In 1990, IFM Autobody commissioned Holdcom [then known as OnHold Productions] to write and produce a script for a “talking brochure.” When a customer would pick up their car, IFM Autobody would give away a complimentary tape cassette that played the recorded program.
The program was titled Your Rights as a Motorist. It was a short recording – several minutes long – but it contained valuable information regarding New York State Law, insurance policies, and potential exploitation by these companies.
What struck me about the script was that its mission was not “salesly.” Though the latter half plugged IFM Autobody’s “fight for [the customer] to insure [he or she will] get the proper claim amount,” the goal was to assist the customer through awareness. By giving this cassette, a person-to-person, business to customer transaction was made. IFM Autobody demonstrated, through action, a genuine concern for their customer. In return, the customer will view him or herself as valued and will want to continue business with IFM Autobody.
Fifteen years before the word “freemium” was on every social media marketer’s tongue, before corporations re-discovered the importance of customer relations, before the internet was the internet, IFM Autobody was using audio technology and mass distribution to educate, engage with, and respond to their customers with a solution, even if the problem was never directly stated i.e. knowing one’s rights as a motorist.
It takes true insight and industry expertise to find the hidden want of your customer. By coupling this intuition with innovative and far-reaching technologies, the “modern” [or empathic, to coin a new term] business will flourish.