MeasuredUp Customer Service and Small Business Marketing Blog » General

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

 How Search Works With Social CRM

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

From Media Post

by Laurie Sullivan,

Search technology: Some companies will license it, while others build it from scratch. It depends on the egos of executives working at the company. Real-time search and social media have pushed technology to the forefront. Companies need sophisticated algorithms that can sort and index structured and unstructured data.

A recent Accenture report titled “Social CRM: The New Frontier of Marketing, Sales and Service” ties it all together. Joe Hughes, senior executive from Accenture’s customer service and support business, confirms that enterprise companies have begun to build search engine technology that will integrate into software applications and consumer hardware to help marketers, advertisers, agencies and others sort through the mounds of data created by social media.

Hughes defines social CRM as the conversation data from social media networks. And as marketers continue to try and make sense of the mounds of data flooding in from real-time search, Twitter streams, Facebook status updates, and behavioral targeting tags, they will need a faster method to sort, index and access data. Wow, are you overwhelmed yet?

Marketers need technology that can move feedback from customers and call center agents between channels with as much automation as possible. That will become the only way to analyze the data. Natural language query processing will also become a focus, to search through documents of unstructured and structured data as the mounds of social media data continues to mount.

Last year, tools measuring buzz metrics in social networks emerged. This year, the focus turns toward integrating the social data into traditional CRM platforms from companies like software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider Salesforce, which late last year integrated the feature, allowing people to search on that data in real time.

Until now, CRM packages did not allow marketers to view data collected on Twitter alongside traditional queries. But the real-time search movement has sent companies looking to improve search results back to the drawing board to build engines that can process structured and unstructured data, as well as sentiment analysis, taxonomy, classification and entity extractions, according to Hughes. “The strategy of combining structured and unstructured data will become more important,” he tells me.

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=121505

 Study Finds Marketers Embracing Social Media Marketing In A Big Way

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

By Robin Wauters

From TechCrunch.com 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Integrated marketing services provider Alteriantoday released the results of their seventh annual survey on social media marketing adoption.

The survey covered 1068 marketing professionals worldwide (actually, it was 98% North America and Europe and only 2% Asia Pacific and other regions).

Alterian found that 66 percent of respondents will be investing in social media marketing (SMM) in 2010. Of those, 40 percent said they would be shifting more than a fifth of their traditional direct marketing budget towards funding their SMM activities.

Read the article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/21/AR2010012101040.html

 GM puts focus on customer service as company rebuilds

Friday, January 15th, 2010

By JOSEPH SZCZESNY
Of The Oakland Press

The delivery of exceptional customer service is at the heart of the effort to rebuild General Motors Corp.’s reputation and image.

“GM, of course, is a dramatically different company than we were a year ago. And while we still have a long way to go to get to where we need to be, we’re making rapid progress in building a new company from scratch,” Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, told an audience at the Automotive News World Congress.

“Within the company, we’re simplifying the way we operate. We’re focusing on fundamentals,” he said. “Our new vision for GM is to design, build and sell the world’s best vehicles, and everything we do as individual employees and as a company is being re-evaluated now on its ability to support this simple vision.

“There was a time when GM did a great job being all things to all people, when we had a U.S. market share of 50 percent. We made refrigerators and locomotives and aircraft engines. Then, the U.S. government was concerned that we were taking over instead of going under,” Reuss said. “Well those days are gone, and that company is gone.”

However, GM has an opportunity to rebuild by doing something it hasn’t done in a long time — listening to customers and asking them what GM has to do earn their business, he said.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2010/01/14/business/doc4b4ef873858af426530835.txt

 Customer Service Will Be Nexus One’s Achilles Heel

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Google simply doesn’t have the kind of customer support that mobile-phone users are accustomed to.

Tom Kaneshige, CIO.com From PCworld.com

Google’s comeuppance is at hand, as two of the most innovative Silicon Valley companies face off. I’m betting the veteran Apple iPhone clobbers newcomer Google Nexus One in the early rounds.

It won’t come down to cooler technology, nor better battery life. Wireless carriers? Nope, despite a great many iPhone owners and wannabe owners begging for Apple to end its exclusivity deal with AT&T. Google’s arrogance will lead to its downfall.

For whatever reason, Google is selling Nexus One directly to end-users. That means many users are turning to it first, reports IDG News Service, and the search giant doesn’t have the kind of customer support that mobile-phone users are accustomed to.

Wireless carrier T-Mobile lacks Nexus One support documents and refers people back to Google, according to a customer going by the name of Roland78. IDG News Service also reports that Google appears to be only accepting email customer queries and pledges to reply in one or two days.

