Tag Archives: bad behavior

Better Understanding Returns of Online Purchases

13 Jun

Online retailers need to better deal with two key aspects of the customer purchase process: abandoning the shopping cart just before checking out and handling the returns of online purchases. This post focuses on the second factor — returns.

Navar surveyed almost 700 U.S. consumers who returned at least one online purchase over the preceding 12 months to understand people’s attitudes towards returns when shopping online. As summarized in a press release about the study:

“‘An online return is a critical moment in the customer journey. Retailers have an opportunity to impress and delight customers, especially high-value segments like millennials and affluent shoppers. They treat returns as a natural part of the buying process and have come to expect convenience and transparent communication,’ says Amit Sharma, CEO of Narvar. ‘If retailers can meet these high expectations, they can use returns to improve customer satisfaction, inspire loyalty and fuel new revenue streams.'”

“U.S. millennials make 54 percent of their purchases online. As they buy more online, they return more too. Yet, retailers are not meeting expectations, with 48 percent of millennials saying returns are a hassle. As many as 60 percent of millennials admit to keeping purchases they dislike because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of returning them, which is 18 percent higher than shoppers over the age of 30. High-income shoppers have similar perceptions and behaviors as millennials when it comes to returns. They are also 1.5 times more likely than the average consumer to return an online purchase. This signals a new opportunity for retailers to differentiate themselves by addressing consumers’ desire for convenience, communication and flexibility in the post-purchase experience.”

 

Click the image to read more of the highlights from the Narvar study.


 

Another United PR Disaster: You Can’t Make This Up!

18 Apr

After its recent public relations nightmare, when it forcibly removed a passenger from a seat due to overbooking (overloading)  and dragged him from his seat, you would think that United Airlines would have learned its lesson. Social media and TV reports skewered United for its actions. Just this one video received more than 3.6 million views in a single week after the incident.
 

 
As a result of the continuing social media barrage — and after several PR missteps, United’s CEO finally issued a more consumer-oriented message to the public. As reported by Brandon Morse for THE BLAZE:

“United CEO Oscar Munoz has stated that in light of the recent deplaning debacle [on April 9, 2017], United Airlines will no longer use police to remove passengers from planes. In an interview with Good Morning America, Munoz stated that he felt ‘ashamed’ over how passenger David Dao was forcibly removed from the flight, and promised to review his company’s passenger removal policy. According to United spokesperson Maddie King, the passengers who witnessed the incident of flight 3411 will be reimbursed for the price of their ticket [if they sign a waiver against suing]. This news comes on the heels of the announcement that two more officers that were involved in the incident have been put on leave.”

From Fox News:

“That is not who our family at United is,” Munoz said. “This will never happen again on a United flight. That’s my promise.” In the future, law enforcement will not be involved in removing a “booked, paid, seated passenger,” Munoz said. “We can’t do that.”

So did CEO Munoz really mean what he said? You decide! On April 15, 2017, less than one week after the above incident, United removed two passengers on the way to their wedding. NPR’s Doreen McCallister reports that: “A couple flying to Costa Rica for their wedding were removed from a United Airlines flight in Houston on Saturday. The incident happened nearly a week after a video showing a passenger being dragged off a Chicago-to-Louisville flight went viral. Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell are scheduled to get married on Thursday.
 
Here’s a video clip from USA Today on this latest incident.
 

 
More!! The parodies of United Airlines are brutal. Here’s one example (recorded before the wedding couple incident).
 

 

Misleading Marketing

9 Mar

As we have noted before (see, for example, 1, 2), marketers are sometimes ethically challenged in their quest to generate more revenues and profits.

Here is an interesting video of 10 ethically questionable marketing practices. NOTE: Some of these tactics are sexually suggestive.
 
 

 

Be Careful in Making Promises to Customers

2 Mar

In the current highly competitive global marketplace, marketers face a difficult balancing act. On the one, they must promote their goods or services as superior to other firms’ offerings. On the other hand, if customers become unhappy because they buy something that does not meet their expectations, they may be lost to the overpromising firm forever. What we should do? Here’s one perspective from a company dealing with high-value clients.

As Joshua Hebert (CEO of Magellan Jets) writes for Fortune magazine:

“We know that everyone stumbles, and when that happens, the most important thing to do is minimize the damage and turn the mistakes into a positive. One of our most memorable setbacks was with a private travel customer who wanted us to help out when one of our competitors let her down. This was no small deal — one of the top celebrities in the world had a mechanical issue with her jet, and needed us to get her from London to New York overnight. What we did next wasn’t the best idea: We promised the world. Although we didn’t quite have everything lined up, we said we could make it happen on a moment’s notice. When we put the pieces together for the flight, we found the pilots would have too much time in the air that day. That would violated safety standards, so we had to tell them we could not complete the flight.”

