If attentive customer service is the hottest new marketing strategy, then a company's employees are the key to brand building, Pete Blackshaw, Nielsen Online Executive Vice President, argues in his latest Ad Age column.
Blackshaw cites the example of online shoe retailer Zappos.com, which makes customer service a priority. The company is betting its customer-friendly ways will attract and retain loyal shoppers.
The benefits of that approach are evident, Blackshaw notes -- though he warns that overhauling customer service strategies is no easy task.
"Getting this right is easier said than done. You can't just increase employee loyalty and advocacy overnight the way you can with media spend," Blackshaw writes.
Instead, Blackshaw recommends an incremental approach: "Brands should be conducting large and small experiments in this area to understand how a little extra 'touch' can impact the game."