Zappos was founded in 1999 and sold to Amazon for $1.2 Billion Dollars just barely over ten years later. Zappos is powered by its customer service and was built on the premise of WOWing each and every customer. It’s that WOW or should I say WOM that enhanced the value of their marketing and attracted a player like Amazon.
In a world where User Generated Content has surpassed that of Publisher Content (ie marketers like you and me) I would argue that Word of Mouth (WOM ) is really your last frontier as a marketer and that outstanding customer service is not only the new marketing it’s your only marketing!
The downside of poor customer service has been well documented on the web because social media acts as the accelerant to negative WOM (think Dell Hell, Motrin Moms, and most recently Nestle). But great customer service enabled by social is a no brainier. As I have said before customer service (or supporting existing customers) is the single best place to build your business case for Social Media. This is because it keeping existing customers happy and WOWing them with great service is always cheaper than acquiring new customers.
Let’s face it, if you successfully implement social customer service, your customer service organization will be engaged with your customer more often and more frequently than traditional marketing channels. Doesn’t that mean customer service is now more important to shaping customer perceptions, brand preference and future purchase activity?
Most marketers are blissfully unaware of how things are going in their contact center. If you started an organization from scratch, I bet customer service and marketing would be the same thing like it was for Zappos. So why not treat it that way now?