Make Your Customer Buy From You More Often

Two similar stores have the same products for the same price, yet customers seem to buy again and again from only one. What makes customers go back to purchase more? The answer is good customer service. I came across this list of 5 keys to customer service to keep your customers happy on the RightToLead blog. 1. Be courteous. This is something that is largely dismissed nowadays. A little act of politeness will make customers feel more valued and important. Make them feel that you are sincere in extending a helping hand. A frown can drive people away, while a smile can draw more people in. Address your customer with ‘Ma’am’ or ‘Sir’. Deal with one customer at a time to make him feel that he has your complete attention. 2. Be resourceful. Customers become angry when you tell them that you cannot grant their request because ‘It’s the company’s standard policy.’ Customers do not want to hear such an excuse. If you want more happy customers, think creatively. There are legal ways to go around your company’s ironclad policies. Make it a policy to extend service beyond the standard procedures in order to satisfy a customer’s needs. 3. Be prompt. Never put any of your customer’s requests on hold, especially when it is obviously urgent. Prompt and accurate service may lead to referrals. Hence, empower your staff members so they can make quick decisions and attend promptly to the needs of your customers. 4. Under promise and over deliver. Refrain from giving false promises. Never promise what you cannot deliver. It is still best to under promise and over deliver. This is the best way to wow your customers! 5. Extend your service. Even if it is not part of your standard service procedures, do something for the customer that shows genuine interest to their needs. Create a desirable reputation for your company by providing quality customer service. After all happy customers are repeat customers.

The Power of Asking Questions

I read this article today that I thought was a good reminder to always ask questions. As the author writes, many people are familiar with PEST analysis (Politics, Economics, Society, and Technology), but are unsure how to utilize it. Rather than always turning to the Internet for answers, the author goes on to state that maybe it is better to use the Internet as an intermediary tool. First focus on what you want to find, and narrow down keywords, then try to find the experts online. If possible contact them. The author gives an example of how she knew that electricity costs for her country were going to rise and she knew that would translate into higher operating costs for her business. To find an answer she said: use the Internet to find an expert. I can learn more in five minutes on the phone with the guy who has just spent 10 years thinking about how to cut electricity costs than in an hour on the Internet. While the Internet has proven to be a very useful tool, it is still important to remember that other sources may have a better answer.

HoffSpace: Setting Examples for your social network

The conference producer of Community 2.0, Kristin Paulick, recently shared with me a new social network out there in the internet world. After pointing me in the direction of this post at Invstiledysfunction, I learned about the new social network created by David Hasselhoff. It is called HoffSpace and was created by Hasselhoff so his fans throughout the world would have a place to communicate. According to Anand Sanwal at Investiledysfunction, there were 14,217 members at HoffSpace when he wrote his blog post on August 21st.
From a business point of view, we can take a lot from HoffSpace. This social community has 14,217 members who are passionate about something (in this case David Hasselhoff). If you have something worth gathering around, you’re social network can have the same success. So when you set out to create a social network, give your supporters something to care about.

Social Media Cure for Marketing Blues

In this post on socialmediatoday, the author raises a potentially controversial argument that ‘marketers cause unhappiness’. They go onto further state, that social media may ‘Open the door for ‘Happiness Marketing”. These are the reasons the author feels that social media is the cure for unhappy marketing:
-Social media allows you to treat your customers as individual people whose problems and complaints merit at least a vaguely human response, if not a resolution.-It allows you to speak honestly and imperfectly to people, instead of treating them like lab rats whose responses to your stimuli have been predicted, tracked, and already reported on the balance sheet. -It allows you to hear their delight in your product and service more clearly, and it allows them to share that delight with their family and friends in a (mostly) non-Big Brother-y way. -It allows you to tell the story of your company without it becoming ‘the Hollywood adaptation’ where the soul has been sucked out in pursuit of demographically-targeted, homogenized perfection.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you agree with the first point that marketers cause unhappiness?

Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? Pt. 2

Yesterday we posted an excerpt from The Market Research Event keynote speaker Dr. Kathleen’s Vohs’s book ‘Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? A Hedgefoxian Perspective.’ As promised, here’s the 2nd portion of the excerpt from the book. Enjoy! Of course the foxes are right; each of these polar positions is simplistic in its extremity. But that observation doesn’t take us far. In the waning hours of the emotion research party, we have arrived at the point where debates between extreme and obviously untenable positions are not as productive as they once were. In short, we need answers to the when question. When do emotions or cognitions predominate? When are moral judgments driven by reflexive emotional reactions and when by logical thought? And, when are emotions helpful or harmful? The chapters of this book provide nuanced, synthetic, answers to these types of questions. Decision making is the other half of our topic. It too has seen explosive growth in research interest in recent years. As with emotion, its few early hedgehogs (e.g., groupthink, rational choice, framing) have had to withstand a stampede of foxes. Some decision-making researchers are starting to think that their field’s destiny is merely to develop lists of departures from rationality, without much prospect of integrative theory. Yet others are confident that new grand theories will emerge. The time is ripening for hedgefoxes to impose limited order on decision theory also. Are hedgefoxes born or made? Most likely, the latter. What emerges from reading this book is common language, a shared understanding of a number of issues, and most characteristically of hedgefoxism, a nuanced theoretical perspective that makes sense of, what had previously appeared to be contradictions. So what is the answer to the question of whether affect helps or hurts decision making? The hedgehog would argue either that it helps or that it hurts decision making. The fox would argue that both are true, or that the question doesn’t make sense. The hedgefoxes who make up the authors of the chapters in this book will tell you, however, that the correct answer is “it depends.” If you want to know what it depends on, read on.

Team Bonding: How Building Internal Relationships will Lead to Big Wins with Your Customers

We’d like to invite you to attend Team Bonding: How Building Internal Relationships will Lead to Big Wins with Your Customers webinar. Keith Ferrazzi, the CEO of Ferrazzi Green Light and keynote speaker at the 2008 NACCM Customers 1st event will be our featured speaker. Register to view the webinar on Wednesday, September 17th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm eastern standard time.

Register for this web seminar here:
Please mention priority code: G1M2100W1Blog

About the presentation:
This presentation will be in a special format: live chat. This web seminar will be shared in a unique ‘interview/live chat’ format. As you register for the seminar, you will be prompted a line where you can pose your question about internal relationships to Keith. Those questions will be address to Keith over the phone live as he shared his views. We will get to as many questions as possible in the allotted time and attendees will be encouraged to ask their own questions during the seminar.

Customer-focused executives are hard at work trying to create new initiatives that deepen their company’s relationships with their customers. In these trying times, customer strategists are in a loyalty budding war in hopes that their customers continue to spend with them. Building an enterprise-wide customer experience that evokes an emotional and consistent message with the customer is more challenging than ever before. Those companies that do have incredible customer experiences, what’s the secret to their success?

In this session, relationship guru and internationally best-selling author, Keith Ferrazzi, will examine where the foundation of building relationships with your customers should start- internally. Ferrazzi will discuss his expertise on how to align internal teams and will share how getting connected with your colleagues will lead to profits and engagement with your external customer relationships.

A group’s success fundamentally depends upon how its individual members work together. Individuals work more effectively and enjoy their work more when they have genuine personal relationships with their colleagues.

The core message with starting relationships both internally and externally are the same. Those core strategies in relationship development will be revealed by Keith during his keynote session at NACCM.

About the speaker:
Keith Ferrazzi
Ferrazzi Green Light

Keith Ferrazzi is one of the rare individuals who discovered the essential formula for making his way to the top — a powerful and balanced combination of marketing acumen and networking savvy. Both Forbes and Inc. magazines have designated him one of the world’s most “connected” individuals.

As Founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, he provides market leaders with advanced strategic consulting and training services to increase company sales and enhance personal careers. Ferrazzi Greenlight strategically leverages the insight of its executives, whose careers span the highest echelons of corporate America, along with principles from Ferrazzi’s best-selling book, Never Eat Alone. Never Eat Alone has been recognized as one of the best business books of 2005, 2006, and 2007 (three year’s in a row since its publication in 2005).

What you will learn:
– Building relationships internally for group success sparks a culture of generosity and accountability that helps participants do the following:
– Help each other succeed in both professional and personal pursuits,
– Have more fun in the workplace
– Facilitate direct, honest communication for resolving conflict, and
contribute to the firm’s success by proactively building relationships with
people inside and outside the organization,
– And more that will lead to increasing employee retention and shareholder

This is a NACCM: Customers 1st sponsored webinar. NACCM: Customers 1st will be November 16th through the 19th in Anaheim, California.

