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AdLand and Customer Service Need Each Other
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Advertising can only do so much when it comes to the customer's interaction with the business or organization it serves. Advertising acts as the lead; it helps people learn more about the product or service, or attempts to convince consumers that they should try this good versus the one they already know, or the one they are thinking of buying.

So when the actual engagement begins to take place, advertising has little power to influence. That's why the latest survey from SugarCRM and Harris Interactive is a little disheartening.*

The survey reveals that the majority of consumers have negative experiences with customer support both on social media and the phone.


The group surveyed around 2,200 adults, all 18 and over, this past July.

Out of all the findings, there are a few that we found particularly frustrating. In the age of "Big Data" one would think that customer support — of all departments — would have the access and aptitude to view past customer histories, therefore providing the customer with the best service available.

Not the case.

Regarding to customers who called, 75 percent of them said that felt frustrated when their customer history was not known, and 52 percent said that their experience with a sales representative was so bad, they ultimately decided to take their business elsewhere. In the social media environment, it was worse: 81 percent said that they were frustrated when the customer/sales support were unaware of their customer history, and 74 percent said that their negative experience with a sales representative made them change their mind about buying the company's offerings.

Customer service — why ruin advertising's hard work? AdLand got you the customer. Don't mess it up.

This is why the advertising community and the customer service industry need to work together. How can the message forward positive thoughts when customer service does nothing to reinforce them? People tie their experience with a product or service starting at the ad they saw promoting it. In the not-so-new social media sphere, customer service and advertising are intertwining, whether we like it or not. We need to start sharing data and research and connecting with each other on customer feedback, trends, and how we can all get on the same page.

Though advertising gets a bad rap, no one likes bad customer service.

*Yes, we are aware that a CRM company was involved in the findings of the survey. Though Sugar CRM is trying to tell people that CRM is needed and positioning themselves to be the experts of CRM, they may have a valid point.  

(photo: iStock)

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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