To me, that is
It’s been a while. As many of you know, I started work on an MBA in the fall, and this semester has been pretty brutal on the work front. Combined with a job/internship search in this economy (coupled with Vegas’ 10%+ unemployment rate), and time has been pretty short. In any case, I’m back with a few posts today.
Before that, a couple of observations:
First, despite not having posted to the site in about two months, PR spammers don’t seem to have noticed one bit, making it abundantly clear (or perhaps just reinforcing) that they probably don’t bother reading the site. If you’ve engaged a PR firm, you might want to check up on what they’re doing and make sure they’re devoting their time to activities that are worthwhile. If they’re not, or if you’re looking for PR representation in mobile, drop me a line and I’d be happy to recommend some excellent PR folks to you.
Second, I’ve been thinking about customer service a lot lately, for various reasons. Our good friend Helen summed things up nicely when she said (at the Forum Oxford conference today, I gather) “good marketing begins and ends with good product and service.” The point’s rather obvious when you think about it, but that doesn’t stop it from being missed by plenty of people. Another thing to consider is just how broad your customer service function is, and how far it extends into marketing.
Case in point: As I said, I’ve been job hunting, and it’s been pretty interesting to see how different companies treat applicants. In a few cases, my impression of a company as a consumer have been impacted by my interaction with them as an applicant. Perhaps the best example was a rejection I got from a company here in town. What’s interesting is that I came away from the rejection actually feeling better about the company and thinking more positively of it, because of the way it was handled.
There’s a company here in Vegas that I’d really like to work for, and I recently saw an opening for the type of role I want. The only hitch was that it was for a senior position, asking for more experience than I’ve got. So I emailed the recruiter, asking about the team and if there were more junior positions on it. She wrote me back (which was a good start on its own), and said I should apply anyway, and she’d look at my resume and give me some feedback. A week or so later, I get a voicemail, saying that as I’d thought, they were looking for somebody with more experience. That was disappointing (though not surprising), but she then proceeded to leave a really nice message with some useful advice for me, making it clear she’d actually looked over my materials and given them some consideration.
I’ve never felt so good about being rejected for a job, simply because of the way she handled it. This company is one that’s built around customer service, and it shows, even in this scenario. I’ve come away from the situation thinking even more highly about the company, as a consumer as well as a wannabe employee. And I’ve mentioned the experience to several people to boot. Anyway, the point is that when you’re thinking about service, don’t stop at the people you’re trying to sell to; consider every interaction with your company a customer service — and a marketing — opportunity.