Google service marketing and you will find countless pages of search results regarding theories and research that discusses service marketing practices. These are all great, but when it comes to service marketing the simple rule is that common sense prevails. Therefore if an organisation provides good service you will come back, if they don’t you won’t! Obviously, the level of service differs depending on the type of service and status. For instance, you would expect better service from a 5 star resort than you would a backpackers – but at the same time it doesn’t matter how expensive the service is – you are using the service and therefore good service is a must! (Feel free at any time to share your positive or negative service encounters).
Many organisations may not realise how important it is to ensure your satisfaction (particularly in today’s world of social networking, where word of mouth grows at an insane and rapid speed), but I think the below information will help demonstrate my point!
Typically customers fall into four complainer categories:
1. Passive: These are people who take no action, as they don’t see the point in complaining
2. Voicer: These are consumers who complain on the spot – straight to the service provider and do not spread negative word of mouth or complain to a third party (such as an ombudsman or even this website!)
3. Irates: These consumers spread negative word of mouth and may sometimes complain to the provider, but often do not give the provider a second chance.
4. Activists: These consumers complain on all three dimensions! Including, straight to providers, negative word of mouth and third parties.
So what type of complainer are you? At Vent2Me we tend to fall into the activist category. We always let the organisation know that we are dissatisfied, but if we feel their handling of the complaint isn’t great, we will vent to friends, ombudsmans and other third parties. And in most instances, I have blacklisted many retail outlets and service providers, as a result of my dissatisfaction.
May this example, provide you with evidence to see how you really do have the power!
About 6 years ago, I bought a bag from a popular shop that is 7 words long and starts with an ‘A’. I had the bag for about a week, when it broke and was not usable. I took the bag back to complain and was given the response of ‘you get what you pay for’. In the end, after lots of arguing, I was finally able to get my money back. To this day, I have never been back to the store, and will not buy the brand. I have also expressed my distaste from this bad experience and have made sure family and friends think hard before they decide to purchase an item from this store. Even though, it was six years ago and their management and polices may have changed, I am not interested in visiting their store. If they had done the right thing in the first place ie: granted me a refund without argument, it is quite possible, I may have continued to shop with them!
Until next week,
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.