This blog is not about customer service, it is about marketing and branding. Marketing and innovation are the only two functions of a company (thank you, Peter Drucker, written in 1954!). Successful execution of both creates a brand.

Marketing is the process of getting your product into the market: that includes sales, promotions, advertising, distribution, etc. But it doesn’t stop there, because you have to close the loop—you need to nurture your customers and provide a continuously satisfying relationship, in both B2B and B2C. You need great customer service because the customer owns your brand!

Back to Salesforce (see previous post).

It was time to renew our Jigsaw subscription (Data.com, owned by Salesforce.com), so I sat through a demo of new features (there weren’t any as yet). The first strange thing—but not the point of this post—was my Jigsaw account manager was giving the demo, but a renewal manager was handling the renewal. Why do I need a Salesforce.com account rep, a Jigsaw rep, a renewal rep, and soon a Radian6 rep (more on that below), when they’re all working for the same company? It makes for a crappy customer experience, and Salesforce.com clearly doesn’t grasp the “Merger” part of M&A.

At the end of the demo I was asked if there’s anything else I would like to know or would like help with. As a matter of fact there was. I would very much like to see how Radian6 integrates into Salesforce; I would like to see a demo.

The renewal manager assigned herself the “action item” to alert the right person and get that set up for me. The next day I received the following email (the Radian6 rep was cc’ed):

Hi Marc,

I wanted to follow up form our call yesterday and put you in touch with your Radian6 Account Executive, [Name].
She will be able to answer any questions and basically take it from here.

Thanks,
[Name]

Customer satisfaction opportunity missed!

The renewal rep made follow up my responsibility—something I could have initiated on my own with better results. What really happened was that expectations were set by Salesforce staff, then not acted upon.

I was told to satisfy myself.

What should have happened was the renewal rep call the Radian6 rep and hand me off as an opportunity (as an existing customer). Then the Radian6 rep should have called or emailed me with relevant information and set up a demo. Result: happy customer.

I took the bait and responded to the Radian6 rep, not bothering to wait for her to make the first move. Worse still, now 24h later, she still hasn’t responded.

Salesforce.com is well on its way to becoming a mainstay on this blog for how to fail in marketing and brand protection.

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