Tag Archives: good manners

What People Want from Brands On Social Media

18 Jul

Last week, we posted about “Are You Always “On”? Living in a Connected World.” (1, 2, 3) As we noted, whether we are referring to companies’ behavior on social media or to our own efforts on social media, care must always be taken — and bad/inappropriate behavior avoided.

Consider these observations and charts from a study conducted by Sprout Social (“Bringing Businesses & People Closer Together”):

“Plenty of brands are doubling down on social snark [an attitude or expression of mocking irreverence and sarcasm] and reaping the benefits of more media visibility. But does this correlate to sales? To understand how brand personality impacts purchasing decisions, Sprout Social surveyed 1,000 consumers on which traits they want brands to demonstrate on social and what action specific brand responses such as humor or friendliness prompt.”

 

“The limelight most often falls on big brands with big social personalities, but what’s in it for the rest of us? While 75% of consumers believe there’s value in brands exhibiting humor on social, only 36% are willing to purchase from brands they believe are funny. And those brands have to bring it, because funny can quickly slide into annoying if not fresh, relevant, and interesting. That’s a big problem when 50% of consumers say they would unfollow a brand that annoyed them on social and 23% would walk away from your brand completely by vowing to never buy you again. Ouch.”

 

 

 

 

Click the image below for the full report.


 

A Video to Help YOU Be Inspired — and Kind!!

28 May

We may be busy. We may be cranky. We may be tired. But, especially in these overly cynical times, it’s important that we also be kind — and respectful.

The video embedded below (“Don’t Judge People You Don’t Know”) has been viewed 28 million times on Facebook!
 

Please think about the message conveyed, and do an act of kindness.

 

 

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.

 

10 Tips on How Companies Can Be More Customer-Centric

17 Nov

A while back, Professor Joel Evans of Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business wrote an article about “Customer Centricity” for Promo Magazine (now part of Chief Marketer.)

The essence of that still rings true today — even more so given the level of competition faced. Here is that article (with only slight edits).

We are now in an era where the marketplace is so cluttered that it is more difficult than ever for any one firm to stand out from the competition—or even be recognized. As a result, a customer-centric approach is imperative.

Most firms promote as fact that they are customer-centric. Many even believe they are. But, one of the most abused terms in business is customer-centric. Here are three true examples to illustrate the point: (1) A leading department store branch is busy. In the women’s apparel section, the checkout line is long. In the shoe department (which is not leased), no one is waiting on line. The sales clerk refuses to ring up any apparel sales. The department store prides itself on outstanding customer service. (2) A customer buys a $100 gift card from a leading consumer electronics chain. The gift recipient spends $90 at the chain and asks for the balance to be remitted in cash. The request is refused. The chain prides itself on outstanding customer service. (3) A local bookstore promotes a policy to “beat any prices.” The policy is good for only three days after a purchase. The bookstore prides itself on outstanding customer service.

There are several things that firms of any type or size can do to truly be customer-centric. Here are 10 ways to facilitate the process:

ONE — Be your own customer. Interact with salespeople. Visit all your facilities. “Think like a customer.”

TWO. Be proactive. Use mystery shoppers to engage your employees in various types of situations. Do customer surveys. Adjust practices as necessary.

THREE — Encourage employee empowerment. A number of firms have cut back on employee flexibility in “bending the rules” for fear of hurting profitability. Yet, research shows that customers are more loyal when they feel the company listens to them.

FOUR — Small gestures can be big. Take a look at “Simple Truths of Service” and see how.

FIVE — Be as honest and informative as humanly possible. Don’t run a full-page ad with the word “SALE” if not all the items in the ad are actually on sale.

SIX — Every firm should offer a meaningful loyalty program. There’s no better way to be customer-centric than to reward continued patronage.

SEVEN — Match your sales staff requirements to your positioning. It is okay for Walmart to have a limited number of sales workers on the floor because of its low-price, self-service approach. Likewise, it is proper for Best Buy to have a lot of staff on the floor since it promotes more personal service.

EIGHT — Use customer-friendly signage. I once addressed a group of supermarket executives and made what I thought was a rather non-provocative suggestion: Have a large sign at the entrance depicting the full layout of the items in the store. My reasoning: With more men starting to shop in supermarkets, better signage was needed. The intense negative reaction to this suggestion was stunning. The supermarket executives thought this would cut down on impulse shopping. My response: If shoppers feel more comfortable and knowledgeable, there will be more impulse shopping—not less, I lost that battle. Supermarkets (and many others), for the most part, still do not have enough customer-friendly signage,

NINE — Run special-themed promotions throughout the year that are NOT price-oriented. Too often, firms view promotions only as “sales,” and run them frequently. However, promotions do not have to just focus on price. (Such tactics typically encourage customers to wait for the inevitable sale and not buy on full price). Examples of good promotions: Contests don’t only have to coincide with special events, such as the Super Bowl. Similar activities can be done at other times. Be creative!

TEN — Encourage employees to be more customer-centric. All those who personally interact with customers should have name tags—from the sales staff to senior executives. Every person who answers the phone (or makes calls) should state his or her name. Employee photos should be prominently placed. Recognition of good employee performance should be posted. One nice thing that I always observe is when a company has a parking space designated “employee of the month.” This is a signal that the company cares about people.

 

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