Managing Customer Service Training: Marketing Budget vs Customer Service Budget – Miami


Many corporations frequently spend massive amounts on branding, marketing and advertising campaigns, yet have a comparatively meager customer service budget.

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Often the minimalist customer service budget is a management approach based around implementing a self-service mode. Think about it: have you ever driven passed a massive slick billboard, heard an ad on the radio, watched an ad on TV and then caught a different version of the ad on YouTube, all of which presented and supported a glossy impressive image for a particular brand – usually with a message saying their standards and quality are of the highest quality, because it is all about ‘You’ and ‘Your experience’?

Whilst we are big advocates of self service and sophisticated online resources, we believe the balance is about providing services that genuinely add value and convenience online, instead of forcing people to find their own answers and serve themselves to save money.

Then have you found yourself needing to contact the shiny impressive brand only to discover the phone number is buried on a page that is obviously designed to hide itself from the user aka customer? You called up, navigated 19 sets of prompts via a voice activated automated operator that doesn’t understand what you say, to finally be put in a queue where the wait ‘is longer than usual’.

What do those experiences say? They don’t want me – the customer – to receive service from them. By this stage, you am frustrated beyond belief, beginning to loose your emotional connection to the product, and your care for the brand starts to mirror the level of care the brand has for you.

I reflect that the marketing spend to bombard me, online, on TV and on Radio represents $100,000’s per month spend in my average sized city. However, this global brand must have an equivalent spend in 1000’s of cities around the world every month.

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In my case, the customer acquisition cost will be massive, because I will never buy another product. They spent lavishly to acquire my purchase, but because they refused to spend on service, they will have secured only a single sale.

Maybe that is the perfect strategy – scale marketing worldwide, aim to get 1 sale from a small percent of the 7,211,239,210 (give or take) people on this planet, save money on resourcing your service and you have a valid business model.

Unfortunately, for those number crunches out there what like ‘churn and burn’ approach is that the world market is getting smaller from a ‘reach’ perspective, in exactly the same exponential growth is happening to ‘word of mouth’ advertising. Once upon a time the adage was give someone good service and they tell 1 person, give them bad service and they tell 10 people.

Now we ‘Like’ everything we even remotely though was ‘Ok’ – which tells our hundreds of friends or millions of visitors to the web page where we clicked the button or left a comment, and we equally freely give bad feedback online, so where once we told 10 people about our bad experience it is equally likely our negative experience can reach 1000 people in a matter of hours.

On balance there is no doubt that while markets are opening, the population is growing, and the percentage of it that moves into middle class is growing quickly, your service model and customer service standards are becoming increasingly important as the most important part of your branding, and sustainability, as such, it should receive at least as much spending as marketing spending.

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