In other words, make sure your marketing and sales, from social media to the design and structure of your website to your actual product or service- matches the actual experience your customers have with you. Talk the talk, AND walk the walk.
Lets use this Dunkin Donuts I was sitting in last week. With the heat wave here in Maine (about time!) some very smart marketing person at Dunkin decided to advertise heavily on the local radio stations and promote their iced drinks. Employees even have orange shirts proclaiming they have the cure for the heat. Nice touch.
Unfortunately, they dropped the ball when it came to customer service. At 10am when the heat is starting to pick up, they don't have the staff on hand to easily handle the boost. People are 5 deep in line and 8 deep in the drive through. As I sit in the half full dining room a retired couple sits to my left and comments on the poor service and how companies just do not know how to treat customers any more.
I couldn't help it. I tried, I really did. But I had to say it.
I turned to the couple with a laugh and said- they only thing worse is that they spent a lot of money advertising to get people in here.
What is even worse- marketing was on the ball. But sales, service, they pulled a Manny. (insert Red Sox joke here).
Another lesson to learn from this? Know your audience, better yet- predict their wants, needs, likes and dislikes. Delight them with marketing that is on the ball and sales that match it.
An even better lesson to learn? Don't put your business into silos where the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing. This is an age where businesses have to be transparent because their online customers demand it. Make sure your teams are communicating and working together.
Don't suck. Simple, but hard.