Thursday, July 04, 2013

Is your service support aligned to your marketing positioning?

For buyers of capital goods and other high ticket items purchased with a long time interval between replacements, your service team may be the customer's main contact with their business? Are they effective in maintaining awareness of your brand and building loyalty when the time for replacement comes round? Are the service team in the loop so they are aware of the 'keep in touch' marketing communications the customer should receive and do they portray the same brand values?

An interesting example this week was how Honda approached the annual service of my car. I was called on my mobile phone to remind me the first annual service was due and given the options of waiting while the vehicle was serviced, dropped off and collected later, or collected from home and returned at no cost. I opted for the free collection and return. As arranged a driver called to collect the car. He was clearly from the Honda dealer as his crisp white shirt had a discretely embroidered logo in red, he carried a clip board with the job details, cheerfully explained what was being done and off he went. A few hour later the service manager called, explained what service had been carried out, condition of of brakes, tyres and vehicle in general which would all be covered in a printed report. Your car is just being cleaned inside and out and will be back with you in 30 minutes. Twenty five minutes later it was parked in the same spot it had been collected from by the same driver who gave me the promised documents and that was it. Next day I  received a call to ask if I was satisfied with the service - I was very impressed.

Unfortunately few other companies get anywhere near this level of service, they hide contact details on their web sites, are hard to contact at all, off shore call centres and oddly enough tend to be service suppliers like telecoms, energy or airlines. But the lemon of the week has to go to HMRC and their undisguised hostility towards their customers - but that is another story.

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