Customer Loyalty

Don’t think of Customer Sevice as something you do, it needs to be the core of your company if you want to make loyal customers. True customer loyalty is hard to get so every part of the business has to be focused on it if you are going to find more than one or two.

Loyal customers, they don_t just come back, they don_t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you. - Chip Bell

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Simple Customer Service (or How to lose a customer for $0.30)

It’s a well-known statistic that a happy customer tells 9 people on average and an unhappy customer tells 16. Unfortunately, if you provide poor customer service to a marketer they are likely to turn it into a lesson for thousands. Every company I know is constantly looking for new customers but it is always cheaper to retain the ones you have. On average it is 6-7 times more expensive to get a new customer than to keep an old one. How do you keep them? Most cases it is all about the customer experience. Today is a lesson on flexibility during the customer experience.

The short version of the story is that a popular fast food chain had an advertisement on the menu board showing the price of an Italian sub. The main menu board had a different price. The manager was already at the register due to an issue with the computer freezing while taking my groups order. The discrepancy was pointed out, he said there was no difference in the sub so a member of my group ordered the cheaper version. Of course, the more expensive version was what was in the computer. No problem, punch in the discount, change the difference, reduce the price down to the advertised price right? Wrong, apparently corporate sets the prices in the computer and the manager can’t do anything about it. Let me repeat that, the manager has no control to give customers the price they are advertising on the menu board. He absolutely refused to give the reduced price. It was a matter of $0.30. Lost a loyal customer for $0.30 due to inflexibility. Not to mention the company, famous for its social media work, has ignored the post pointing it out all day. Granted, it’s a big company, but when your business is tagged in the same post as #customerservicefail, you might want to be paying attention. Now there’s a couple tweets, a blog post, two Facebook posts and a spot in an upcoming lecture. All this fuss for $.030? Well, yes, it’s my $0.30. If I spent $0.30 more on every transaction through a year when I wasn’t supposed to I would lose a couple hundred dollars. It eventually adds up so I tend to be aware when I am not paying the advertised price. Plus I feel such tactics are underhanded and it makes me feel unappreciated when a company thinks it’s ok to overcharge their customers.

 

The lesson is about flexibility. The customer doesn’t want to hear what corporate policy is. The customer doesn’t want to hear what you can’t do. Tell them what you can do, what the solution is. In simple cases like a price screw up, get them the advertised price. If it is truly against policy and there is no way you can change something, tell them what solutions you can provide, not what you can’t. Don’t hide behind policy and procedures, it’s bad customer service.

 

Arbys fixed
Of course, as we ate the manager “fixed” the problem.

 

 

Online Marketing is Dead

IMG_0074The numbers are in and traditional online marketing is out. There still may be a place for it in your marketing repertoire but if you aren’t looking at mobile marketing you are already behind the curve. A study by Pew Research center found that 45% of young adults do most of their internet browsing on their smartphones and ComScore found that 70% of digital media time is on mobile devices. Of course, these numbers get bigger every quarter so the trend is crystal clear, get mobile or go home.

Mobile marketing isn’t just about making websites mobile friendly anymore. Of course a mobile friendly site is the baseline and shouldn’t be overlooked but mobile marketing is so much more.

SMS Campaigns

Why use email when texting is more effective? Research has shown that 98% of SMS messages are opened and they have a response rate of 45%. Email marketing has an open rate of 28-33% with a response rate of 6%. Some more people look at your message and more people respond, it’s a win win for marketers.

Mobile First Design

Most marketers are still stuck on clicking ads to get responses but phones can do so much more. Swipe to save, tilt to see more, pinch to respond, take a picture to see out filter. These are just a few of the options. What about camera enabled features in real time? People can literally find savings in your location. When you think about the phones functions over the web functionality the possibilities that open up are vast.

In App Advertising

Apps are already becoming a bit cliché but there is still potential here. In a survey of app game players, it was found that 67% of them said that they believed they should be offered a reward in return for watching or engaging with a mobile ads and videos. They also feel more positive about companies that provide these awards and the click through rate for such ads improves by 300%.

Location Based Ads

Deliver a coupon as a customer walks by your store. Direct customers to your store when they approach a competitor that had closed. Deliver an online offer when a customer walks into a competing store! Location based advertising is picking up steam. It’s been around since 2002 but marketers are just starting to get the hang of it. Make sure you aren’t left behind and are losing customers to marketing techniques you didn’t even know about.

 

To be honest, online marketing isn’t going away anytime soon. All of the online marketing systems I discount as inferior have their place in a properly run marketing campaign but you need to be aware the landscape is changing. Make sure you keep up with the trends.

How Did You Get That Link On My Phone?

Some of you found my site through a link on your phone. How did I do that? There is a new marketing tool out there called Asirvia which uses proximity advertising to deliver messages to people near me. It’s easy to stop such messages and isn’t intrusive but can be a huge benefit to those who network a lot (like me) or have a location they are trying to generate engagement at. Imagine if your customers got a coupon for just walking by your storefront or 30% of the people at a networking event got a link to your website even if they haven’t met you yet. It is a powerful tool and is getting results for me (and I’m not even an ideal case). Check it out for yourself.  Warning, they used an MLM model for their distribution but I am not signed up for that part, I just wanted the device. The compensation looks sketchy and they have unrealistic numbers for how to get paid. My advice is to use the gadget and leave the “unlimited earning potential” alone.

Buying Email Lists

I have been getting a lot of questions lately about buying email lists so I will give you the same advice I give everyone. DON’T! There is never a good reason to buy an email list. Never. If you are convinced it is the way to go then the email list marketers are doing their job but take it from me you will regret it. The list has likely been used to the point of uselessness, it isn’t targeted the way you need and you won’t get any sales off of it. In one example I witnessed a “Targeted and Clean” list had an 85% bounce rate. Not only did they not get sales, they were banned from their email provider. I could get less of a bounce rate just guessing emails and sending them. I understand the need to have a large email list to send your information to but it is always better to build the list yourself. The bounce rate is lower, the engagement is higher and the likelihood of producing a sale is infinitely higher. Here are 10 ways to start building your email list. If you need more, lets chat.

Ways to build your email list