Listening to hold music is the biggest part of my day. In my time spent in the auditory waiting room, I’ve noticed that hold music is the only properly functioning part of some companies’ phone systems. For example, the directory listing for Joe Schmo ends up at Jane Doe’s voicemail box. Or pressing zero for operator just repeats the automated menu. I dig through these messy phone systems as part of my job, but it’s still frustrating to deal with the unnecessary complexity that a poorly maintained system causes.
To me, a company’s investment in its phone system reflects its overall take on client service. If Corporation X doesn’t think fixing its broken directory is worthwhile, its leadership probably doesn’t consider client interest a top priority. I’m not saying that they’re only looking for opportunities to upsell you on products or services that you don’t need, but being difficult to reach doesn’t imply a customer-first attitude.
In the long run, a self-serving company ethic is self-defeating. Clients – potential or otherwise – can smell it from miles away.
Our clients usually come to us already knowing a little something about marketing. But just as a copywriter probably can’t design a visually compelling logo, no prospect knows every aspect of our industry. So, it’s our duty to educate our clients on why and how we can achieve their marketing goals, while respecting their time and business.
We go out of our way to fill in the gaps in a client’s marketing knowledge and develop a mutually beneficial relationship.
Agencies that don’t invest time teaching their clients and explaining why they recommend certain tactics are damaging the profession. A less-educated clientele sees less value in marketing. This attitude leads to the unfortunate result of businesses relying entirely on unsupported sales forces.
Some companies believe that they haven’t lost anything if they haven’t invested anything. But by not investing in the materials that their sales teams need to build relationships and close deals, they’re losing opportunities for revenue.
That out-of-date phone system or bad sales collateral may have just lost them a lead – but how would they know?
What’s your take on making behind-the-scenes investments to help your customers? Let us know in the comments.