So, I’ve been offered the customer service coordinator position for an upcoming music festival. Point being, this got me thinking about the overlap between customer service and public relations.
Well, lets look at a few things.
What does customer service aim to do for a company?
– Keeps customers happy.
– Gives an insight to the company’s culture based on their work with customers.
– Strives to maintain a good public image for the company.
What does public relations aim to do for a company?
(Copy and paste from above.)
I realized very quickly that the basic goals of public relations and customer service are pretty damn similar. Of course how they go about completing these goals is very different from each other. I know I’m not just speaking for myself when I say that I go back to companies that keep me happy.
– Happy after interacting with company = continue to use company for their products.
– Not happy after interacting with company = stop using company’s products.
Public relations keep customers happy beyond the customer’s product experience. When a “PR disaster” occurs, it is the public relations’ job to maintain a positive image of the company. When customers are not happy and contact customer service, it is customer service’s job to keep that customer happy.
Positive image of company = business.
Happy customers = business.
Look, happy people!
If I am to accept this position with the music festival, there is no question that my public relations knowledge will spill into my customer service work. It will be my job to ensure that all festival attendees are happy. It is my job that they come back the following years. It will be my job to display how _______ event company handles customers. My interaction with customers is going to influence the patron’s perception of this company. Am I an email robot? Or am I a caring customer service coordinator who wants the customer to be extremely pleased with their experience?
Public relations paints the perception of companies world wide, and so does customer service. For example, Zappos, an online shoe retailer labels themselves as a customer service company that sells shoes. Who have I bought shoes from for the past six years? Zappos. I’ve been in an email thread with a music equipment company for almost three months now about fixing some of my equipment. They usually take 4-8 days to respond my emails, and are sometimes so brief with their responses, that might as well have not responded at all. Do I want to go back to this company and purchase their products? No. But do I love the experience that I have with their products when I’m using them? Yes, but I’m on the verge of changing company alliances simply due to their miserable customer service.
With music festivals, I know of multiple people who had the time of their life at a music festival almost due to the customer service they encountered. The customer service was the cherry on top, it was what pushed their experience from great to amazing. Usually its those little experiences that bring customers back. That will be my job if I accept the position, to present the company’s image to customers. Presenting a company’s image and morals what I am learning about right now as I pursue my public relations degree. Cheers to happy customers.