Register for this web seminar here:
Please mention priority code: G1M2100W1Blog

Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making?

Last Friday, we profiled The Market Research Event keynote speaker Dr. Kathleen Vohs. Now we have the opportunity to bring you an excerpt from her book Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? A Hedgefoxian Perspective. Here is Part One of the excerpt from her book. Look for part two later this week. In a perhaps overused metaphor, academics are sometimes classified as hedgehogs and foxes. Playing on a famous, albeit somewhat mysterious, statement by 7th century B.C. philosopher Archilochus that “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing,” the prototypical hedgehog is a “system addict” on a quest for a unified theory of everything. Foxes, in contrast, have an appreciation of the complexities of reality that prevents them from even entertaining the possibility of any grand unifying scheme. Belying their physical image, hedgehogs are the life of the party. They take outrageous positions and push their arguments to the limit, generating heated debate. Foxes, despite their slyness, are party duds; they stand on the sidelines shaking their heads and rolling their eyes at the naivety of the hedgehogs’ wild speculations. One more strike against foxes. As the party extends into the waning hours, however, the frantic repartee of the hedgehogs can wear thin, even to the hedgehogs themselves. That’s when the host begins to long for the arrival of a third species of party animal: the hedgefox. Hedgefoxes combine the best properties of their two mammalian relatives. Like the hedgehog, the hedgefox is a synthesizer, but like the fox the hedgefox cares about, and advances theories that take account of, and make sense of, the complexities of reality. If research on emotions is a party (and the explosive growth of the topic over the past few decades has lent the topic something of a party atmosphere), the time is ripe for the entry of the hedgefox. Research on emotions has made enormous strides, stimulated by debates between researchers who have taking extreme stands on a variety of central issues. There are hedgehog emotion researchers who argue for the primacy of emotions over cognition, and others who argue, instead, that all emotions are derivative of cognition. There are advocates of the idea that moral judgments are the product of emotion, perhaps justified ex post by reasons, and those who argue that morality is a matter of logic. And, most central to the basic theme of this book, there are hedgehogs whose research focuses almost exclusively on the destructive effects of emotions and others who focus as selectively as the first group on the vitally beneficial functions that emotions serve.

Speaker Profile: Frank Capek

With the North American Conference On Customer Service approaching, we would like to introduce you to the speakers we will have at our event. This year, NACCM will take place from November 16 ‘ 19, 2008 in Anaheim, California at the Disneyland Hotel. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Frank Capek. Frank Capek is the Senior Vice President nGenera’s, nGen Customer Business division. To fulfil his role at nGenera, Capek pulls insight from his 25 plus years of experience working with over 50 major corporations in a variety of industries. Some of the assets that he provides, as listed on his blog, are helping organizations: understand how their customers think, feel, and act; designing products, services, processes, and technology that enable more effective customer experiences; and aligning leadership, employee experiences, and organizational behaviour to deliver. To hear more of Frank Capek’s thoughts check out his blog here. We invite you to come see Frank Capek at NACCM November 16-19, 2008 in Anaheim California at the Disneyland Hotel. Be sure to look for another speaker’s profile next week.

Pick and Choose Tweets That Appear on your Blog

I came across this post on Mashable today which reveals a new way to give bloggers more control over which tweets get published on their blogs. Tweet Remote recognizes hashtags like #text, #link, and #image, puts them in a separate RSS-style feed, and then formats them accordingly. The end result is a more aesthetically pleasing blog.

The only downside is the ‘tweet stream pollution’ you might experience by sending nicely formatted hyperlinks to you blog via twitter. Many users on twitter do not like hashtags, and so you can potentially lose some followers.
Tweet Remote seems like a great application to clean up a lot of clutter in blogs but the question you might find yourself asking is what’s more important to you, your blog or who’s following you on twitter?

Tools for Market Research and Analysis

I came across this helpful blog post today that gave a list of 25 top market research and analysis tools as evaluated by Tino Triste in Internet Marketing. The author also provides a short description for each tool, and why it is useful. Here are a few of them. I hope you find them helpful! 43 Things Sites A to Z
Amazon’s Hot New Releases
AOL Hot Searches
eBay Pulse
Google Trends
adCenter Labs: Demographic Prediction
SEOmoz Popular Searches
Yahoo! Answers Consumer Demand Index
After checking out the complete list at the i-com blog, are there any others that you would add? What have proven to be the most helpful market research tools that you have used?