“Here are a few things to keep in mind when big mistakes feel like the end of the world. Don’t delay bad news. If you don’t let people know about an issue, you’re hurting them and potentially creating an even bigger problem. Trust yourself When you make a mistake and say, ‘Here’s what I’m willing to do to fix it, and here’s what I’m not willing to do,’ it lets people know what’s most important to you. Being honest and only committing to submit high-quality work are examples of standards to stick by, even in tough situations. Institutionalize your lessons. It’s important to prevent mistakes from reoccurring. After the celebrity incident, we added a new flight support element to our team. Now, when “ASAP” trips are booked, we call customers every 15 minutes within a few hours of the flight for updates on their upcoming flight. Even if there is nothing to report, we touch base so there is no miscommunication.”

 

Click the image to learn about Magellan Jets.

 

Are You Vigilant in Protecting Your Reputation?

22 Feb

Whether we are reviewing our company’s reputation or our own personal self-brand, the results may be challenging because of the spread of fake news and the proliferation of negative social media comments. What we hope for perceptions of our reputation may not be in sync with the way others see us. And having a favorable reputation is critically important.

What can we do to have a well-respected reputation? Consider these suggestions from Sapir Segal, writing for Marketo:

Social media marketing requires a lot of patience and maintenance. Once you’ve established your social media presence and are generating engagement and measuring your ROI, the most important stage is to protect your hard work. Monitoring and protecting your social media presence from decline or extinction is just as pivotal as demonstrating it in the first place.”

“Controversial posts, account hacks, and inadvertent mistakes are all examples of threats that could harm your brand’s reputation. Luckily for marketers, many of these troubling factors are avoidable or correctable. To protect your social media reputation, you must have a careful eye for potential problems, a plan for handling crises, and a team you trust to write and manage the content. Here are three common mistakes that plague social media marketers: (1) unsupervised content publishing; (2) controversial content; and (3) account hacking.”

 

Click the image to read Segal’s solutions to these problems!

 

Don’ts for Businesses Using Social Media

30 Jan

In this new era of fake news, alternative truth, and inflammatory messages on social media, it is a good time for us to appraise (or reappraise) our own use of social media. Are we doing the best we can to avoid careless mistakes or inflammatory language?

Recently, Annie Pilon described “20 Taboo Topics to Stay Away from on Your Company’s Social Media Channels” for Small Business Trends. Here are some of her observations. PLEASE keep them in mind when utilizing social media and reacting to comments by others:

“If you use social media to promote your business online, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into what types of posts to share. But sometimes it can be just as important to consider what NOT to post on social media.”

             “Making fun of specific groups of people can go too far.

Even the occasional complaint about customers can be enough to damage your brand.

Avoid complaining about your employees online.

Customers want to know that you have a team that they can trust.

Nonconstructive criticism about public figures can seem petty to your social media followers.

You don’t want to be too intrusive when asking questions of your followers.

Be careful not to share anything that’s not true, as it can make your business look bad and lead to your followers being misinformed.

Healthy competition can be good for a business, even on social media. But there’s a big difference between a friendly back-and-forth and trash-talking.

Social media also isn’t the place to share sensitive or confidential information about customers.

Don’t share with followers every time you’re having a bad day or just feeling ‘blah’ about your business.

Posting anything illegal, whether it’s drug use or even just speeding, is a very bad idea.

Stay away from sharing any content that could be considered controversial.

It’s also best not to post anything that’s irrelevant to your audience.”

 

Click the image to learn more from Pilon.


 

Ethically, Should There Be a “Pink Tax”?

5 Dec

Did you know that there are several instances when women pay more than men for the same goods and services? For example, nationwide, many dry cleaners charge a higher fee for a woman’s “blouse” than a man’s “shirt” — even if the items are exactly the same. This practice has become known as the pink tax. We’re at the end of 2016, and this practice is still in effect.

Consider the following excerpts from a report by Glenn Taylor for Retail TouchPoints

When Boxed.com lowered the costs of feminine products sold on its site, it brought awareness to the issue of the ‘pink tax’ — the higher prices charged for female-marketed products such as razors, deodorants, and body wash compared to similar marketed-to-male products. But Boxed.com hasn’t been the only brand seeking to raise awareness about the pricing gap.”

A recent RetailWire article spotlighted the actions of New York City pharmacy Thompson Chemists, which charged a one-day 7% ‘man tax’ in response to the pink tax. Although the drugstore didn’t actually add on a tax for male shoppers, it did give females a 7% discount on all items throughout the store. The 7% discount reflected a study from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs indicating that women’s products across a wide range of hygiene categories cost 7% more than men’s products sold in the city. As if this added tax wasn’t enough, feminine hygiene products also fall under the ‘luxury’ tax designation in 39 states, which means a 9% sales tax is charged for items such as pads and tampons.”

“Like many politically sensitive or gender-charged actions, the pharmacy’s tax was met with sharply divided opinions from consumers. While the move was reportedly received well in the store, it resulted in a flood of largely negative comments online as the story went viral.”

 

Click the image to read more on this topic from Retail TouchPoints.
 

 

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