Marketing Strategy: Make It All About Customer Service
I recently read a blog by Don Dodge, a Developer Advocate at Google, on what he calls “MeCommerce” and I wanted to share it with marketing and sales people at startups and expansion stage companies. MeCommerce consists of three things – customization, customer service and convenience – all of which have the ability to make or break a business. It has to do with making it all about the customer – what the customer wants, what the customer likes, what makes the customer’s life easier and so on. Below are some examples Dodge talks about in his blog:
Customer service: Dodge brings up the L. L. Bean mail order business and more recently Zappos’ “wow” experience as examples of this. Solid customer service, one that customers can absolutely trust, makes customers feel that “the company cares about me”. It’s the “me” feeling that’s key. Good customer service leads to loyal customers and can also be a great marketing tool.
Convenience: This has to do with “making it easy”, which can range from making it easy for the customer to find what he/she wants to making the product itself easier to use. Amazon is a great example of this – it suggests products based on the customer’s purchase or what others like him/her have bought in the past. Netflix too does something similar; it suggests movies based on what the customer has watched before, making it convenient and easier for customers to find movies that suit their tastes.
Customization: Dodge uses Dell as a prime example of this. Dell’s “built to order” customization allowed it to avoid a big inventory, reducing capital costs. Customers requested the amount of memory, processor speed and all the other things they needed, and Dell delivered. You don’t have to be a Dell, but you can try to get as close to it as you can.
The “MeCommerce” experience is vital to a business’s long-term success. In order to create a truly differentiable product, you need to tailor your product or service to the customer’s needs and make it convenient for them to spread the word and for your customers to recommend you (and obviously to retain customers). Use the three Cs to give your customers the “me” experience.
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