Social business strategy – Can your customer service be part of your marketing?

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1234 Telstra assist ridiculous ad is made even more ridiculous after you try the service. This Saturday I called the 1234 number in distress. I wanted to get phone numbers of clinics near my area as I was searching for a doctor (I was offline for a few hours so couldn’t do this properly). The pleasant operator told me of several clinics in my area. When I asked for the numbers she said she could only give me one number per call. One number out of 5-6 options. I felt like I was just put in prison with one phone call to make. After picking one clinic randomly and calling the number I realised I got to the Massage clinic. A Massage clinic when I was looking for a doctor. 1234 couldn’t even tell me this number wasn’t what I was looking for. It’s such a shame this important service makes you feel you’re talking to a sock and I wish Telstra will learn from some smart people at the end of this post and a bit from Zappos.

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Zappos was sold to amazon a few weeks ago for around $900 million. Why did Amazon paid so much for it? it wasn’t for the distribution channels, for the stock or for the technology. It was for a secret sauce – their culture. Zappos has an amazing customer service department which provides word of mouth in abundance. People hear about Zappos from other people. People also hear and talk to Zappos on their Twitter account – this is a feed from all their employees who tweet (more than 400). Oh and Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO has more than one million followers on twitter – Maybe there is a relation between number of followers on twitter/employees twittering and business worth? 🙂

Who do you think is the most advanced and friendliest customer service company/brand in Australia? Who do you think deserve an “Australian customer service” award?

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