You can have amazing SEO strategies, great PPC campaigns, and the kind of content on your site that Google loves and still end up with a big marketing problem if your customer service stinks. Seth Godin is of the opinion that many customer service departments are set up to say "Please, go away" instead of actually providing customer service. He has some good points:
"The current model of big company support is to throw undervalued, undertrained, underpowered human beings at perplexed customers, frustrating and disrespecting them enough that they shrug and give up."
"Any customer that walks away, disrespected and defeated, represents tens of thousands of dollars out the door, in addition to the failure of a promise the brand made in the first place. You can't see it but it's happening, daily."
These two statements from Seth's blog highlight the most common way a business will sabotage its marketing efforts: the promise being made in the marketing does not get kept when the customer actually asks for that promise to be fulfilled.
Marketing Is One Part Of A Non-Divisible Whole
Marketing strategies are an essential part of business, and business will not thrive without marketing. It's the way the customer finds the product or service you have to offer and without it you don't have very many customers. But if those customers don't get any help at the first tiers of customer service, they won't stick around to be long-term customers no matter how great your marketing strategies are.
This means your website has to be effective in answering questions for the digital natives who prefer to find their own answers and your call center representatives must be well-trained and empowered to do more than simply read what's on the website when further help is needed. I think it's like the many parts of an airplane: you have to have both wings, the body, an engine, steering, wheels, and a lot of other essentials all working together as a single machine or it won't fly.