“I just wanted to speak to someone.”

“They were really rude and pushy.”

“I was repeatedly asked for the same information”

These are some of the most common complaints of 2015 (and a whole lot more revolved around poor phone customer service).

In many organisations, marketing is divorced from the customer service team -or the organisation doesn’t have a customer service or customer experience team [shudder] – which can lead to a feeling that marketing isn’t responsible for customer service.

Word up … either directly or indirectly we are.

By placing the customer at the centre of all your decisions you will become a better marketer, it won’t hamstring you at all.

Let’s look at these common complaints through the lense of the marketer:

I just wanted to speak to someone

Do you simply ‘broadcast’ your message through channels that were meant for conversation or do you allow your customers to speak to you?

In the situation of a complaint, many complainants want to know that you have listened to them, ‘I just wanted to speak to someone”. They don’t want a full refund, or compensation or to become famous through your downfall, they just want someone to listen.

  • Do you allow people to post questions to your Facebook wall?
  • Do you respond to posts, DMs and tweets directly?
  • Do you promote a phone number and email address that people actually answer?
  • Do the people who respond have the answers and the autonomy to solve complaints?

As a marketer, make sure you are listening when people speak.

Four questions about the same thing on your website might mean that you need to say something differently, or move the link to make it easier to find.

If people are complaining about the same location repeatedly on Facebook, take the time to speak to the regional manager or the operations team.  Use marketing intel to make the business better.

Are your customers pleased to see you or are you nasty surprise?

They were really rude and pushy

I am sure we have all been at the mercy of a rude and pushy salesperson.  It is important however that our marketing message and placement isn’t viewed as rude and pushy.

  • Are you emailing people too frequently?
  • Do you have permission to SMS a customer about special offers?
  • Are you sending the right content to the right people?
  • If you pass enquiries on to the sales team to work, will the call from the salesperson be viewed as a help or a frustrating interruption in the day?  If it is the latter has the potential customer been shown enough of the value in the product or service to welcome the call?
  • Do you have unnecessary pop-ups on your website exhorting people to sign up to your newsletter before they have really engaged with your content?
  • Is your social media content all about you, you, you or is it about your customers and the value they are seeking?  Are you pushing content at people or pulling them towards engagement?I was totally ignored, I needed help and felt totally invisible.”

I was repeatedly asked for the same information

That old chestnut … having to fill in the details you know a company already has on file.  Frustrating, isn’t it?

You can autopopulate a form on your website with the information you already have on the customer so that all they have to do is type the question or message and hit submit.  Easy.

Outside these small items, putting your customer at the centre of every marketing question or campaign will make you a better marketer.

The questions shift:

  • What time should I send?     becomes     What time will my customer want to read this?
  • What is the tagline for this new product?     becomes     What will most motivate my customer?
  • What blurb do we write for this event?     becomes     What does the customer need to know to subscribe?

Little shifts yes, but it helps everyone in your team understand the importance of the customer, will see the increased use of data and feedback and a happier customer.  Nirvana.


This post was originally published on LinkedIn.