Marketing & Customer Service Now Joined at the Hip

Time was that a company’s brand and reputation (and ability to sell accordingly) were not directly tied to the quality of customer service it provided. Yet it has always been true that good service helps retain and even win customers.

But now marketing (brand) and customer service are colliding because everything is public by virtue of social media. Some new RightNow survey findings show the clear impact of bad customer service on brand reputation and loyalty:

  • 82% of survey respondents say they’ve stopped doing business with a company because of poor service (rude staff and lack of prompt response were the chief reasons)
  • 95% have taken action as a result of poor customer service and 79% told others about their poor experience

All of this negative customer experience material now plays out very publicly on blogs, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter — and is amplified accordingly.

Marketing and customer service now more than ever need to start talking to one another and recognize that each is in the other’s business to some degree. But it’s especially true of customer service.

Bad experiences are going to immediately reflect on the brand and reputation of the involved company. Less defensively there’s also an opportunity to capture data from the customer service or call center interaction and “leverage” that for marketing purposes.

Telmetrics, Marchex and Mongoose Metrics for example are all doing call recording, transcription and analytics. Those call transcripts (as well as the normal “quality assurance” recordings) have a ton of valuable information for the marketing organization that right now is not being utilized.

Stay tuned for more . . .

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6 Responses to “Marketing & Customer Service Now Joined at the Hip”

  1. Earlpearl says at

    Oh my.  I have a funny and probably very opportunistic idea for someone….and I don’t have the time to do it.

    Google’s customer service is notably weak in the adwords, adsense, and places arenas.  Some opportunistic person could generate an unbelievable youtube piece if they could get to the unhappy folks in those google forums, arrange video clips (okay–its gonna be national) put it all together and blast it on Google’s own YouTube.

    Oh my…that just could go viral if well done   😀

  2. Greg Sterling says at

    Yes . .. let’s nominate Mike B.

  3. Mike Blumenthal says at

    Thanks for the nomination….but as Groucho Marx once said, I am not sure that I would join any club that would have me as a member….I am not sure that I would want or need additional coverage of my critique’s of Google’s customer service in Places. I think Google understands what I think and for whatever reason have chosen to handle customer service in their own inimitable fashion. 🙂 

  4. Just wanna make something clear about the new Iphone 3gs? says at

    […] Marketing & Customer Service Now Joined at the Hip […]

  5. Anna Brice says at

    Greg, I am in complete agreement. I am a firm believer that customer service should be part of the marketing plan for every company. All the elements of a marketing plan need to be working together cohesively. Customer service, being the front line of a company, needs to be in tune with what the marketing department is doing and they need to be “in the know”. And the same is true in the reverse. I have worked in large companies (very recognizable brands) where customer service didn’t know basic things that were being generated by the marketing department and it just doesn’t make sense. Customer service is SO important–I am one of those 82% who has stopped doing business with a company due to a bad customer service experience.

  6. Greg Sterling says at


    I think it’s just a consumer fact (or state of affairs) now. Companies that disagree or fail to respond will suffer.

  7. More on the Subject of Marketing and Customer Service « Marketing Evolution says at

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  8. Google Finds it Lost Homework – Raises its BBB Grade to a B+ | Understanding Google Maps & Local Search says at

    […] just going through the motions starts a process that can lead to good outcomes. I am convinced that good customer service is a critical part of good marketing. I am hopeful that Google is learning that as well. We can only pray that they manage to get there […]

  9. kbBABY says at

    Customer service is expensive for large companies like google whos main objective is to keep cost low to increase profit for the stock holders. If you have a bad experience once with a cs rep, would you want to deal with it again? And two times the bad service? Forget about it. Maybe you’ll try again maybe not, but a majority will not, thus lowering the need to staff cs reps. I’m no analyst but I bet on a limb that If I provide poor service I will have less people trying to call my Customer Service. (just my opinion)

  10. Marketing Funnies: The Coming Merger of Customer Service and Marketing « Snap! says at

    […] to some degree. But it’s espe­cially true of cus­tomer ser­vice. – Greg Stir­ling, Mar­ket­ing & Cus­tomer Ser­vice Now Joined at the Hip Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

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