Customer service is now getting recognition as a marketing tool for retailers, and Ace Hardware’s service is getting applause along with retailers such as Zappos.com and Morton’s The Steakhouse.
Traditionally, the customer service and marketing departments were two separate entities, but now experts are saying they should be integrated, according to an article by Shep Hyken, CEO of The Customer Focus, which is a customer service training program.
“Customer service, while maybe not the new marketing, has become a critical part of any business’s marketing strategy,” he says.
Ace Hardware competes with big-box home improvement retailers because of its focus on excellent customer service rather than advertising, he says.
“Some Ace Hardware stores have even chosen to do away with traditional advertising almost completely. Instead, they funnel most of their advertising dollars into local community events to endear themselves to their local communities. Then they amaze their customers with their helpful brand of customer service,” Hyken says.
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