Press option 2 for that.
It’s option 3 if you’re getting annoyed.
Now option 4 if this process has got you on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
And perhaps option 5 if you’re a glutton for punishment and think you’ll wait a little longer….
We’ve all been there.
The telephone queuing process supposedly put in place by a company trying to foster customer-care.
Instead, by the time you’ve listened to the first half a dozen choices you’d rather stick pins in your eyes than sit on the telephone a moment longer.
I found myself in one of these infuriating option scenarios very recently, when making a scheduled call to a business currently re-evaluating their own marketing and PR processes.
It was a pertinent experience, coming ahead of a strategic conversation about what is and isn’t working in terms of their ability to engage customers and encourage new and repeat business.
“About that telephone system….” I broached….
“Yes, we’ve had it like that for years. It makes people think we’re bigger…,” I was told.
Hmmm. I was unconvinced.
For a retail shop with less than a handful of staff, it seemed unnecessary. More than that, it seemed – in my humble opinion – to have just as much potential to backfire altogether, with customers feeling the enterprise was less hands-on and more corporate.
Still, this is not about whether an options-system is right or wrong for an organisation, and more about whether or not we regard something as simple as the telephone answering to be a vital cog in the wheel of the marketing machine.
My argument? Well yes, we certainly should.
Marketing your brand means all sorts of things to all sorts of people.
It can mean your media relations activity, your market research undertakings, your sales tactics, your placement of advertising – namely the art (or business) of promoting and selling your product, but importantly, to the appropriate audience.
So, by that broad explanation, shouldn’t it therefore mean that the way we dress when we meet a client, or the way we sign off our email or the way we enable customers to interact with us on the phone, is all part of our marketing activity?
The thing about marketing is that there will rarely be one single tactic which achieves you and your brand the closure of a sale.
It’s likely to be a combination of tactics and exposure which eventually finds you sinking into the psyche of the consumer.
So why underestimate any element of your offering?
You have the potential to represent your brand and raise its awareness in the best means possible in all manner of ways. Ignore those simple ‘first touches’ with your customers at your peril.