Don’t Ruin Good Advertising with Bad Service

September 20, 2016|

Poor Customer Service Evaluation FormBy Mark Alison, President, The Alison Group

I love good advertising. I hate bad service. It’s that simple.

I am a fast food lover and I like using the drive through. Burgers, dogs, tacos, chicken, you name it. The targeted ads literally drive me the $5 Sonic Bag, the $3 Crossanwich at Burger King and Mickey D’s 2 for $5. I watch ‘em on TV and I go get ‘em the next day.

That’s good advertising and I love good advertising. But when I drive off and you forget to put a napkin in the bag or you were too busy talking to another person about last night and just poked my bag out the window without even a “Thank-you,” that’s bad service and I hate bad service.

Oh, and I don’t think paying $15 an hour will make it any better.

When I read a good ad and it drives me to call your company about the product so I can come pick it up, that’s a good ad. Love it. But when I have to explain what the advertising promotion is about to the person who answers the phone, who doesn’t have a clue and can’t help me get what I want, that’s bad service and I hate bad service.

When your ads say you have the “best” and I spend my cash to find out it’s just mediocre, that’s bad service. When the cashier asks me “How was your meal?” but doesn’t acknowledge me when I say it wasn’t up to par, that’s bad service, especially when I offer a suggestion to make it better.

If your radio commercial ends or begins with five seconds of unintelligible fast talk, I think you’re trying to pull something and I change the station. And why do you repeat your phone number three times at the end of your commercial, like I’m going to stop the car and write it down? That’s bad. Give me credit for having some intelligence.

I use Facebook to check out places I might like to shop. If I am attracted by your good ad, I’ll see what my friends say. If my friends on Facebook are complaining about your poor service and you haven’t taken time to comment or offer to do something, that’s bad. Get your stuff together, man. I am not shopping you and neither is anyone else I know.

I love good, compelling ads. I have pulled over at the sight of a great billboard to get whatever it’s selling. But, when your name, written in 5-foot-tall letters across the board, is spelled out in some unusual curly font – Yes, Mr/Ms Realtor person holding your dog, I am talking to you – and I can’t make any sense of it in 2.5 seconds, it’s bad. You may as well not have put it up on that 20×60 foot structure because I’m not going to have to work to understand your advertising.

When I search for an item on the Internet and your store name comes up, I expect to click on that URL and go to the item, not your home page. I do not want to be required to re-enter the item, assuming you have a search box. That’s bad. Make it easy for me to do business with you, and happy I did, so I can tell my friends.

I love good ads. When they make me laugh, I remember them. Like the “Hump-Day” TV spot or Geico’s newest Pirate Parrot that repeats what it has heard. I’ll rewind them and watch again. Isn’t that what you want? Nielsen would be so proud.

So when I call, don’t put me in a 10-minute queue line. That’s bad service. Makes me wonder how quickly you are going to handle a claim when I really need you.

It’s really simple. I love good ads. I will judge you by your ads. I’ll respond if they are good. If you don’t live up to the ad, I won’t shop you again and with social media I will tell my friends. I’ll tell them when you are bad much more often than when you are good. (5 to 1. Source: Psychology Today) That’s the way I roll.

Who am I? I am your customer. Give me a good reason to shop you with good advertising and an even better reason to shop you again with great service. It’s that simple.

Mark Alison is President of The Alison Group (started in 1982) with offices in Augusta and Charlotte. TAG is a B2B Marketing and Communication Company with a rich history of creating new business growth. Contact Mark at

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