Tag Archives: customer expectations

Getting People to Spend More Time on Your Web Page

17 Jan

Consider these observations from Vikas Agrawal, writing for CustomerThink:

“Did you know that humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfishes? A 2015 study conducted by Microsoft in Canada showed that the average attention span of humans has decreased by 4 seconds in the past 15 years. From 12 seconds in 2000, last year’s study showed that it is now at 8.25 seconds only, largely due to the advent of smartphones. This is actually a tad shorter compared to the attention span of goldfishes who are clocking in at 9 seconds.”

 

Now, consider the work on infographics by InfobrandZ:

“Pictures speak to us. They convey ideas that spark both our memories and our imaginations. Looking at a picture is indeed like reading a thousand words. More than that, it allows us to visualize relationships in a way that is not possible with words. And in that fact lies the power of Infographic Marketing.”

A Customer Service Infographic

9 Jan

Last week, we wrote about one aspect of customer service — the firm’s return policy — and its impact on consumer satisfaction.

Today, we are presenting a broad-based infographic on good customer service that was developed by  Exponential Solutions (The CUBE) Marketing. Thanks to Steve Hashman, one of the company founders, for providing the infographic.
 

 

2017 Global Economics Interview with Hof Prof

5 Jan

Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business Distinguished Professor Joel Evans was recently interviewed by the award-winning Hofstra radio station WHRU about the upcoming 2017 global economy. Here is that EIGHT-minute interview. The views are those of Professor Evans and not Hofstra University.

[Please pardon all the sighs. Professor Evans is not in a state of distress, only in a state of bronchitis. 🙂 ]

 

 

Customer Service Means a Good Return Policy

3 Jan

Now that the 2016 holiday shopping season is over (except for spending gift cards), a vital question to consider from both the customer’s and retailer’s perspective is: What kind of return policy best serves my needs? For many consumers, the answer may be: an unlimited time frame to return a purchase. For many retailers, the answer may be: holding down costs as much as possible. In either case, the return policy is a key element of customer service.

These are some return practices disliked by consumers: [Note: Many good retailers do not follow these practices.]

  • An overly short time period to make a return for a full refund.
  • The amount of the refund for a gift item when the gift recipient does not have a receipt.
  • A discounted refund merely for opening the product’s box.
  • The time to process a refund for a return.
  • Items excluded from refunds, such as computer software.
  • The shipping fee to return a purchase made online.

 
Two of the acknowledged leaders are Amazon, whose return policy is easy to use and consumer friendly, and L.L. Bean, whose return policy has received various honors and awards.

As a prelude to a YouTube video about returns at L.L. Bean, Business Insider’s Sam Rega recently stated: Here’s what makes L.L.Bean’s ‘100% satisfaction guarantee’ the best return policy of any retailer.”
 

 

What Are the Toughest Languages to Translate?

31 Dec

As we approach the end of 2016, we have presented some of the most popular of the nearly 1,500 posts that have appeared on Evans on Marketing. Today, to finish 2016, we discuss how difficult it is compete in multiple languages.

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When firms go global, language translation becomes more complex and time-consuming.

Dana Translation notes that:

“In today’s global environment and economy, interesting and important come in many languages. People and organizations often need to unlock the meaning within those documents with a perfect translation that conveys the intent of the document.”

“Many people don’t realize that languages don’t have a direct word-to-correlation, so a good translation requires an understanding of the nuances and shades of meaning in each language. Rules of grammar and the way people express themselves using figures of speech vary from culture to culture, and words with the same meaning may have different connotations that can slant the feeling that a translation conveys if chosen unwisely. That’s why machine translations so often go wrong, and why it pays to have a comprehensive translation service on your side.”

 

According to Dana, these are the hardest languages to translate.

 

Technology and Planned Obsolescence

27 Dec

As we approach the end of 2016, we are going to present some of the most popular of the nearly 1,500 posts that have appeared on Evans on Marketing. Today, we cover the topic of planned obsolescence.

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As defined in Evans Berman’s Marketing: “Planned obsolescence is a marketing practice that capitalizes on short-run material wearout, style changes, and functional product changes. In material planned obsolescence, firms choose materials and components that are subject to comparatively early breakage, wear, rot, or corrosion. In style planned obsolescence, a firm makes minor changes to differentiate the new year’s offering from the prior year’s. With functional planned obsolescence, a firm introduces new product features or improvements to generate consumer dissatisfaction with currently owned products.”

In recent years, NO company has applied planned obsolescence more than Apple. Yes, this practice has led to rapid advances in the technology of music players, tablets, and smartphones. But, does Apple’s philosophy also spur consumers to buy new product versions that they don’t need?

Apple has recently been criticized for its planned obsolescence strategy. Do YOU agree with this criticism?

Consider these observations by Catherine Rampell, writing for the New York Times:

“The new software and recent app updates from Apple offer fancy new features that existing users want; maybe the battery is sealed with tiny five-point screws for aesthetic considerations. Perhaps, but this isn’t the first time that tech analysts and random crazies on the Internet have noted that breakdowns in older Apple products can often coincide with when upgrades come onto the market. Many have taken this as evidence of ‘planned obsolescence,’ a term that dates to the Great Depression, when a real-estate broker suggested that the government should stimulate the economy by placing artificial expiration dates on consumer products so people would buy more.”

“There is, however, a simple way to effectively render an old product obsolete without fleecing your existing customers. Instead of degrading the old model, companies can offer innovations in the new model that make upgrading irresistible. Apple succeeded at doing this for a while, offering new iPhones that included major improvements. In the past, consumers were so excited about the cool new features, like Siri, the voice-activated interface, that they may not have minded (or even noticed) if their old phones started to deteriorate; they planned on upgrading anyway. This time around, that’s less true. The iPhone 5S and 5C offer fewer quantum improvements. Consumers are more likely to want their old phones to continue working at peak condition in perpetuity, and to feel cheated when they don’t.”

[Note from Evans on Marketing: Many consumers still believe that Apple practices planned obsolescence with its latest lines of phones, tablets, and computers. In 2016, for the first time in years, had a quarterly sales drop. Do YOU agree or disagree?]

 

 
Click the image to read more.

Illustration by Kelsey Dake

 

The Psychology of Color

21 Dec

As we approach the end of 2016, we are going to present some of the most popular of the nearly 1,500 posts that have appeared on Evans on Marketing. Today, we cover how colors affect consumers’ product perceptions.
 

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From a marketing perspective, we tend to believe “perception is reality” — which means that what shoppers believe about product features is more important than the reality of those features.

With this in mind, Rachel Griffith has written a fascinating article for Fast Company on the impact of color on consumer perceptions. As she notes:

“When it comes to identifying your brand, your logo is probably the first thing your customers will think of. While honing the narrative and message behind your logo should of course be your primary concern, research suggests that your logo’s design — and specifically its colors — have more bearing on your customers’ opinions than you might think. Neuroscientist Bevil Conway, who has focused his recent research almost entirely on the neural machinery behind color, believes the science behind color processing to be very powerful and completely underexploited.”

“According to research complied by web design and marketing company WebPageFX, people make a subconscious judgment about a product in less than 90 seconds of viewing, and a majority of these people base that assessment on color alone. In fact, almost 85% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80% of people believe color increases brand recognition.”

To learn more about the perceptions of people with regard to red, yellow, blue, orange, green, and purple, click on the infographic from Fast Company.

 


 

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