Customer Service and Using Digital Avenues
to Market Your Business
September 20, 2012
by Megan Headley, firstname.lastname@example.org
|Marketing expert Kelly McDonald was back at
this year's Auto Glass Week due to popular demand after
her informative talk last year in Memphis, Tenn.
Customer service was a big discussion point among seminars at this
year's Auto Glass Week. Among the speakers, Kelly McDonald
of McDonald Marketing returned to this year's event with new tips
for customer service in her seminar on "How to Keep Customers
Rushing Back for More."
McDonald opened her session by sharing, "I'm really passionate
about customer service because ... although you can't control the
economy, you can't control the stock market ... the one thing that
is in your control is the customer service experience." That
experience can be improved by everyone, she said, because we all
have a customer, whether that person is your boss, the team you
work for or the consumers walking into your shop.
McDonald also pointed to the common thought that "customer
service is dead" and pointed out that really it's just "suffering,"
as technology makes it easier to live in isolation. "We're
losing our ability to be polite and courteous with one another,"
In truth, though, the customer service landscape has simply changed.
Customers no long just want to speak to a customer service representative
(CSR) who is simply polite and responsive-they are seeking speed,
efficiency, accuracy and personal attention as well. "The customer
service bar continues to be raised higher and higher," McDonald
McDonald went on to highlight six key reasons why customer service
matters: it makes a business more stable, it helps to grows business,
it makes businesses more profitable, healthier and happier, and
it helps to better brand a business.
Among the tips she offered for improving your customer service,
McDonald advised that managers frequently check in with their CSRs
and technicians, the people who are on the frontline interfacing
with customers, to ask about the positive and negative comments
they overhear about what the customer really wants. She also advised
hiring those employees who show signs of outstanding service, since
on-the-job training can provide skills specific to the job. You
need to be selective and hire the people who match and believe in
your company's vision, she advised, adding, "I find the people
who are the right kind of people and figure that I can teach them
In the end, excellent customer service is necessary, McDonald said,
because "study after study shows that people will pay for better
customer service." She added, "Other people do what you
do, probably pretty well, too, so the one thing that can really
differentiate you ... is customer service."
Following McDonald's presentation, Monika Baraket, an online marketing
strategist with Forge3, looked at growing and maintaining a customer
base through a session on "Using Digital Avenues to Market
She began by explaining, "The bad news is that technology is
confusing, and you guys don't really have a lot of time, you're
busy running your business.
The good news is that business
hasn't really changed, the tools that you're using have changed."
Baraket noted that today's consumer is "already empowered with
a lot of information before they even walk through your door or
pick up the phone." Using digital avenues such as social media
can help those tech-savvy consumers to connect with your business
as a resource. She advised that auto glass shops considering jumping
into social media first pick one platform, such as Facebook or Twitter,
and observe what works and what doesn't. However, she cautioned,
"Having a presence to just to have it can hurt you more than
not being on these social media platforms."
Baraket also added that a social media strategy should be just one
piece of a marketing plan, and should tie into the strategy you
have already in place. In deciding what platform to use, she suggested
contacting customers with a brief survey to first see where they
are and what their needs might be. The biggest suggestion, however,
was to focus on outlining strong content.
Baraket suggested thinking outside the box, providing information
not just about repairing windshield chips or replacement information,
but also information about glass cleaning or fun photos of things
seen on the job or even a joke of the day that might draw readers
into continuously checking your site and staying connected to your
Baraket finished by explaining that social media has slow but powerful
growth, and encouraged her audience to be patient as they connected
to their audience through these new tools.
Look for more coverage of the 2012 Auto Glass Week in the
November/December issue of AGRR magazine.
This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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