I recently wrote about customer experience and its importance in building a Company’s brand. My previous blog raised a philosophical question on whether or not your clients/prospects would have a positive brand experience if they called your Company’s phone number, a long forgotten marketing channel for most of us.
I wanted to use this blog to give a real-life example of how this channel can make or break large deals; not just for a B2C company like Zappos.com but also for a B2B services company.
Early in my career before MindTree, my employer was one of the two firms being considered for a $10M+ business transformation project for a global pulp and paper manufacturer. The decision was being made by the CEO and in his opinion; the two companies were in a ‘dead heat’ situation on all the key criteria: price, methodology, cultural fit, proposed team capability and domain expertise to name a few.
The CEO decided to do something different to pick a partner for this project. He decided to anonymously call each company late on a Friday afternoon. He asked both companies a very unusual question and wanted to see how it would be handled. The CEO was not impressed when he called the competition, as the person answering the phone was apparently disinterested and very put off by the fact that someone was making her work when she was already in ‘weekend mode.’
The experience was quite different when the CEO called my company. The person who answered the phone call was warm, inviting and willing to help even though she couldn’t answer the question without help. The receptionist transferred the call to the head of marketing who went above and beyond to provide first class customer service. For his effort, our head of marketing was the deciding factor in winning the $10M deal.
I realize that this example may be unique, or maybe it happens more often, we just don’t know that. But let it be a reminder that old school marketing can still make a difference and marketers shouldn’t completely ignore it; and finally, that each and every touch point within your organization shapes it’s brand.