“The company clearly understood the market,” writes Barbara Bix at MarketingProfs. It had created a new product with all the right features and benefits, one that was earning rave reviews for its performance. “The name was short, crisp, and evocative. The logo was memorable. The promotion was compelling, frequent, and consistent.” Persuaded of its usefulness, Bix made an immediate purchase.
But there was a problem: Unable to install the product, she called the customer service number and spent several hours on hold as her issue was passed from manager to manager. Finally—a full 24 hours after her installation ordeal began—a service person authorized to fix the problem did so with a few taps on the keyboard.
By then, however, the damage was done. “Due to a series of post-sales mishaps,” notes Bix, “the company had counteracted months of well-executed marketing investments.”
To protect your brand from similar harm, she has this advice like this:
Test all aspects of delivery before going to market. Bix’s problem was simple: The authorization code she received with her purchase didn’t match any in the company’s database—a glitch that should have been discovered and resolved before the product went on sale.
Don’t direct customers to an FAQ page. There’s a good chance they won’t find the answer they actually need, and this will only fuel their frustration. Phone support—ideally 24/7—is what they want. “Many customers will forgive product failures if they can reach an empathetic support person who remedies the situation,” she says.
Empower employees to take corrective action. Why didn’t a frontline customer service rep have the code Bix needed? Bringing supervisors into process only served to add unnecessary complexity and irritation.
Don’t let a negative customer experience undermine your carefully crafted marketing plan.