Excessive Focus On Mobile Technologies Risks Alienating Customers, Advises Marketing Expert

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On Hold Company CEO urges businesses to use a holistic approach to marketing and customer service

On Hold Company - Custom On Hold Music and Messages

Businesses that depend on a single communication channel for marketing and customer service risk alienating customers and damaging their brands, warns Bryant Wilson, CEO of On Hold Company, in a recent blog post. Instead, every company should use a well-balanced approach to reach customers and clients at all possible touch points. That means paying as much attention to traditional phone and email support as to Twitter and smart phone apps.

"When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jim Clark said that finding the 'new new thing' was the way to success, he wasn't talking about customer service," Wilson explains. "Companies that focus mainly on the latest fad for marketing and customer service delivery risk leaving many customers behind."

The explosive growth of online communication and digital devices makes the task of marketing and responding to customers more complex. Companies can no longer rely only on a big TV ad campaign to advertise their new products, Wilson adds. "Many consumers use their DVRs to skip right over commercials, but they may see your Facebook ad, follow you on Twitter, or learn more about your business while they're on hold waiting for customer service."

Market fragmentation forces brands to show the flexibility and agility to provide good customer service via multiple channels without missing a beat. Customers resent it when a company tries to force them to use a particular channel to communicate. For instance, a person needing to reset a password may balk at a process that requires a text message. Businesses should always consider their target audience's preferences: a mobile-centric strategy may alienate customers who lack access to the technology or who simply prefer more traditional methods of communication.

"Successful businesses know that the phrase 'one size fits all,' is not actually true. They find customers where they are and give them choices," says Wilson.

Restaurants, for example, are finding that buying behavior differs based on the customer's method of accessing content. Smartphone users tend to be on the go and ready to place an order or make a reservation. Tablet users often have limited connectivity outside the home, so they use their devices more for research. National pizza chains, including Pizza Hut and Domino's, have taken notice and released device-specific apps.

Other industries are also finding innovative ways to provide multi-channel customer service. A pest control company successfully implemented a program that incorporates a variety of customer touch points. After a customer books an appointment, the system sends that customer an email with a photo of the technician scheduled to make the service call. Customers responded favorably, liking the security of knowing who will show up at their doors.

"These examples show how many companies execute a holistic approach to marketing and customer service. They use every channel available: print, TV and radio ads, a great website, social media, mobile, and the telephone," Wilson says. "The most successful companies take advantage of new technologies, while continuing to support their current marketing channels."

Readers can follow the On Hold Company blog at http://www.onholdcompany.com/blog.

About On Hold Company
On Hold Company (http://www.onholdcompany.com) is a leading provider of custom telephone on-hold music and messages. The company has been in business since 1994 and provides on-hold marketing for more than 13,000 clients across North America. On Hold Company also provides digital signage solutions, telephone voice prompts and overhead music and messaging services.

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