There are three key marketing basics that every business must keep in mind at all times.

  1. Customer Service.

There is nothing more critical than customer service as it represents the touch points that consumers have with your business. So why is customer service so bad these days? Let me offer three recent examples.

First, why can’t Telus explain to me why my company is using more cellular data than we should be? Because I am not the administrator of the account and did not know the 4 digit security code. But again, why can’t they help me by offering information. It just doesn’t make sense. Why does a hotel (names to be released at a later date) insist on charging me $1.15 because I forgot my toothbrush? Are you really going to nickel and dime me for a dollar?

And what is the downside? I will blog the name of the hotel and tell as many people as I can about this horrible customer service story. Remember, a good experience is told to 2-3 people whereas a bad experience is shared with ten times that amount. Finally, why does the National Bank keep me on hold for 15 minutes when I call about a concern regarding my credit card? What if I switched to TD – my savings account, my chequing account, my credit card, my mortgage, my business account. Do the math.

Marketing 101

  1. Signage

How many times have you had difficulty finding a retail location. It seems very simple and obvious and yet it is not. Just look at the signage in Montreal and imagine being a tourist from the US; not to mention the construction. Is your signage clear and directional? Is your logo clean or is it busy with an old font and reverse colour?

Advertising guru David Ogilvy said that ad copy should never be set in reverse type. In other words, always colour on a white background. And Colin Wheildon, editor of the largest Australian motoring publication, conducted a study which backed up Ogilvy’s theory. The big lesson is that for any reasonable expanse of body text, reverse type has a disastrous impact on reader comprehension, even though it may look attractive in design terms.

Marketing 101

  1. Be impeccable with your word.

This is one of the four agreements in a book by Don Miguel Ruiz which includes . . .

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best

In terms of marketing, it is important to be impeccable with your word. If you tell a customer that you will call them to check on how the new product is working, then make sure that you call them. If you promise a customer delivery at a certain time, then make sure it is done. Any time that you make a promise that you don’t keep, your credibility is impacted negatively. It’s not rocket science, it’s just good business.

Marketing 101

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