Yesterday, I told you about great customer service—and really bad customer service, too, from my recent trip to London. Today, we’re back in The States, and the customer service protagonist du jour is one Louis CK.

Yes, that Louis CK. The foul-mouthed and funny comedian who turned marketing on its ear late last year is at it again. Louis CK is about to do a stand-up tour and is selling all the tickets himself.

Don’t underestimate how important this is. It’s a business change, of course; it cuts one part of the supply chain completely out of the equation and may or may not keep the prices that Louis CK’s fans pay to see him down as he claims is his goal. But most of all this business change is about turning customer service into marketing.

Craig Newmark, he of Craigslist fame, says all the time that he’s just a customer service agent. While my reaction to Craig making that statement generally runs along the lines of “hey, Newmark, nice way to tell people you don’t want to discuss deals“, Louis CK talking about the best way to get tickets to see him into the hands of fans got me thinking about customer service as a function of marketing.

Sure, great customer service always has the same impact as marketing, if indirectly. But what if your customer service efforts were your marketing?

Not everyone can pull this off, of course. Until you’re a Louis CK-sized entity, you need to do more traditional outreach to build your brand. But when you get to be Louis CK, you can dictate your own terms. Business change as you call it. Brilliant.

You’re tiny, like Rabbit Troupe? You use Kickstarter. You’re a one-time big shot, but not in the public eye in the same way you used to be? Then you do what Neil Young and Elvis Costello did. You’re The Smartest Man in Business Today? Maybe Brian Clark is only #2. Louis CK is one smart dude.

Louis CK, I always thought you were funny. Now . . . you’re something even better. Louis CK is a business-changing, customer-service-providing marketing genius.

Share This