Skype and ‘Customer Service Is the New Marketing’

It’s not clear whether this was planned or a response to the negative reaction that I and others had yesterday to the $1 credit that Skype offered to compensate people for the recent outage. I got an email this morning extending my Skype subscription by a week:

“As a valued customer of Skype, we would like to offer you a sincere apology and credit you with an extra 7 days to your current Subscription at your next renewal date.”

This is a more substantial offer and should have been provided yesterday instead of the $1 credit — though most people aren’t subscribers of course. So it’s possible that there were two offers, one for subscribers (above) and $1 for everyone else.

I wouldn’t exactly call this a PR screw up for Skype (as much as the outage itself might have been). However it illustrates how customer service and marketing/brand management are now inextricably linked. There are many other such examples I could rattle off.

I saw a line in an article (can’t remember where) the other day: “customer service is the new marketing.” Exactly.

Customer service now happens very publicly. Just look at this blog post for example. But most marketers and customer service teams don’t do any coordination and customer care isn’t factored into brand management.

This is why we created the C3 conference in February, to get marketers and customer care people in the same room and discuss these issues with concrete case studies.

It may well be the most interesting (and practical) “social media” event you attend in 2011. Register by tomorrow for $200 off.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed.

4 Responses to “Skype and ‘Customer Service Is the New Marketing’”

  1. Tweets that mention Skype and Customer Service As the ‘New Marketing’ -- Topsy.com says at

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Greg Sterling. Greg Sterling said: Skype and Customer Service As the ‘New Marketing’ http://bit.ly/eqDTJG […]

  2. Dan Greenfield/PR+MKTG Camp says at

    Your C3 Conference looks great and timely.  I couldn’t help citing Barry Dalton’s post @bsdalton Marketing is Marketing. Customer Service is Customer Service. http://bit.ly/eE2eCn where he writes: “Rather than “customer service is the new marketing.'” Maybe we ought to think in terms of ‘Customer Services is the New Business of Business.'” Together your and Barry’s post highlight how customer service and marketing are intertwined. They also go to the heart of how social media is impacting traditional roles and responsibilities.  Here’s to continuing the discussion in 2011.

  3. Greg Sterling says at

    Thanks. I’ll have to take a look at the post.

  4. Gail Gardner says at

    Larger companies have often forgotten how much their future sales depend on their current customer service. IBM is the perfect example of that. How many mainframes would they sell or lease if they weren’t so good at keeping them running consistently?

    Your front line people have always affected your bottom line sales and should always be considered an asset rather than an expense. Now that disgruntled customers have much more efficient methods of sharing their unhappiness companies are going to have to pay much better attention to customer service.

    Everything we do online is complicated and has a long learning curve. Those who get up to speed first and most thoroughly will have the advantage. The decisions on what to do about this new intersection of marketing and CRM made now will have long-lasting impact.

  5. Alice says at

    I am still waiting for an answer of skype customer service for one year now. I´ve paid the ” europe package” (about 60 Euros) and until now I did not receive anything! It seems that this is the way how to do good business.

Leave a Reply