Word-of-mouth marketing is the best and most powerful way for you to get your message to potential customers.Â (Click here for more info about WOMM in your library.)
The followingÂ post, courtesy of Alison Circle at LibaryJournal.com’s Bubble Room, explains how customer service — one of the most important pieces of word-of-mouth marketing — can make or break a customer’s experience.
Burst the Bubble: Bad Customer Service
June 1, 2009
Today I inaugurate an ongoing feature: Burst the Bubble. Things that make us sad in the Bubble Room — anti-brand experiences, failed marketing ideas or what-were-they-thinking concepts. I’m inspired today because of two diametrically opposite customer service experiences I had this weekend. Good, even outstanding, customer service is the watchword for libraries, so emulating what is good and avoiding what is bad is an excellent strategy.
Let’s start with how the bubble burst. Like many of you, I spend my weekends on home projects. Given that it is spring I am inevitably drawn to the garden store on a sunny Saturday. I like to support the local businesses, but boy do they make it hard for me. I literally had to hurdle multiple obstacles to get to the plants: trying to park, maneuvering my cart over hoses strewn in my path, puddles, even a makeshift board that an employee accidently jammed into my foot. That burst the bubble for sure! My cart was loaded down with 8 bags of mulch and I asked for help getting into my car. They said no. And when I asked for a paper towel to wipe the mud from the bags off my hands, the cashier handed me a single sad little paper towel.
Compare that with my experience the same day at a national chain hardware store. I was living every wife’s nightmare — my husband had sent me to the hardware with a long list of items most of which I had never heard of before (two gang old work box with fins and no nails). I approached the first employee I saw who escorted me through the entire store and gathered my items. It took ten minutes. Hummm. They also have a garden section. I’m very tempted….
Today’s public has high expectations for customer service, whether it is shopping, visiting a ball park or going to the library. And they have unforgiveable and long memories. To continue to keep their expectations inflated and not burst, we have to realize that every interaction every time is an opportunity to be on brand or not. It requires dilligence, commitment and awareness.