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Posts Tagged ‘Customers’

It’s not coincidental I’m posting this today, March 23, when there are two major nationwide giveaways. Of course, free is good for us customers. But getting customers in once when you are giving something away for free is one thing…getting them to come back and pay for it next time is another.

So first, to the free offers. Starbucks is hosting free pastry day at its US and Canada stores. Download the coupon to receive a free pastry until 10:30 a.m. with the purchase of a “handcrafted” beverage. They’re also using the event to promote the other ways in which their pastries are “free” – that would be, free of artificial ingredients.

Ben & Jerry’s is hosting their annual free cone day. Anyone can come in and get a free cone between noon and 8:00 p.m. No coupon or purchase is required (though you can probably guarantee you’ll have to wait in line!). Ben & Jerry’s has been doing this for years – as a thank you to their customers.

The intent is clear – besides the good PR, they’re hoping you’ll like it so much that you’ll come back to pay for more. (more…)

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If a company wants to thrive, it’s important to understand what their customers want. After all, giving a customer just what they want is among the best ways to create loyalty, trust and effortless word-of-mouth marketing. This is also a great way to encourage repeat customers to increase their spend over time.

And the best way to give a customer what they want is to understand their motivations and how they truly feel. If you empathize with the customer, it’s much easier to know their wants and needs. An athlete, or someone who can truly empathize with athletes, is going to be better at creating an improved running shoe than most. A gamer knows the kind of features needed to make a new video game system a big hit. (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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As a customer-centric marketing professional, I’ve been taught to look at things from the perspective of a customer. Find out what people need – and then build a product to meet that need. But how do companies determine what customers need when they themselves don’t know until they have seen it?

I bring this up because of an interesting article in the New York Times recounting the experience of Douglas Bowman, a top visual designer at Google. Mr. Bowman left the company because he couldn’t use his creativity to build innovative designs. Why? Customer data was needed to back up even very small design decisions. And customer data often doesn’t support new and creative ideas.

While I still highly encourage using customer feedback and suggestions to improve and build products, I see his point. There needs to be a balance of using customer feedback along with other elements. Don’t get me wrong, customers are great at giving feedback about things that already exist – such as features that aren’t useful, or those that can be improved or added. However, they are notoriously unreliable at knowing what they want if it doesn’t exist yet. (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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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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