Customer Service and 1st Person PR — What’s Your Story?

We know that we’re customers when we’re buying a product or service. We also know that, whatever our job titles, we’re in customer service. Whichever side of the customer equation we’re on – buying or selling – we can be either walking testimonials or walking indictments.

Customer service is a perfect example of 1st person PR. The first person a customer sees or talks to is the first impression of that organization, whether it comes from a receptionist, sales person, company owner, maintenance staff, or call center rep. We take notice.

We have become even more influential through social media. When we post our customer service stories on the Internet, the world knows. Of course, even before social media we personally shared our experiences with friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues. We seem to discuss our unhappy experiences more than twice as often as our positive experiences…because we expect satisfaction. It’s the standard.

As Brian Solis explains in his blog post, “Customer Service is the New, New Marketing”, consumers as citizen journalists are empowered and have become “a surrogate sales force,” whereby “conversations are marketing…and PR”. We can instantly gripe about and illustrate (via video or photos) the subjects of our dissatisfaction. Companies, as Solis notes, can send all the outbound messages they want through PR and advertising, but it’s the inbound dialog that makes the difference.

As customers, we assume certain basics. We want quality and value. When we ask you a question, we do not want you to say, “it’s not my job” or “it’s not my shift.” We want you to alert us to potential problems and opportunities as we discuss purchases. We want you to spell our names correctly in all correspondence. In other words, we want you (you personally, as well as the company you work for) to be responsive, reliable, trustworthy, and sincerely caring.

Many years ago, a relative’s television conked out on the day of a very important football game. He and his cousin went to a nearby store, bought a new TV and brought it back home, eager for kick-off…in about 45 minutes. The new TV did not work. Horrified, he called the store and angrily explained the situation to the owner. Twenty-five minutes later, the sales person arrived with a new TV, turned it on, made sure everything was perfect and ready to receive the big game. He stayed for kick-off to make sure.

1st Person PR and memorable customer service.

74 Responses to “Customer Service and 1st Person PR — What’s Your Story?”

  1. Are you making this up as you go along?

  2. I find it interesting that most of the people who wrote in with opposing thoughts and opinions, did so in such a judgemental and authoritive way.

  3. Man this is why i just love the internet…it gives us free valuable information..and when i see posts like this …

  4. admin says:

    I don’t know if I’m ready to be a “major authority.”

  5. I enjoyed reading this blog post! Keep up the great work.

  6. … Life moves on. …

  7. admin says:


  8. I have to say that I slightly disagree, but no biggie.

  9. Very interesting article.

  10. Will Millian says:

    … You are doing a superb job! …

  11. What a great story. I am trully glad. Keep writing amigo

  12. Kandis says:

    I completely agree with the above comment, the internet is with a doubt growing into the many important medium of communication across the globe and its due to sites like this that ideas are spreading so quickly. Respectfully, Kandis.

  13. Brook Beres says:

    This was a very informative post! I am so happy I found your page.

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  21. admin says:

    Thank you, and I like getting readers.

  22. link says:

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  24. admin says:

    Thanks for your comment.

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