Among consumers, that’s not going to cut it.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/186847/customer_service_will_be_nexus_ones_achilles_heel.html

 Barnes & Noble Tops Customer Experience List

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Jan 13, 2010

Elena Malykhina from Marketing Daily

Barnes & Noble is the No. 1 brand when it comes to customer experience, according to a survey released this week by Forrester Research.

Forrester asked more than 4,600 U.S. consumers about their interactions with companies across various industries as part of the “Customer Experience Index, 2010.” Participants rated the usefulness, ease of use, and enjoyability of their experiences. Forrester calculated the results for 133 companies in 14 different industries and found that retailers, hotels, and
parcel shipping firms ranked the highest for all categories, while health insurance plans, TV service providers, and Internet service providers ranked the lowest.

The second and third highest-rated companies behind Barnes & Noble were Marriott Hotels & Resorts, and Hampton Inn/Suites, respectively. Amazon.com and Holiday Inn Express rounded out the top 5. On the other hand, Charter Communications, United Healthcare, and Citigroup, among others, were at the bottom of the list.

“If you step back and look, a lot of the industries at the bottom haven’t had the need for competition in terms of consumers—including health insurance providers who traditionally competed for employees. Other organizations just haven’t grown up in terms of being customer-centric,” said Forrester analyst Bruce Temkin, who worked on the survey.

According to Forrester, only 13 firms had an “excellent” customer experience rating; 35 received a “good” rating, 40 got “okay” ratings, and 45 received either a “poor” or “very poor” rating. (See the complete survey results here.)

Read entire article here – http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/direct/e3i5b45383f2cd3f8b3848cb4869a779206

 2010: The Year Social Marketing Gets Serious

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

By Laurie Sullivan from Mediapost

Marketers will need to start justifying social marketing plans with business cases, objectives and metrics, as the medium moves out of the test phase. In 2009, marketers could brag they had a Facebook fan page or Twitter account, but analysts predict that social media will become a strategic part of marketing efforts next year.

Forrester Research released a list Monday of social computing prediction for 2010. The report suggests that companies that create social councils — cross-functional teams aimed at sharing ideas about social media — will begin to get serious about budgets and structure for these groups. Expect the teams to become strategists. Efforts will likely include policies.

The report also suggests that an increasing number of marketers will adopt listening platforms to monitor social media, Twitter will become more profitable or get acquired, Facebook will take a hands-on approach to protecting members, and incompatible mobile devices in siloed application will shatter the social experience.

Forrester Analyst Augie Ray says in 2010, those who hold the purse strings for budgets will want to see results. “It’s the year social marketing gets serious,” he says.

But rather than knowing how to set up a fan page on Facebook or gain a following on Twitter, marketers must realize that it requires more than recognizing the importance of social media.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=119493

 FuelNet’s five worst companies for customer service [and what MeasuredUp is doing about it]

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

From Business Management Daily

“ Here, in no particular order, are the five companies that have consistently failed to deliver quality customer service — along with examples of smaller businesses that do it right.

  1. Bank of America 

    Sample opinion: “If a situation has arisen that you need their help to resolve, forget it — they do not help. They are all about making money, and they seem to forget that without the customers, there will be no money to make,” wrote “Unhappy” on MeasuredUp.com, a consumer feedback and review site.

    The lesson: Making it difficult for customers to do business with you — and charging them money for the “pleasure” — is the opposite of great service. “Great service companies make it easy to do business with them,” Tschohl notes.At Umpqua Bank, in Roseburg, Ore., employees are trained to be “universal associates,” so they never have to pass the buck when attending to customer needs. Many branches have Internet cafés that serve the bank’s own brand of coffee, and tellers hand out chocolate with every receipt. Moreover, bowls of water are set outside for customers’ pets. At TD Bank, in Philadelphia, customer calls are answered by an attentive, knowledgeable staff person after one ring. “You call most banks and it’s push two, push four, push seven, go to hell,” Tschohl notes.

    Role models:

    Greatest sins: Customers at bankofamericasucks.com and other sites rail against BoA’s myriad fees and a bureaucracy that makes even the simplest transactions difficult. Representative Maxine Waters of California, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, recently got put on hold for two hours while trying to resolve an issue with BoA for one of her constituents.

  2. Comcast 

    Sample opinion: “I have never received such horribly incompetent, could-care-less service as I have with Comcast,” wrote “Shabo L” on Yelp.com, an online review site.

    The lesson: Don’t keep your customers waiting, ever. “Every employee should be empowered to make a decision on the spot in favor of the customer — not a day later, not an hour later, but in seconds,” Tschohl says.

