The Super Bowl ads are a large part of the annual event’s appeal. It seems like the occasion sports more advertising creativity than any other occasion. Who can forget the elegance of the Budweiser Clydesdale horses galloping in sync with the musical score; the tenderness of Mean Joe Green throwing the kid his towel in the famous Coke ad; or the controversy of the Clint Eastwood “It’s Half Time” Chrysler ad?
Ads are fun and appealing. But, sometimes they are not. Some are weird, boring and pointless. Some try too hard and seem to totally miss the point. When I turn to my wife after one of those unattractive ads to register my disdain, she quickly sets me straight: “It was not meant for you.” That is code for “You were not their intended target market.” Her decree usually follows a reminder that no reasonably well-managed company would spend $3.8 million for a 30 second spot that had not been tested and did not work.
The “It’s not meant for you” is a great lesson for customer service. Trying to be all things to all customers ends up making your outreach so plain vanilla it is not particularly appealing to anyone. And, customers today do not go back for ordinary or bland. They want a customer experience uniquely tailored to them and with a cherry on top. It requires constant homework on your customers’ ever-changing expectations. It means knowing the difference between what customers say is important (like safety to an airline customer) and what actually drives their loyalty (not safety to an airline customer). And, it means ensuring your service offering is clear, clever and as charming as a great super bowl ad.
Great customer service might be offered to all; but, it should be targeted to your select few. Victoria’s Secret will sell their sexy lingerie to anyone with a credit card. But, they are clear their target audience is 16 to 40 year old middle class women. Bass Pro Shops will sell a fishing rod to a 12 year old girl with the right amount of cash. But, they are certain their target audience is male sports enthusiasts with disposable income. Know your customers intimately and make your service “meant for them.”