All customer interaction should be treated as DM

How many times have you received a letter or called a contact centre and had an experience that fell short of the way a brand presents itself in its marketing materials? Countless, I’d wager.

Russell Parsons

Marketers and their agencies spend an age and piles of cash developing activity to position a brand to produce maximum equity and affinity. This is often damaged at best and at worst wiped out by a hapless customer service representative providing less than a satisfactory customer experience or a stone-cold straight letter than has none of the brand personality blood sweat and tears have been shed to create.

Whether it is a mailing or an email, a phone call or a bill it should be treated the same – direct marketing. Many brands are guilty of a huge inconsistency between advertising and other forms of customer interaction.

In a panel discussion hosted by The Writer recently, brands as diverse as Innocent, BT and PwC made the case for creating a consistent “tone of voice” to run through all forms of marketing communications.

Brand language heads from each company talked about the need to extend the language used in marketing materials to all other contact points to ensure that ads match the day-to-day dealings customers have with brands. The consequence of a disconnect, they argued, is a lack of engagement and an impact on sales.

The solution is greater collaboration between marketing and customer service. The latter should be in on strategy development and vice versa. Agencies should be briefing customer service on campaign plans. Marketers should be signing off and helping develop call centre scripts, bills and all corporate communications.

Only through this level of cooperation will the consistent tone of voice and holistic customer experience of a brand be created.

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