    Role model: Northeast Delta Dental, based in Concord, N.H., reimbursed customers more than $80,000 in self-imposed penalties in 2008 for not meeting its own service guarantee. It’s no coincidence the company has a whopping 60 percent market share in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont — and a 98 percent retention rate. “We turn ourselves in, and we tell our customers what we’re going to do, process-wise, so that failure doesn’t happen again,” says Northeast Delta Dental CEO Tom Raffio. “It costs us in the short run, but in the long run, it builds trust — and we get customers for life.”

    Greatest sins: Sluggish service and lame response to customers’ needs earned Comcast a score of 54 in 2008 — one of the lowest among all companies — on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a standard developed by the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan Business School. A famous online video shows a Comcast technician who fell asleep on a customer’s couch while waiting on hold — with Comcast. “They have unlimited marketing budgets to get new customers because they get rid of their old ones so fast,” Tschohl says.

  3. eBayGreatest sins:

    Sample opinion:

    The lesson:

    Role model:

    What really irks customers of the online auction site are the fees it charges and the total inaccessibility of human staff. “They don’t allow you to talk to a human,” Tschohl points out. “There’s no way to communicate with them. eBay thinks they’re in the technology business, while companies like Amazon.com understand they’re in the service business.”“It took me three days to find a phone number [for eBay customer service],” wrote one customer on the company’s own forum. “Don’t expect results. It’s worse than trying to get an honest answer out of a politician.”Be there for your customers. Great service is about supporting your customers every step of the way.Les Schwab, a chain of tire stores in the western U.S., has a “Sudden Service” philosophy that states, “You come in, we come running.” Employees run out to customers’ cars as they pull in to the store, then spring into action to install new tires in half the time it takes the competition.

  4. Wal-MartGreatest sins:

    The lesson: Creating a culture of great service starts with treating employees well. “Take care of your workers, and your workers take care of your customers,” Yellin explains.

    Role models: Northeast Delta Dental and Umpqua Bank frequently appear on lists of best workplaces thanks to their outstanding employee benefits, and Les Schwab shares half its profits with its employees. “It’s a matter of treating your employees better than anybody else does and offering world-class customer service,” explains a manager of a Les Schwab Store in Concord, Calif. “That is what keeps your business growing.”

    Underpaid, disempowered Wal-Mart employees have a tough time staying chipper these days — and they pass along their misery to the company’s customers. “Wal-Mart built its business on customer service, but they’re in the sink now,” Tschohl contends. “The stores are ugly, and they attract the people with the least amount of money who are willing to put up with bad service.” Adds David VanAmburg, managing director of the American Customer Satisfaction Index: “They are at the top of our list when it comes to value, but near the bottom when it comes to service.”Sample opinion: “The employees are rude most of the time, and none of them help when you ask them something,” wrote “Amber” at ConsumerAffairs.com. “I spend $300 a week in that store. Now they have lost my business.”

  5. US AirwaysGreatest sins: Long delays, surly service, and a lack of personality have helped send this airline to the bottom of the list of companies tracked by the American Customer Satisfaction Index — though the extra fees don’t help, either. “This industry has the lowest scores on our list, and US Airways is at the bottom,” VanAmburg says.

    Sample opinion: “Figure out a way to communicate with customers that doesn’t involve hold times approaching geological epochs, and make your damn computers work correctly,” opined blogger Christopher S. Penn after he was told it would take 45 to 60 days for US Airways to respond to his email request for a refund.

    The lesson: The best service companies are fast, reliable, friendly, and don’t skimp on the little details.

    Role model: Insight Studios, a tattoo and piercing parlor in Chicago, averages five stars from reviewers on Yelp.com, who praise the store for being pleasant and clean, and for offering customers horchata and chocolate when they walk in the door (and a lollipop for their bravery after their treatment is done). You’d never know these folks were paying to get poked. As one happy customer gushed, “I can’t wait to come back in a few months for my next piercing!”

The Road to Customer Satisfaction

Because bad reviews on the Internet can be so damaging, companies are starting to get savvy. In response to its poor reputation, for example, Comcast has installed a team dedicated to scouring the Web for complaints and reaching out to the “influencers” in its customer ranks. And Bank of America now has a team of support employees who can be reached via Twitter. “The Internet is making everybody more accountable,” author Emily Yellin points out. “Companies can’t get away with what they used to.” Growing businesses are wise to stay abreast of their reputation on sites like Yelp, and they can also get customer feedback through such sites as MeasuredUp.com and GetSatisfaction.com. Those two sites not only host online forums for customers to make suggestions or register complaints, they also allow companies to respond to commonly asked questions and create a knowledge base for future customers.’

Click here to read the full article.

 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.

 

Bookmark/Share this page

This page is under construction.
It will be up and running soon with new features to make you smile more.
Thanks,
The MeasuredUp Team