Customer service is marketing.
I want a car loan. I won’t say I need one, because it’s not a need, but I want a car and so I want a car loan.
I went to a nice dealership and spoke with a nice salesperson who put together some information on a nice loan for me that I took home.
I have a question about the loan. I looked on your website, and I didn’t find the answer. I looked for an email address. None. Okay, I can send a message online. Fine, let’s try that.
I put in my information and tried to log in. You didn’t find an account: OK, so the “send a message” function is only possible if I am a customer. I am a customer only if I have a loan. But the problem is, I’m not willing/able to take out a loan from you until I have my question answered.
I dig some more. I found your phone number, finally — it wasn’t easy. Okay, your phone service is available 12pm – 4pm, Tuesday through Friday. Wow, 16 hours a week! Luckily, it’s Tuesday, so I can call tomorrow afternoon during my work day — the luxury of flexible hours.
I called your number. The automated message announces that sending a message online is better and more efficient for your processes. I’m starting to get annoyed. The automated message announces that I can find information about your business hours and services online, and I’m numer 23 in line.
A few seconds of silence.
The message repeats itself. All operaters are reserved, please hold, we will serve you as soon as possible… etc. I’m number 22 in line.
30 seconds of silence. All operaters are reserved, please hold, we will serve you as soon as possible… etc. You are number 21 in line.
I’ve heard your message at least 40 times now. Am I spoiled? Because I’m annoyed.
I really don’t want a loan from you anymore, no matter how glossy and beautiful your website is. No matter what lovely photos you put in your brochure at the dealership.
A potential customer.