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Customer Articles

The Best Defense Against Bad Word of Mouth

Uber customer service snafus like Jet Blue aside, a business is bound to catch a customer on a bad day – or vice versa. This can spawn a fiery blog post which, in plain view of Google, can morph into an issue with “negative fiscal ramifications” for the business in question.

PR Should Have a Hand in Customer Service

I’ve had two customer service encounters today that have me pondering—again—the link between PR and customer service. If public relations is the management and maintenance of relationships between organizations and their core audiences, customer service should be considered a linchpin. Customers have to be considered a vital audience, and in today’s world, word-of-mouth from customers is worth more than dozens of expensive, traditional PR, advertising, or marketing campaigns. Yet many companies continue to blow it on this most fundamental of activities.

Online Customer Panels

Everyone knows about SurveyMonkey and Web analytics programs, but I heard about something new (at least to me) last week—online market research. I attended an AMA Webcast on Community Marketing on March 29 where one of the topics was how to attract online customer panels that provide high quality market research.

A Real Customer Service Lesson

In customer service, it’s the little things that matter most. A little eye contact here or a head nod there may seem insignificant, and largely are, but to a customer needing acknowledgment, these things are everything. There is nothing worse than needing help in a store and getting ignored by the very people who are supposed to be there to help.

Community and ROI

The firms I talk to about community building seem to fall into two categories – those that want a Web community right now, and those that question the very value of communities.

Poor Customer Service Exposed

My saga of bad customer service continues…

The Charter Fiasco

A couple of months back my monthly bill for internet service at home changed from $34.99 to $39.94. Raises in fees are a fact of life and I never gave the $5 monthly increase more than a couple of seconds thought. That was until I got my bill last month which added an additional $15 to my newly increased monthly bill.

JetBlue Customer Bill Of Rights

If you were trying to fly in or out of the North East U.S. a few weeks ago you’ll no doubt remember the problem JetBlue was having in keeping flights in the air and on schedule.

The problems started with an ice storm that naturally led to flights being grounded, but once air travel resumed JetBlue found itself lagging in getting their operation running again. We all know things happen and in this case JetBlue dropped the ball. However their response to the situation is more telling about the company than the temporary problems they faced.

Are You Overdelivering?

Unfortunately, not many business owners thoroughly consider, whether their customers are pleased with their products, as long as they are their customers.

Is the client satisfied or absolutely thrilled to be yours? This can be a great difference, right? That’s why it is important to ensure that you do anything to make your customers happy to ensure most of them become your repeat clients and bring more people to your business.

Why make customers happy?

When You Offer Bad Customer Service

No one’s prefect, that for sure.

If you run or work in a business, or if you have a pulse, chances are you’ve screwed up. If you’ve been doing it long enough, chances are you screwed up royally.

So what do you do when it’s on you? Elain Fogel has a helpful article over at MarketingProfs called Three Ways to Keep Your Customer Happy When You Screw Up.

Step one is to communicate. Fogel states:

Second Life Customer Conversations

About a month ago a friend said the following before a hockey game (yeah – our team has very geeky locker room talk):

“Is IBM not making enough money these days? I hear they’re providing services for some online world”

Dell IdeaStorm – Ultimate Customer Feedback Example

Dell IdeaStorm, which launched earlier this month, is the ultimate example of Seth Godin-style “take something good, innovate, and make it great” thinking.

Decision Management: A Solution to Seth’s Problem?

Seth Godin had a post recently – Starting over with customer service – and, while I agree with much of his set up I think the solution is different. Why not empower those people collecting good information to give an actual answer?

Creating Value Then Profit

Shane, an attendee from the first Elite Retreat, posted about why it is not best to monetize a blog right out of the gate:

So, your focus at the beginning has to be on attracting and retaining readers. You do that by having a great site, and nothing turns visitors off more than a brand new blog with just a handful of posts and ads splashed everywhere. It says to them that you’re more interested in making money than you are in providing good content.

Omniture Unveils New Analytic Software
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Omniture, Inc. has announced the launch of Discover 2.0, analytic software designed to give companies the ability to visually explore large amounts of online customer interaction data in real-time.

Discover is a component of the Omniture Online Business Optimization Platform, and is a solution that Omniture claims can accomodate all levels of business users by generating everything from simple reports to more complex methods of data aggregation and analysis.

Sales Challenges that Prevent Executive Level Access

With the complexity of today’s business solutions and their far-reaching affects, more often than not senior level executives are actively involved in the process of assessing the issues and their options.

Decision-making Speed Matters to Customers

1:1 magazine had a piece about the importance of speed in winning customer loyalty.

Determining the Lifetime Value of Your Customers

“Lifetime value is expressed as the total dollar value of your average customer over the entire period that they’re likely to do business with you..” – Bob Serling

Stop Margin Erosion at the Point of Sale

What do you do when faced with a potential customer who is relentlessly insisting on a discount?

CRM, Customer Experience, Gethuman and Decisioning
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Curiously I came across two references to gethuman.com in my browsing recently.

Social Networking in Healthcare

Was just sent a pointer to a solid article from the Wall Street Journal, “Social Networking Comes To Healthcare.”

TypePad Menus (And Getting Rid of the Border)

Have been doing some development work for a business blogging customer of ours, and again need to send out mad props (that’s what the kids these days say, right?) to John T. Unger and his Typepad Hacks site.