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Archive for February, 2009

 Customer satisfaction improves; shoppers’ favorite stores

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

An article at Forbes.com confirms that while the economy is still experiencing a downturn, with The National Retail Federation estimating a 2.5% drop in sales for the first half of the new year, the shopping public is exhibiting signs of being more content with the service it receives from certain retailers.

Among ‘America’s Favorite Stores’ are: Nordstrom and Kohl’s. [Search MeasuredUp for Customer Service Reviews of Nordstrom and Kohl's, or write your own review!]

To read the article, which provides an in-depth look at the statistics and shopping habits of America in relation to the economy, click here.

 Don’t underestimate the power of the customer when building your brand.

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009


Monday, February 16, 2009 

 

By Don Morgan 

Last week, I attended a webinar titled “Brand Building in a Digital Age”. I was expecting a “how-to” seminar on incorporating social media and other new technology tools as part of the marketing mix. As it turned out, the webinar was more about the power of the customer and the importance of good customer service in an era of instant access to millions of potential customers via the Internet. But that’s okay, because the webinar did give me some new insights and appreciation for the importance of doing and saying the right things with customers.So what does that say about retailers who loudly proclaim their “once-in-a-lifetime” sale that happens again next week? And again the following week? Are you listening department stores? Or what about the automobile dealers, mortgage companies and all the other advertisers who trumpet their incentives and hide behind the fine print. The old-fashioned notion of caveat emptor (buyer beware) has been replaced by seller beware that you don’t ruin your brand and your business in a blind quest for profit because your customers will tell the truth to the world.The rapid growth of customer review sites like Yelp and Angies List and the emergence of customer feedback sites like Measuredup and Planetfeedback should be enough for marketers to wake up and smell that coffee.The customer is not only in charge, they are in the driver’s seat.

For full article go to marketingthoughtleader.blogspot.com 

 Better Business Bureau complaints up 7% from 2008

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

According to an annual report released today by Better Business Bureau, consumers filed 891,540 complaints against North American businesses in 2008, reflecting a seven percent increase over the previous year.The report also reveals that BBB Reliability Reports-which are available online for free and contain information on a businesses’ accreditation status, letter-grade rating and complaint history-are increasingly popular as a free tool for consumers to research the trustworthiness of businesses. The four million reliability reports maintained by BBB on businesses across North America were accessed more than 63 million times in 2008, a 15 percent increase over the previous year. The most popular industries researched through BBB are roofing contractors, general contractors, and movers.Read more of the article, from the WPDE News website, here.

 How You Can Stay in Control of Your Brand’s Reputation

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009


Even If You’ve Done Nothing Wrong, One Nasty Complaint Can Taint Your Name

by Keith Goldberg 

 

My initiation into reputation management took place during fourth grade in Mr. Timberlake’s class. For some reason, long since forgotten, I wound up in a scuffle with another boy and, though I don’t believe I instigated the dust-up, Mr. Timberlake wasted no time in grabbing me by the neck (I remember that clearly) and marching me down to the principal’s office.

As I sat in the seat of shame outside of Mr. Stern’s office (what a perfect name for a principal, don’t you think?) the teachers and students who paraded by me cast cold eyes that betrayed their thoughts. “Hmm … the Goldberg kid, thought he was all right but I guess he’s a troublemaker.” By the next day, news of my predicament had spread like wildfire throughout the school.

But I didn’t start it! It wasn’t my fault!

Too bad.

Fast-forward more years than I’d like to admit, and, as a CMO of a major brand, I was so proud of how we were optimizing our search results — especially given the money we were spending. Then, one morning, I logged onto my Mac and was stunned.

There on Google, sitting solidly in the fourth position — right below three killer, above-the-fold search listings for my brand — was a listing titled “customer complaints.” Customer complaints about my company.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Keith Goldberg is senior VP-client strategy at EWI Worldwide. He was previously leader of creative and innovation for George P. Johnson Experience Marketing and senior VP-CMO, GMAC Direct.

