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Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

Why Your Customer Surveys Just Aren’t Working

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Customer surveys are one of the most commonly used arrows in a marketer’s quiver. What better way to get an idea of how your customers think than by asking them directly? While the basic idea is sound, the execution of customer surveys is often lacking. (more…)

The Critically Important Audience You May Be Overlooking

Monday, November 24th, 2014

It’s probably no surprise that poor customer service can have an enormous amount of negative impact on your business. But what about poor service to employees? Does the internal satisfaction of your employees weigh on that metric? A recent article by Christine Porath in Harvard Business Review would suggest that it does. (more…)

A Wake-Up Call to the Newspaper Industry

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

I had an experience recently that made me think: “Hmmm. Maybe this is one of the reasons the newspaper industry is struggling.”

After landing a new account recently, I began setting up my files and processes for gathering information about the client and sources of information that would help me stay on top of issues impacting them externally. This generally includes some combination of online sources, industry trade publications, etc. In this case, because of the type of business the client does, I decided to subscribe to the local paper because I wanted to add it to my morning reading ritual.

So, I went online to their website to subscribe. And that’s when the fun began. (more…)

Do You Know Who Your Customers Are? You May Be Surprised!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

I worked in a healthcare organization for about 10 years from 1996-2007. Back at that time the transition between referring to patients as “customers” was just emerging and it was fairly controversial. Marketing and administration favored the approach and logically it seemed to make some sense. But I can recall the debates, conflicts and consternation from clinical staff — physicians and nurses — about the use of this terminology.

At the time, I was firmly on the side of using the term “customer.” After all, I had come from the marketing world with a background in the investor-owned utility industry and a private educational firm, in addition to experience growing up in a family-owned business, so the concept of “customer” was one I firmly identified with.

In hindsight, though, (more…)

Are You Giving Your All To Your Current Customers?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

A number of years ago I was on a weekend outing with my husband and a group of his friends, including one guy who had recently gotten engaged to a “knockout.”  She was gorgeous–long, really long, blonde hair; perfect make-up; great  nails, dressed exceptionally.

The rest of the women (well, maybe I’m projecting my own thoughts on the others, but…) thought: “Wow! How do we compare to that!!?!” Fortunately, she was one of the many beautiful women (and men) that I’ve met over the years who wasn’t really that “full of themselves.” Over the course of the weekend after many conversations, and a few cocktails from time to time, we got to talking. I admitted my awe about how well put together she was and my wish that I could be as well put together.

She laughed and said: “You should have seen me last week!” “What do you mean?,” I asked.

(more…)

Which Comes First: Customer Service or Customers?

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

I saw an interesting comment on a blog site recently in response to an article about 6 effective marketing tips for small businesses. One poster noted that, among the small businesses she works with, her focus is on providing strong customer service and trusting that the rest will come. (Sort of a Field of Dreams approach I guess…)

There is, of course, absolutely nothing wrong with focusing on customer service–in fact I’m all in favor of it. But (more…)

Four Little Words That Can Reveal a Lot: “Why do you ask?”

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

A recent experience I had, contrasted with a similar experience my husband had a few years ago, made me consider how easy it can be to not only gather key marketing research intelligence from customers but also to improve the service experience, generate positive word-of-mouth and, ultimately, increase sales. (more…)

What You Need to Teach Your Employees About Customer Service

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The best product or service in the world won’t be well received by customers if it is delivered poorly. Businesses of any kind and any size — whether virtual or bricks and mortar — must deliver exceptional customer service to compete effectively in what has become an increasingly competitive business environment. With businesses able to sell their goods literally around the world, your field of competitors has increased exponentially.

That means that you need to ensure that your employees are prepared to

(more…)

Word of Mouse—Consumer Sharing on Steroids!

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

It used to be that consumers shared opinions about products and services at the water cooler or over the backyard fence. While their word-of-mouth was (and is) valuable, the reach they could achieve in the “old days” was minimal. Today that’s not the case. Although there is still plenty of old-fashioned word-of-mouth taking place in break rooms and backyards around the country, the power of technology has amped up the ability to spread messages—for good and ill! Marketers need to be taking steps to address both sides of this issue. (more…)

We All Have Something to Learn From Dairy Queen. What Impression Are You Making When You Think No One Is Watching?

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

I used to tell my son that the true test of a person’s character isn’t what they do when they know someone is watching, but what they do when they don’t think anyone is watching. I don’t know who originally said that; it wasn’t me. But, it’s a sentiment that has always really resonated with me. And, I’ve had opportunities to observe people (when they didn’t know they were being observed by me) who made both positive and negative impressions.
(more…)