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Posts Tagged ‘Communications’

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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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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About two weeks ago on this very blog, I published this post praising personalized magazines as a customer-centric solution to help slow the decline of the print publication. Specifically, I focused on Mine, a trial of a personalized magazine from Time Inc. and American Express Publishing. Subscribers are asked to pick content from five magazines out of several of the companies offerings to create their own unique publication. Readers could choose to receive, free of charge, five trial issues e-mailed to them in electronic format or snail mailed to them in print format.

However, what I didn’t talk about were some of the potential downsides, and the impact an error could have on the concept. Sure, newspapers, magazines and books contain errors every so often. But when a company suggests a reader can customize a magazine to their liking, and the one that they get isn’t, this is a bit of a problem.

Why am I bringing this up now, you ask? Well, while waiting for the first print issue of Mine Magazine to arrive at my door last week, I received an e-mail from the publisher. (more…)

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I’m always surprised when I find companies that go above and beyond the call of duty in customer service or support. In this world, sometimes it’s difficult to find a company that even lives up to their stated standard.

Bose is definitely the kind of company that goes above and beyond, and here’s why. Once upon a time, about two weeks ago, a friend – let’s call her Lara – had her pair of Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones, just over a year old, stop working. Not completely, mind you, but one ear had no sound coming from it. For a $350 pair of premium headphones, you’d think they would last longer.

So first she called the customer support line, who suggested the wire might be the problem. The rep sent a new one, free of charge, but warned that if it didn’t solve the issue, Lara would have to pay $100 to replace the headset. So Lara was not happy, when, two days later, she received the wire, but still only had music coming out of one ear only. She didn’t know what to do. I suggested a trip to the Bose store, as it might be better to talk to someone in person. After all, with a product that expensive, you don’t want to give up on getting taken care of properly without putting in reasonable effort. (more…)

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There’s always been a fight over who makes the best premium ice cream — is it Ben & Jerry’s, or Haagen Dazs?

If we’re going by carton size, there’s now a clear winner. Over the past few weeks, Haagen Dazs had been reducing the size of its cartons from 16 ounces (a pint) to 14 ounces, while leaving the prices the same. If, for some reason, consumers didn’t notice this themselves, Ben & Jerry’s wanted to make sure they did. So last week, in an edition of its Chunkmail newsletter, and on a special page on its Web site, it let everyone know that “A pint’s not a pint, unless it’s a pint.”

The company didn’t name names, but did say a competitor with a “funny sounding European name” had downsized their pints. It also reminded customers that “your Ben & Jerry’s will still be standing tall in the freezer.” (more…)

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Welcome to my blog, Successful Marketing Communications: A Conversation With Customers.

Over the past few years, marketing and communications has changed a lot. That might even be a large understatement. And there are a lot of reasons for this: improved technology, the use of customer data, and fickle customers, just to name a few.

To keep up, companies have had to change the way they communicate. Those that haven’t might be able to survive in the short term, but not in the long term. With retailers and manufacturers trying to match and/or outdo each other, just having a great idea for a product or promotion doesn’t cut it anymore – there needs to be more. (more…)

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