Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

Beyond Bribery: Building Customer Relationships Through Engagement

Monday, January 9th, 2017

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It’s hard to overstate the importance of brand loyalty. Marketers know how difficult it can be to win new customers. Once you have brought a new consumer into the fold, it’s important to take steps to ensure that they will not only keep coming back, but that they will also refer others to you. (more…)

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Managing B2B Vendor Relationships

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Some of the most important partnerships for any business are its vendor relationships. Business-to-business (B2B) vendor partnerships allow the purchasing business to shexecuting your strategic plan, strategic planning, strategic communicationore up its deficiencies by outsourcing certain business functions to organizations with greater expertise. This avoids the time and effort required to develop the necessary infrastructure, staff and expertise internally.

The obvious downsides of using vendors include out-of-pocket costs and potential lack of control over vendor operations. This lack of transparency and control can and frequently does result in conflict in those crucial B2B relationships. (more…)

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Are You Creating, or Removing, Barriers for People to Buy Your Product/Service?

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Sometimes I think the most simple thing that we can do as businesspeople and marketers is to “put ourselves in the shoes” – literally – of our prospects and customers. Are we making it easy to buy? Or are we setting up unintentional barriers, however “slight,” that may interfere with – or obliterate – the purchasing process? (more…)

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Twitter: Beyond Promotion

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Like most forms of social media, Twitter is largely used by businesses to promote a message, product or service. However, there are a number of uses for Twitter beyond purely promotional activities. Twitter, and other social media tools, can actually provide big benefits to businesses in multiple ways. Some of the ways we have used Twitter outside of traditional marketing include the following: (more…)

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Should Rank-and-File Employees Be Speaking on Behalf of Brands?

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

The question of whether front-line, everyday employees should be speaking on behalf of a company and its brand has been in the minds of business owners and executives for years. On the one hand, harnessing the full weight of a company’s workforce can put a lot of bodies into the marketing effort. At the same time, companies often fear the potential negative, counter-productive impact of “rogue” or un-coached employees. Think of the employee complaining about her job on her Facebook page, or the insider who gives friends and neighbors the “real story” about his company at a backyard BBQ. (more…)

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How to Get Customers to Spread the Good Word

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

by Linda Pophal

 

wrote a post recently about the value of positive public relations compared to other ways of generating awareness and preference for organizations. I made the point that what others say about us (e.g. positive word-of-mouth) is always more impactful than what we say about ourselves. One reader followed up with a question: “So how do we get our satisfied customers/alumni to talk about us more?”

This was my response: (more…)

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Are You Attempting to Influence “Controllers”? What You Need to Know

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

By Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

A few weeks ago, we looked at an article in Harvard Business Review written by Gary A. Williams and Robert B. Miller titled “Change the Way You Persuade.” In the article, Williams and Miller discuss what they found after spending two years studying over 1,600 executives. The authors discovered that the executives could be categorized into five different decision-making types: thinkers, charismatics, controllers, followers and skeptics. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve looked at thinkers , charismatics, skeptics and followers.  This week we’re going to look at the final group: controllers. (more…)

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It’s All About the Brand, ‘Bout the Brand, No Bull$#!!

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

I responded to a reporter’s query recently wondering about whether companies in industries with historically “poor” reputations (e.g. airlines, cable companies, telephone providers, etc.) are hindered because they serve as a “middleman” for consumers to access their services and that they may purposefully decide to just suck it up, accept the fact that they will never be able to satisfy their customers and, therefore, cut back on the costs of providing exceptional service. My short answer: “No.”

Here’s why, and what I think is really at play here. (more…)

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When You Simply Have to Say “No” To New Business, or a Potential New Client

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

By Linda Pophal

Have you ever turned down new business or said “no” to a potential new client? It may seem hard to believe (especially for very new businesses), but there are definitely times when saying “no” is the best thing to do. Doing so effectively, though, is a bit of an art, and it may take a while for you to determine the types of clients and projects that make the most sense for you to tackle—and those that simply don’t make sense. (more…)

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Think Before You Give That Next Customer Discount

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

A few years ago I was lamenting my cable bill with a friend who told me she had recently told her cable company she wanted to cancel her service because, based on how little she watched TV, she couldn’t justify the monthly fee. Rather than lose a customer, the cable company offered a steep discount. I’ve heard of others who have used the same strategy successfully.

I recently came across a Harvard Business Review piece called “The Downside of Discounts,” which reminded me of these cable company discounts. (more…)

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