Bright glimmers of hope are starting to radiate from what had been some ominous, dark clouds of an economy that looked to be in retreat. Jobs continue to be created, industrial production is nearly back to its pre-recession levels, blue-chip stocks have re-couped their losses, and consumer confidence is finally climbing. These are the glimmers of hope that show an economy on the ... Read More
Bottom Line: Investing first in the quality of customer experience, not cost reduction of quantity of transactions, will determine who attracts and keeps the most customers in 2012.
Real influence is based on trust, not how many times you were re-tweeted or someone liked your update on Facebook.
Nearly every marketing manager, director or VP who is attending my MBA class in International Marketing tells me that increasingly larger percentages of their budgets go to digital over traditional marketing. The primary driver is social media and the urgency to stay on top of what is going on with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the relentless need for content to fuel their corporate blogs.
The students in my class are divided on the value of corporate blogs however; some see it as critical for defining thought leadership and others use them purely for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While they are split on this issue, the class is unanimous that the era of digital marketing driven by social media is here and moving very fast.
What does Success Look Like in ... Read More
Business process optimization (BPO) seeks to integrate a company’s processes to improve customer experience (Cx), not by re-inventing them but by understanding them. It is a good formula.
The processes we use to deliver our products and services become the fingerprint of our organizations. They are how we get things done. They determine our productivity. They define our company from the competition. They reflect out to our customers and tell them who we are and whether we care about their needs.
On the other hand, our processes can take on a life of their own and become a bewildering maze of handoffs. They grow complex and proliferate, making us more difficult to work with. They remain labor intensive and paper-driven. In many companies, these proliferating processes come to reside in functional silos with the corporate left hand unable to communicate across the maze efficiently, quickly – or, sometimes at all – with the corporate right hand. The result is ... Read More
Information-based strategies leverage expert knowledge of the profitability, preferences and transaction histories of individual customers to increase the effectiveness of marketing, sales and service. To transform your ho-hum, run-of-the-mill value message into an eye-popping, head-turning, “must have” proposition that positions you head and shoulders above the competition, we suggest you implement the following solutions:
- Define what makes your product-service offerings unique and better than those of your competitor.
- Improve customer service and market it as a key differentiator.
- Offer value-added services to your most profitable clients.
- Provide highly customized, one-to-one relationships, through a personalized marketing and ... Read More
Understanding our barriers gives us the ability to size up our situation more objectively, and to see where extra effort is needed to smooth the path to success. “While we look for new ways to serve customers, I don’t want to do anything to upset what is already working.” This comment came from the CIO of one the world’s largest financial services providers “We now have 28 different mainframe databases. We spend half our annual budget keeping these systems working with each other. How can we gain leverage when we are fighting every day just to do the basics?”
Four high-level factors are either barriers or opportunities; good or ... Read More
Your list of customer promises will be added to the Value-Strategy Scorecard – a tool for evaluating how well you line up with customer expectations, and where you want to refine your marketing strategies.
The Value-Strategy Scorecard illustration below defines what a particular strategy looks like from the customer’s point of view. Have a panel of customers from each of the targeted Personas rate the match-up. Also have key employees within your company rate your ability to deliver on the promises. Place a symbol in each box to indicate how the product strategy aligns with customer needs. Use a High, Medium and Low scale where H = 10, M=5 and L=2. If there is no match, leave the square blank, where Blank=0. If you want to place “weighting” of the entries, limit yourself ... Read More
We insert our conversations into a point-of-view (POV) that already exists in the customer’s mind.
But this time we are armed with the axiom Yes-Maybe-No. Still our job is not easy.
This point-of-view (POV) includes values, beliefs, biases that collectively determine how we engage in conversations with our friends, associates and with the companies from whom we buy things.
The POV explains how we can see the same information and make totally different decisions.
Changing the POV is difficult and often impossible. Early adopters are a very small subset of any market.
- It is hard to convert a Republican into a ... Read More
With the “Yes-Maybe-No” axiom in hand (see my previous post: The Axiom for Changing the Customer Conversation), you can now map out the entire campaign for conversing with every customer in your database; not just those two percent who might say “yes” but now to the 98 percent who have not yet said “yes.”
Now a “no” response is just as important to you as is a “yes” response.
Let’s see how this might look in a customer experience initiative where you want to invite prospects to attend an educational Webinar.
- The mailing goes out to 1,000 individuals.
- 20 say “yes” when they go to your ... Read More
Conversations can be a lot like watching a game of soccer. Players on two teams run back and forth until someone finally scores. If you do not know the rules and the strategy, the game looks confusing and with no apparent rationale. Just a lot of running around.
When we are in a conversation with a segment of customers, we send messages out. Some break through and cause a response; others just ricochet into oblivion. Such conversations appear to be a lot of running around with no strategy to guide it in a purposeful direction.
A customer calls your customer service line and gets one answer and they go on your website and get an entirely different answer. You send them a statement that is confusing so they call your sales rep. He can’t help because he’s never seen the ... Read More
Social media is enough to make any Marketing VP think they’ve found the Promised Land. Online global communities with easy access, no cost to participate and literally millions of people and companies joining every month, driving traffic estimates to the stratosphere. Social networks and their blistering growth is ... Read More
We’re all getting reminded every day to take ownership of our digital brands and jump on social networks. For companies the pressure they put on themselves is enormous. So strong in fact that I’ve heard of CEOs monitoring follower counts on their corporate Twitter ... Read More
Is the customer in charge?
Consider the following illustration from Sloan Review written by Jeff Bernoff and Charlene Li.
Based on life in a fictional town after a nuclear explosion occurs nearby, the CBS television series "Jericho" developed a moderate-sized but intensely loyal following after its debut in 2006. But in the spring of 2007, after a two-month hiatus, Jericho resumed airing in a new time slot — directly opposite FOX’s hit "American Idol." Not surprisingly, ratings dropped, resulting in the show’s cancellation.
But CBS and the producers of "Jericho" had created a forum on the network’s Web site where ... Read More
Cambridge, Mass.— Web 2.0 projects that make a positive customer experience are becoming more critical elements in business strategy. Web 2.0 will play an increasing role in Forrester Research projects that nearly one-quarter of businesses will make implementing Web 2.0 technologies a major software initiative this year.
The report, “Top Enterprise Web 2.0 Predictions for 2008,” projects business adoption of Web 2.0 applications this year including social networks, RSS and mashups.
“To date, most IT departments have resisted Web 2.0 tools, often viewing them as consumer grade, of secondary concern to other major IT investments or simply frivolous,” said Oliver Young, a Forrester analyst and author of the report.
However, as IT departments start to see ... Read More
Found a marketer with some attitude and a good understanding of how to use social media. Take your lesson at Court’s Internet Marketing School and see what online customer experience communications are all about. Next time you have a bad vendor experience (like the way Kia treated him), he has the menu for revenge. ... Read More