Why you better Cut the Crap: Service is the Old & New Gold.


Service is the new gold.

Service is the new gold. (credits: boomerang cards).

I agree. It’s been way too long since I pressed down another story here. Not without a reason though. I’ve been crazy busy visiting companies from about eight industries to perform in-depth interviews about their business and their future. It has been a wonderful experience so far. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I generated tons of insights from this qualitative market research period. I want to share my main insight today:
“Cut the crap and stop pushing it on to people. Be real, bring value, show respect and be helpful to every customer. In brief: stop screaming, start whispering.”

Service is the Old and New Gold.

Loads of consumers became disappointed in companies, products and services. As a result, corporations and organizations are sometimes seen as “evil”. I believe this is the result of what I call “the old marketing”. Most brands and organizations still rely on 20th century marketing principles: manufacture something against the lowest cost possible and consequently pay much money for advertising to create a positive image so that consumers buy your product. The only thing that matters is short-term profit, not a long-term sustainable contribution to society. I’ve always revolted against these types of companies. They are indeed “no good”. They don’t contribute to a positive society and consequently a better world. They do not “serve” their customers through good products, honest communication and real value.

Service is Gold.

Service is Gold.

That marketing-enforced image however has always been put in perspective by the customers themselves by sharing their experiences: word of mouth. And what’s even more, word of mouth has always been the most trusted source of product or service information. Unfortunately it had little to no big scale leverage so that “evil” corporations could live happily ever after. So, if one customer was dissatisfied by the service he told it to about 20 people and didn’t rely on the company in the future any more. But for the company, that was not really a problem. The customers that decided to leave were replaced by new customers who bought the marketing story.

I truly believe (and hope) the days of “high churn because we produce crap is solved by acquisition campaigns” are over as social peer-to-peer technologies became mainstream and leverage Word of Mouth on a huge scale.

What is Service? Think long-term reputation vs. short-term profit.

If one states that service is key, he needs to define what exactly is service. Based on my interviews, I’d say service is about small things, but things that can make someone’s day and stick in their memory. It’s about going the extra mile, about doing something you actually didn’t have to do. It’s about the goal to serve in order the make life (or businesses) easier and better. It’s the social aspect, it’s the human touch. It’s not about social media. Those only give large-scale opportunities to foster on this service behavior.

Research details

As stated above and in the introduction, the above isn’t just a gut feeling. It’s inspired by real-life (analog) talks with leading people within several industries. Below is a small overview of my data sample. Please allow me to just recycle one of the original research presentation slides. It’s important to realize that within this sample some of the companies were active on social media – which was the drive to act more service-wise – and others who were completely inactive on social but have always put the customer in the center of its existence.

Quali Research Data Sample

Quali Research Data Sample

5 Responses to Why you better Cut the Crap: Service is the Old & New Gold.

  1. Reblogged this on Evillusionist.

  2. Becky says:

    This is a neat summary. Thanks for sharing!

    • vermeiretim says:

      you’re welcome. Thanks for reading! :)

  3. Shoko says:

    I am an online marketing manager and I want to be able to know a little bit about graphic design and html so I can easily create and edit pages online. I also want to be able to edit graphic images (very basic stuff) and save them in optimal ways for my page. which software should I be learning? photoshop? indesign? studio? dreamweaver? thanks

    • vermeiretim says:

      Hi Shoko, it’s beneficial to know photoshop for editing pics but I believe it’s not necessary to know InDesign or Dreamweaver. InDesign is used to create and lay-out printed matter (for digital or analog printing). Dreamweaver is a great tool for building websites. However, these days, a marketing manager should prefer a CMS that doesn’t require html / css / javascript / etc. knowledge. For a marketing manager it’s sufficient to have some knowledge of html tags (e.g. for bold

      for paragraph but he shouldn’t be able to write complete sites from scratch. Please have a look at http://www.web-source.net/html_codes_chart.htm to see a html tag chart. Hope this helps. If you need any online marketing support, just hit me over here ;)

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