Brand Engagement

Is Your Product More Important Than Robert?

what about bobWhat is more important to Carbonite–the online backup service—it’s advertising campaign, or Robert.

I have no way of knowing Carbonite’s employee engagement strategy, but I witnessed first hand how an employee made the company’s advertising more effective. The follow recent experience shows the reasons why more companies are focusing on their employee’s not as a human resource issue, but as a marketing issue.

Carbonite is the online backup service that automatically backs up your computer’s files while you work, so that you never have to worry about losing your files. I had learned about it through its radio advertising and a review I heard, so downloaded it. It worked fine until a few months ago. My initial efforts to get the system fixed—using the customer service link on the utility installed on my computer—yielded a highly technical response that did not help. I responded back that it still didn’t work, and was directed to a support technician. That, too, yielded no solution, although the person who handled the call had a pleasant manner and proudly informed me his job was the result of the company’s decision to move customer service back to the U.S. from some country in Asia . After making an unsuccessful attempt to solve my problem, he routed me to a more advanced technician, who also could not solve my problem.

Finally, I was sent to Robert. He e-mailed me to set up an appointment and he tried to make it work. It turned out it still was not working, so I e-mailed him again. He responded by suggesting a time for another appointment. Like everyone else, I’m busy, and while I knew I needed to get this solved, it was easy to procrastinate, and I failed to reply to his e-mail promptly. Within a day, he contacted me again to remind me, and in the final call, he came up with a solution. It would require me to back up the computer again, which can take weeks, but appeared to solve the problem.

At that point, I could have just bailed and started over with someone else. But Robert had stayed on top of my case, so I felt I owed him a shot. Besides, I was set up and my files were already backing up before my eyes. All told, he probably spent an hour with me. If the service continues to work, I’ll probably remain a customer for the next 20 years or so, because why should I change if it works. At their current rate of $50 or so a year, that’s about $1,000, not to mention other business they could get because of referrals I might make to friends. So, for the next 20 years, with a little luck, they will spend almost nothing on me, and as a result, have one less customer they have to acquire to meet their objectives.

All because of Robert.

When organization’s shift just 50% of the money and attention they pay on the process of getting customers to the process of keeping them, it will become much more pleasant to be a customer and companies will have to spend a lot less on advertising. The economics are just too compelling for businesses to ignore forever.

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