Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Monday, February 13, 2006

"Great Products Can't Overcome Arrogance"

John Jantsch’s most recent marketing blog discusses the idea that even though some companies have exceptional products, their longevity and market share will only last if they have amazing customer service as well. He uses the example of the Apple iPod. Although it is thought to be the only product of its kind on the market, it will not last if the company continues to treat their customers like they have. Many consumers have been having technical problems with their Apple iPod, and upon complaining they have been told to buy a new one. Jantsch’s point is that even in the case of such a popular product as the iPod, “if you constantly treat your customers as though they are disposable, well, that’s what they will become.” He argues that a company must get over their arrogance and realize that their customers are more important than their product in order to ensure their product will last.

This story is marketing-related because it deals with the marketing issue of customer service and creating a good overall purchase experience for the customer. The issue that Jantsch writes of is critical to the marketing process. Customer service and post-purchase company actions are an integral part of marketing because it is a part of how the company markets their brand and their name. A company’s reputation has either a positive or a negative effect on their brand image. If the company does not have good customer service after the point of sale, like the iPod example, the company name will be tarnished with bad press and bad word of mouth.

This reading informs marketing by expressing the importance of customer service, even after the sale has been conducted. Most articles and textbooks express the importance of marketing the company and product well in order to make customers buy your product and invest in your company name. This article informed the reader that it is not only important to market well before the sale, but it is critical to continue to service the customer and market your brand after the customer has bought your product. In the iPod case it illustrates that not doing so can eventually have a negative effect on your product image and sales.

This article improved my understanding of marketing because it provided a real world example of a company that exhibits problems with customer service. It explained what negative effects this poor service could have on a company in the long term. Many of the readings that we have been assigned in class stress the importance of customer service, but, once again, they stress the importance of it before and during the sale, not afterwards. Few articles explain how important it is to provide good maintenance and repair service to your already sold products. The blog improved my understanding of marketing through showing a different element of the marketing process, exposing that marketing is not as one-sided as I was once led to believe.

My main critique of the blog that Jantsch wrote would be that he should have presented an example of a company that has gone out of business, or lost a large portion of market share, because of poor customer service. He does a good job of presenting the current day iPod example, but it would have been nice to hear another example from the past few years where you can see the actual deterioration of customer loyalty and brand reputation.


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