Pending Business: Where the Customer is Still King | TALKERS magazine - talk media trade : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Pending Business: Where the Customer is Still King

| September 27, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Have you noticed the improvement in customer service at Apple?

Apple was quick to answer my call to customer service. After hearing my problem, they set me up with an authorized service center to fix my “vintage” laptop at a reasonable cost. They were honest enough to save me a trip to the genius bar at the Apple store, only to waste my time as they no longer stock the parts for my vintage laptop.

Stop and think about that for a moment. When was the last time you visited an Apple store and didn’t spend a few minutes browsing the newer products, mask or no mask? Amazing to think a multi-billion dollar company would rather help me than sell me.

For the most part, the experience with Amazon is similar. Customer service will find a way to help solve your problem, without selling you a thing. I can go on and on naming the tech companies that excel at solving problems where the message is clear: the customer is king. How about us?

Last week my marketing work confronted the antiquated approach the radio business takes to sales and customer service. Let’s review.

Two large market radio stations reassigned my work from a manager to a seller. No advance notice, simply a new seller who had no real working knowledge of a multi-year history of regular campaigns. Strike one. Each new seller in different markets needed several schedule revisions before we could move forward. It became my job to reconnect with the manager in each situation to get us to first base. Hello, can I speak to customer service, please? You mean there is no help and I am on my own?

Next experience. Inquiries were made into three radio stations to get more information regarding potential deals. Each station is group owned. As this article is published, no call back, no follow up. Hello? Did anyone hear my message about spending money?

Last week an industry leader complained out loud about his sellers not monetizing audience platforms. Are you seeing why radio sales is a (COVID excluded) single digit growth business? We just do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Here’s the take away:

  • Every account hand-off should have a protocol. Consider a 360-degree approach that involves your advertiser. No surprises, just communicate.
  • Respond to all inquiries on a timely basis. How long should a prospect wait before a response is offered?
  • Focus on one element at a time. All you need is a good brainstorming session to determine what one thing you can improve this week.

Radio sales and service is a simple business. It gets complicated when the comfort zone is the only zone.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Sales