Every time you interface with your customers or clients you are marketing whether you like it or not. If you have members of your team making these interactions they need to be informed that these communications must be representative of the company and basically, you don’t want to appear stupid.

Recently I had three examples of this.

Windows 7

Windows 7

I was coerced into buying a new laptop by the friendly sales rep at Micro Center. He told me to buy one before the Windows 7 upgrade was the way to go since the upgrade would be free when Microsoft Released their new version. Of course I took my machine home and signed up in advance for my upgrade from HP. Three weeks after the public release I sent an e-mail to the fulfillment company that had not shipped my upgrade yet. They responded with this:

About your windows media upgrade well we do understand that we have been waiting for this over a month or so, however the processing of the shipment is on first come first serve basis. Currently where working on to solve the issue to give out specific information on the actual time frame for the customers on they’re request. We do apologize for the inconvenience as our team is working 24/7 to resolved this. and just like to add that if your status on the view order page says in process expect the delivery of your package within 10-15 business days.

Now I’m surprised they have the audacity to tell me they are overwhelmed with shipping. I did register for my upgrade three weeks before the release… Did no one check the orders before the release date?

As public relations nightmares go. Ticketmaster pretty much rules the roost in not caring what they are perceived as in the public opinion. I for one have paid in excess of 57% in fees on a single ticket for a concert in the past.. if they weren’t the only player in the game I would be boycotting their service. So when I was able to purchase Phish Tickets to their fall Tour Opener at Cobo Hall i was thrilled I would avoid TicketBastard charges.

Shortly after I “won” my tickets a friend of mine told me he managed to get tickets from Stub Hub for 1/2 price the Phish Ticketing cost.. I felt I had to send an e-mail to the ticket providers since they proclaim they want to eliminate scalping…This was their response:

Dear Fan,

We are aware that tickets are being resold on EBAY, StubHub, Tickets.com, etc. We went to great lengths to cancel any suspect or fraudulent ticket requests before the successful orders were selected.

Please understand that the only way to eliminate scalping is to simply not cooperate with it.

Phish Ticketing Customer Service Dept

The worst part of this is the additional tickets the band sold through Ticketmaster, and Ticketmaster runs Stub Hub.. So…. If the bands ticketing service want to stop scalping by not cooperating, they should stop selling tickets through Ticketmaster who are taking advantage of their fans….

Finally, When your customer service is a technical support position there are many pratfalls that can get int eh way of the message to your customers. Worst is the typical person with a heavy accent who tells you their name is “Steve”  Worse is when a technical person barely leads your customer to the solution in very short steps over weeks of e-mail communication. This happened with this very blog over the past three months. after the support team had frustrated me as far as I thought I could be frustrated I sent a very nasty e-mail to my “Support person” demanding to be elevated to an English speaking manager… rather than tell me what to do, they just fixed the problem

They could have done that three months earlier and saved me the headache, and themselves an unhappy customer.

We all know that it’s easier to keep a customer than to get a new one… the best way to keep your customers is to remind your employees that all interfaces with the customer have to be informed, positive, and productive. And that is why every message between your customer and your company is a marketing message!