I quickly clicked. The list of complaints were unsubstantiated, even comical, and the company they were blasting didn’t sound at all like us. But there was our name, plain as day. Were these really unhappy customers? Was this a sabotage campaign from a competitor? I didn’t know. It didn’t matter.

 

The most frustrating partI kept thinking about the dollars we spent to optimize traffic to our website. I couldn’t believe we had worked so hard to attract thousands of eyeballs and now, when we should be connecting with and converting this treasure trove of customers, a rogue listing was going to raise a red flag to each and every one of them. The most frustrating part was, given human nature, I knew exactly where the vast number of viewers would click first. Argh!

I also knew that if there was a way to measure the amount of marketing dollars wasted, goodwill squandered and customers lost by this negative word-of-mouth, the numbers would be staggering. That was the day I became a believer in reputation management.

Today, when I deploy a reputation-management protocol for clients, it is usually a four-part program (as outlined by the chart below) that begins by analyzing a brand’s true reputation in the marketplace, identifying what reputation mode the brand is in (build, maintain, repair), deploying the appropriate tools to achieve the objective and evaluating success to optimize methods moving forward.

The other key ingredient is vigilance.

In this back-to-the-future, word-of-mouth world made possible by the internet, it only takes one incident to ruin a reputation.

Even if you didn’t do it. Even if it’s not your fault. Too bad.

I learned that the hard way back in the fourth grade.

 

 Is the age of great customer service dead? Not if MeasuredUp can help it…

Monday, February 9th, 2009

From Portland Business Journal: Unlock the mystery of great customer service“…to develop great service is no mystery. You just have to follow a few basic rules and then consistently adhere to them. The concepts are simple and have been around for centuries, with people being the main ingredient. Remember: Technology is there only to assist us in the process. Here are the six basic reasons customer service fails: * Employees don’t like what they do. * Not asking enough questions. * No specific training. * Poor listening skills. * Not using common sense. “Click here to read the full article, including detailed discussion on the six reasons customer service fails.MeasuredUp’s number one goal is to help bring back the age of truly great customer service; which is why we’ve created a platform for both consumers and companies where they can connect, share concerns, and solve customer service problems. We give companies the tools they need to ask more questions and be better listeners with Direct Connect. And we give consumers the tools they need in order to help them feel heard with the ability to write a review and/or create a support ticket as well as easy access to other useful consumer resources.We’ve already heard from countless consumers and companies alike that the MeasuredUp process works! You can help MeasuredUp bring back great customer service - companies: register today at MeasuredUp to claim your company profile – consumers: create an account and write your own review about a product or service experience. Good or bad, we want to hear about it!

 Keep in touch with your customers, to keep them – period

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

From Portland Business Journal an article extolling the virtues of keeping in touch with customers in order to keep them coming back, time and again.The author suggests that companies looking to cut costs without also looking for “ways to improve their business model and become more productive, with better sales and customer service practices” are doing their customers a great disservice and in turn are damaging customer loyalty, and ultimately, the bottom line. His solution: a simple phone call.MeasuredUp understands that it can be exceptionally time consuming for a small business to reach out by phone to each and every one of it’s customers – and that’s why we’ve created the MeasuredUp Direct Connect feature. Direct Connect is a free online service that gives your company the tools it needs to get in touch, and stay in touch, with customers. Direct Connect allows you and your company to communicate with your customers so that you can help solve their customer service problems and consumer complaints quickly and easily, without having to devote endless resources of time and money to the process. Create your company profile on MeasuredUp today and get started using Direct Connect – it’s free and easy!

 Controversy: The Future Agency Of Record Will Be Social

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

An article from the OnlineSPIN blog entitled The Future Agency Of Record Will Be Social:There is a quiet battle raging in the advertising industry over who will become the Agency of Record (AOR) for marketers’ social media efforts. With traditional media for delivering advertising declining in reach and effectiveness, and an even greater call for advertising efficiency in a down economy, becoming a marketer’s social media AOR can be a huge win and provide a map to a much-needed new business model and revenue stream for agencies.”Read the full-text here.

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