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Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

These days, many companies reach out to their customers to get feedback on their products and services, as well as their overall shopping experience. You may find an invitation to take this kind of survey on the bottom of a receipt, in a post-purchase email, or even on a website pop-up window, among other places. And to encourage shoppers to participate, there is often a small reward for doing so, or a chance to win a bigger prize.

Survey - Excellent CheckedThe big question is, do these surveys make a difference? Are the answers properly evaluated? Are the questions even relevant? Is proper follow-up done? (more…)

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The big things – like fulfilling a brand’s promise – is the main item that needs to be accomplished for a company to keep customers coming back. If a brand promises the customer a seamless experience, for example, and it doesn’t, then why should they come back?

But there’s also no doubt that little things can mean the difference between a customer coming back and one that will go to a competitor. Sometimes, its so small that your customers won’t realize its being done until it isn’t. Sometimes, it’s so basic and is just common sense, so customers don’t think about it. And often, these little things don’t cost money, or cost very little, yet provide the customer another reason to come back.

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In most industries, there are a mix of competitors, some of which people love and others that people hate. But in others, it seems that no matter which company you talk about, they are universally disliked. The airline industry is one – you know an industry is not in good shape when customer service rankings are consistently below those of the IRS.

Perhaps above airlines, but still very disliked, are the cell phone providers. Most people love to hate their carrier. And there are good reasons why. Mandatory contracts, poor customer service and high pricing are among them.

In his column this week for the New York Times, David Pogue lists many of those reasons. Among the items Pogue mentions are text messaging fees, double billing (being charged for both outgoing and incoming calls), subsidy payback through contracts, and the long set of instructions you’re forced to listen to before leaving a message. And it comes as a Senate committee is holding a hearing on handset exclusivity that is bringing out both the benefits and disadvantages of the practice.

However, the reason most people dislike their provider is because the industry markets their services exactly the opposite as they should. (more…)

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Some companies are much better than others at meeting the needs of customers. This can be a big differentiator – organizations that focus on their customers better will thrive. You can attract a customer once with a low price. But if that product or service doesn’t meet expectations, isn’t supported, or disappoints in any way, customers can, and will, move to a competitor faster than the amount of time they’re on hold waiting for a customer support representative.

customer serviceConsumers will vote with their wallets – and they are certainly willing to vote a company out of business.

This being a customer-focused marketing blog, I wanted to provide a list of companies that are great at focusing on the customer and the experience they have. As a result, these organizations tend to build a loyal customer base – the kind that will increase purchases with time, and that will generate long-term profits. (more…)

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Employee training can help ensure a company is run as efficiently as possible. When done right, it can have a large impact on the results of many situations. It is particularly important to train those employees that are customer facing. They are the direct link to the customer, and have a large influence on brand perception. They can solve the customer’s problems and provide the information they need.

Unfortunately, many companies don’t realize this, and I have a perfect example. Yesterday morning, my friend, let’s again call her Lara, was booked on a Delta flight at 9:00am. At about 6:00am, as she was waking up, she received an automated call noting a change to the flight, but was hung up on before the specific information was given. She was concerned, but figured the dropped call was an anomaly, so called the airline back. (more…)

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