatic.