We’re All in Customer Relations

Posted in News
Wed, Dec 5 - 10:31 pm EDT | 7 years ago by
Comments: 10
Share This Post:
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
  • Reddit
  • Twitter

Unless you don’t work, no matter what you do, you serve customers in some way.

Just because our public relations jobs don’t involve direct sales, doesn’t mean we can’t help our organizations meet or exceed the expectations of customers/clients. In fact, that’s one of the most important things we can do.

Hand holding computer key with Help on itKami Huyse has some great comments on the topic, and points to Brian Solis and others. Susan Getgood also pipes up, as does Todd Defren.

Says Kami:

"Public Relations must stop looking at itself as a telemarketer of pitches and press releases to media and instead become a champion for the customer and the communities that they serve."

Say Brian:

"Over the next year, customer service will fuse with marketing to become a holistic inbound, outbound campaign of listening to and engaging with customers that will rewrite the rules of the game.  And, most importantly, the lessons learned in the field will be fed into the marketing department to create and run more intelligent, experienced, and real world initiatives across all forms of marketing, PR, sales, and advertising."

Says Susan:

"If we can’t get this most basic thing right, how can we possibly expect to have a mutually beneficial "conversation" with our customer? Why is courtesy so uncommon in so many customer service situations?"

Says Todd:

"The old comms method was reactive…. The emerging comms method will be proactive."

The divisions between marketing, public relations, employee communications, training and customer service are breaking down. We need frontline employees to be knowledgeable, confident ambassadors for our companies.  But we don’t get to relax and watch from the sidelines.

Influencing how people perceive your brand is a contact sport that requires active listening and honest discussion aimed at making the customer’s life better (and hopefully earning a profit while doing it). That’s not something you leave to the CSR, or to the CEO. You have to get in the game and do your part.

No one cares that Marketing undercut your media campaign, or that the production group doesn’t read your memos.

The only thing that really matters is that you have an opportunity to influence how your company interacts with customers — whether you have one big customer or thousands of individual customers. Even if you never deal directly with external customers, you can help your company better understand and better serve them.

No matter what your job title says, if you’re not in customer service, what good are you?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

Share This Post:
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • http://www.briansolis.com Brian Solis

    Eric, indeed. Everyone within an organization, whether they know it or not, is responsible for Public Relations.

  • Pingback: THINKing » You Want Fries With That?

  • http://overtonecomm.blogspot.com Kami Huyse

    This is a great overview of the conversation. I think that customer service is one of the most critical problems today. I guess all of this is sparked by the thousands of posts I have read for client that read “X sucks.” Somewhere we have to start to address why and then do something about it.

  • http://tomtoronto.wordpress.com Tom Reidt

    I couldn’t agree more. Customer service can make a world of difference, and it really shouldn’t be that hard to do. A little knowledge and empowerment of employees, coupled with some not-so-common courtesy goes a very long way.

    A lot of companies have been moving in the opposite direction. Rather than put more money into customer interaction, they’ve been looking for cheaper alternatives such as outsourcing call centres. What does that say to the customer?

  • http://nakedpr.com Jennifer Mattern

    Customer service has always been at least in some way a PR function. There’s nothing new here.

    Anyone in PR who honestly believes their role is as a “telemarketer of pitches and press releases to media” doesn’t belong in PR to begin with… or wait… maybe they’re just media relations folks.

    Despite babbling to the contrary in the PR blogosphere, they’re far from the same thing. Media relations is a small component of public relations as a whole. Media relations pros will always focus on the media and not the customers. That’s their job.

    True PR folks in turn have to consider far more audiences / publics / stakeholders, and that has, and always will, include customers.

    So are all PRs in customer relations? To a degree, yes. Are all of us in any kind of communications / marketing / “relations” area? No. That’s why we have such diverse specialties to begin with in the larger spectrum.

  • Pingback: Redefining Public Relations Social Media Explorer

  • Pingback: Convergence » The Buzz Bin

  • http://www.zealpr.com Nancy Pierce, Zeal PR, Inc.

    ABSOLUTELY. And as the PR Director for my clients, I am as responsible for customer relations as I am media relations. I feel it’s vital that I am able to be face-to-face with my clients’ customers and speak as confidently and positively about the business as I do when speaking to a media person.

  • Pingback: Marketing Departments Become Two-Way » The Buzz Bin

  • Pingback: The Science of Listening » The Buzz Bin