“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” were the words spoken in 1972 by Marlon Brando with an Italian accent and cheeks full of orange peels in the movie classic ‘Godfather’. These words express the original marketing intention. Unfortunately getting our message across is becoming increasingly difficult with the large volume of continuous marketing communication that needs to be received, decoded and responded to by our potential clients. Their response could be simply saving the National Emergency Contact Centre number 084 124 on their cell phone, they could attend a First Aid training session at the ER24 National Training Academy, book an event with Specialised Medical Services or join one of our social networking groups, to name but a few options. If a response is achieved then we are one step closer to creating a loyal client. The next step is repetition of our marketing communication to entice more responses and the infinite circle continues, but all the repetitive communication is irrelevant if our customer service doesn’t meet our customers’ expectation. Clients trust us to meet these expectations and our patients place their trust in us expecting to receive our care, attention and empathy. Losing customer or patient trust is an almost irreversible error that causes a major setback to all our efforts.
Expectations drive our customers’ perception of the value of our services and products versus the actual cost. If a customer or patient’s expectations are exceeded they perceive that they received more value. This is the desired outcome and they will then use our services or products again. If the reverse occurs and the cost exceeds the perceived value, we have just lost a customer, lost their trust and created a negative perception of our brand. Some of you might be thinking, “Why all the fuss? We retain most of our clients for long periods so if we lose a few occasionally it’s not a problem. “
You have just taken the first doomed step in the very wrong direction of accepting client neglect as a norm and the wheels are set in motion like a runaway freight train on the way to destroy the brand’s reputation and ultimately the death of the business. Viral marketing is the greatest marketing tactic of the century and it will become our largest enemy. It is defined as a method of marketing where the message is passed from one person to another, without our direct involvement, and is traditionally referred to as Word of Mouth. The explosion of social networking platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter has catapulted viral marketing into the new frontier of mass communication. Clients posting positive Tweets and Status updates communicate this message to all their friends or followers and affect brand exposure positively or negatively. This can bring about tremendous return on investment or affect our existing clients’ perception and they will doubt the trust we have gained over the period of our business relationship.
We are all ambassadors for ER24 and each little thing we do from acting professionally when we are in the public eye to treating our patients and their families with care and respect and portraying the ER24 Mission, Vision and Values Statement in our actions will affect the customers’ perception and expectations. We want them to feel part of the ER24 Family, to feel our care, our passion and our dedication to their wellbeing.
Our actions have helped grow ER24 over the last 10 years and we need to continue building brand loyalty and increasing the number of advocates and influencers that promote our business through the gateway that is Viral Marketing.
Explore www.er24.co.za and join our various social networking groups, link to the ER24 Mobi site on www.er24.mobi and stay up to date with ER24 on your cell phone. Help promote ER24 by sharing the social pages with friends and family. Enjoy the picture gallery, our videos on YouTube or follow us on Twitter and become part of the ER24 Family.