ProxiSpeak started in 1987 as the in-house marketing department for our toner cartridge remanufacturing company. Out of necessity, from the start, we knew if our products worked as well as the original name-brand, name-brand OEM toner cartridges the only advantage our products would have was the price.
Not wanting to compete in an industry where lower and lower prices lead to a “race-to-the-bottom” we knew we had to set ourselves apart from our competitors in the best way we could, by outperforming our competitors in every other way (other than price) with “over the top” customer service.
Even back then the gold standard of “over the top” customer service was the department store “Nordstrom”.
Our goal was to “out-Nordstrom” Nordstrom.
We focused on really simple things like answering the phone live (even in the late 80’s voicemail was already the norm), great customer service, really fast turnaround, lightning fast shipping…
From there we knew we had to take advantage of every marketing advantage available to us. We started out cold-calling until we brought in enough customers and revenue to move to national classified and display advertising in magazines.
As new technology because available (email, online BBS (bulletin board services), online classified, online display advertising, PPC (pay per click advertising (spending more than $1 million dollars per year for several years on Google Adwords, alone), Facebook advertising, LinkedIn advertising…
But, with all of that efforts and that nearly $10 million spent on online advertising, you know what we found paid off the most? The way we dealt with our customers which gave us our reputation and our reviews.
How well did we do at that?