The Importance of In-Person Marketing Experiences
What comes to mind when you think of marketing? Social media posts, email blasts, and catchy slogans? If so, you’re not entirely on the wrong track. Marketing covers various tasks; however, it’s much more than just well-branded materials. In one of the latest episodes of SkyeLine’s podcast, “Frustrated By Your Marketing?,” our co-founder Jim DeMicco discussed the importance of an often overlooked aspect of marketing: customer service.
Regardless of industry type, most businesses have a human element to their operations. Whether it’s a hostess greeting guests in a restaurant, a cashier ringing up items at a clothing store, or a receptionist answering phones in an office, in-person experiences are critical to running any company. Yet, while most people wouldn’t consider these roles marketing-related, they can significantly impact your brand’s image, reputation, and, ultimately, success.
In Episode 7 of SkyeLine’s podcast, “The Junk Drawer: Everything is Marketing,” Jim provided two real-life experiences to support this idea. The first example shows the benefits of a positive relationship with staff, and the second reveals the potential negative effects of a not-so-cheery front desk interaction. So, let’s explore what made these two situations different and why it matters.
In the first scenario, Jim and his wife, Skye, were in the midst of their IVF journey. It is an understatement to say this was a stressful time, but thanks to their doctor and his dedicated staff, Jim and Skye had the best experience possible.
They treated them as though they were family and even went out of their way to reduce the cost of an exceptionally pricey prescription. Jim and Skye are now complete evangelists for this medical office and have continued recommending it to everyone they know.
Then, there was Jim’s experience with a receptionist at his dentist. Even though it’s an hour and a half round trip, Jim’s been going to the same office for nearly 30 years. He’s grown very close with many of the staff members over the years. Yet, during a recent visit, Jim went to the front desk to schedule his next appointment and did not experience the level of service he’s come to expect.
In addition to having a smug attitude and tone, the receptionist made little effort to assure Jim he would be seen as soon as possible, given that there was a waitlist. The insincere exchange skewed Jim’s outlook, and he debated switching dentists, which would have resulted in the loss of a loyal customer of almost three decades.
These were just two comparative examples of how customer service in a medical setting affected a customer’s opinion. Still, the underlying principle can apply to industries of all types. Take trying to make a reservation at a restaurant. If it’s a busy night and the chances of securing a table are slim, your evening can go one of two ways.
On the one hand, the hostess could give you the classic “We’re booked” and send you on your way with no resolutions and a sour taste in your mouth. Or, if you’re lucky enough to encounter a hostess who prioritizes quality customer service, you’ll likely have a much different experience. Whether it’s a courteous apology, an opportunity to be squeezed in at the bar, or a recommendation to come on a calmer night, there are numerous ways to ensure that customers feel acknowledged and respected.
Going the extra mile for customers, in whatever way you can, will do a world of good for your brand. At the end of the day, people do not remember businesses by their online ratings or number of reviews; they remember them by their experiences.
Businesses must take customer service seriously. It’s one of the most essential marketing elements and can be achieved in various ways. From making time for niceties (and meaning it) to providing assistance and reducing stress whenever possible, these small acts of kindness can tremendously affect your brand. After all, keeping customers happy is always the goal!