Is customer service a function of PR?

Tyler HurstValley PR Blog5 Comments

Most consumers don’t understand the difference between marketing, branding, PR and customer service. They only see a product/service, an ad or two and maybe the returns department.

Every contact with a potential customer must make sense to them, solve a problem and leave them with a favorable opinion of the brand.

So when I see AT&T’s new slogan after I’ve just paid my family plan bill, I get really confused.

I have no idea what this is supposed to make me think. Rethink the possibility of leaving them for Verizon? Rethink how a phone company can not work a half mile from a major freeway (in between Alma School and AZ Ave and Pecos Road and 202)?

This is the only experience I’ll have with this company today. Why not thank me for paying my bill?

Surely this decision wasn’t run past anyone in the marketing, PR or customer service department.

Or was it? What could they have done better?

Tyler HurstIs customer service a function of PR?

5 Comments on “Is customer service a function of PR?”

  1. Mike Shaldjian

    “Every contact with a potential customer must make sense to them, solve a problem and leave them with a favorable opinion of the brand.” Hear, hear! No truer words have ever been spoken.

    Nice post, Tyler.

  2. Rachel V.

    Customer Experience and Customer Retention Management are a function of Marketing. Big Fail. They should definitely be thanking you for paying your bill, plus offer helpful links to other services that would be relevant to you and your customer account.
    I hear ya-If I didn’t have a contract with AT&T-I’d be long gone!

  3. Michelle Gingerich

    I also think that customer service should inevitably be a part of PR. Of course they should have thanked you for paying your bill. The fact that the word “rethink” pops up after a customer pays there bill is baffling. Maybe AT&T wants their customers to rethink how much they are paying for the bill, or possibly like you mentioned, rethink the service. I don’t get service in two of the rooms in my own house, should I be rethinking about switching to Verizon once they get the iPhone? Maybe I would get phone service in the same room that I pay for it in? Maybe AT&T should “rethink” their new slogan. I loved this post!

  4. Christine Marek

    It makes so much sense that each touch step made by a prospect or customer should leave a positive and beneficial feel to it. Thanks for reminding us all, how it needs to be done!

  5. Caitlin Davisson

    I do think that PR should have some concern for customer service, but not take all the blame. In this situation, I think the PR department made a huge mistake. Many people wouldn’t look at this as bad PR, but it is. It’s making the customer rethink many things, especially outside of AT&T. The final thing you saw after paying your bill, should have been a statement thanking you. It would have made a huge difference, because you would have appreciated that they recognize you and are thankful that you are a customer. I see this ad as them wanting you to think more about their company, when they should have been taking time to thank you.

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