Awhile ago, I mused: Should companies shift more of their advertising dollars to customer service?
I’m no longer musing. I think the answer is “yes.” And that customer service should drive a company’s marketing communications.
While those are still distinct “silos” in most companies, Southwest Airlines’ misfortunes this week demonstrate the dangers of disconnecting the disciplines.
Evidently, marketers at Southwest continued to tweet “all’s well” when “all was hell” this week. Portfolio.com called it “brazen, self-serving baloney,” which might be putting it kindly.
If you’ll allow me to coin a phrase, these kinds of problems happen because too many companies still think with a “megaphone mindset.” And too many communicators are trained to “promote” products rather than to promote honest relationships.
If even a masterful marketer like Southwest can make that mistake, anyone can. So now I’m musing: Is customer service is the new marketing communications? And, if so, have customers become the medium and the message?
Photo by theparadigmshifter on Flickr.com, (cc) some rights reserved.