Tag Archives: Customer Think

Social Media Plans a Must for Businesses in ’10

Vanessa DiMauro has a fascinating look at social media policies in her recent post on CustomerThink.com. DiMauro warns that a social media policy should be implemented across an organization as soon as possible. This will arm the organization with a set of procedures and policies that can keep everyone on the same page with regard to corporate communication. DiMauro offers a few tips on what to consider when formulating at social media plan.

Some questions to consider when formulating a plan:
What is your company culture like? Make sure that the social media policy reinforces company culture – an informal organization will have a different policy than, say, a government agency.

How do you want the employees to engage with clients and prospects? Take into account the in-person sales and marketing channel strategy and align the social media policy to those best practices.
What is considered confidential to your organization? Spell out what hind of information can and can’t be shared publicly.
How should staff represent them selves to others? Standardize or provide guidelines so that there is an evenness to your online footprint. Should all sales staff, for example, use a similar moniker in their twitter name or is it up to the person to decide?
What does transparency mean to your company? Too often people confuse personal opinion with company-representation. Can a staff of your organization share displeasure with the company’s product or services online without disclosing she work for your company?

For more information on creating a social media plan, we encourage you to check our DiMauro’s post in its entirety.

Learn more: Why You Need A Social Media Policy in 2010

Rethinking customer loyalty

In a recent post at CustomerThink, Robert Howard looks at the way that customer loyalty works. In today’s world, customer loyalty programs have become the norm, and everyone is using them. Sometimes, they find ways to drive away the customers with the fine text included in the sign-up forms. He wonders if customer loyalty should be turned upside down, and a company should measure how loyal they are to their individual customers. How are you treating your customers that are loyal to you? Are you recognizing them as loyal patrons of your business?

Customer profitability today

At Customers Think, they’ve addressed a common issue — why does customer profitability decrease as sales revenue increases? In today’s current economic environment, companies are trying to keep up sales, which often leads to special buying programs, prizes, rebates, and quality purchase discounts to sell to more customers. The customers who buy at this time are the customers who only buy when the prices are low, and rarely lead to a consistent profit. The price slashing cycle leads to the same number of products sold, but a decreased amount of revenue, creating a vicious cycle. Attracting new customers is necessary, but customers who do not turn a profit are problematic.

What do you think? Have you come across this in your customer base?

Keeping your customers in tough economic times

Over at CustomerThink, they recently wrote a great post about what you should do in these tough economic times to retain your customers. As you’ll see budget cuts to the sources that bring in your customers – like marketing and advertising – it’s critical to keep the customers you currently have. Took keep them through these difficult times, you must keep your customer service quality high and give them no excuse to switch to a competitor.

How many loyalty cards do you have?

In a recent blog by Robert J. Howard at Customer Think, he addresses the loyalty card subject I’m sure we all have dealt with. How many loyalty cards do you have on your key chain right now? He points out that businesses have overrun the customers’ wallets with loyalty cards, and the market is at the point of saturation.

It all began with rewards for airline miles, then hotels, and now it’s moved to restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and to anything imaginable beyond that. So what do customers do with their addiction to their rewards? How do businesses find a way to still reward their customers who frequent their business? Do you have a solution to this current plastic crisis?

Becoming more customer centric

In a recent blog post at Customer Think, William Brand takes a look at how to become a more customer centric company. He’s set out four steps that will help companies begin to become customer centric. 1. Evaluate ‘ Look to define and understand what you want to be changed to become a more customer-based company. Know why you want these things changed and what the forces are those are pushing you to become a more customer centric company. 2. Design ‘ You need to plan out the steps necessary to develop a vision. Take what you have now, and what you wish to have, then fill in the gaps in between and determine your strategy from there. 3. Activate ‘ Find quick success, give support and reinforce your commitment to becoming a customer centric organization and finally align all organizational systems. 4. Measure ‘ Take the time to measure what you’ve done and determine if you are a customer centric organization. To do this, measure and track the effectiveness and efficiency of your new customer centric model. Also, reach out to customers and find out if their viewpoints have changed.

Importance of Retaining Customers During Recessions

In this article from Customer Think, Phil Dourado provides tips on how to keep customers when times are tough. When the economy is experiencing problems, it becomes imperative for organizations to retain their customer base and foster loyalty. Dourado mentions 6 main points on why this is so important that he has collected from a variety of sources. 1. Cutting service problems increases profit – “1% cut in customer service problems could generate an extra ??16m in profits for a medium size company over five years.” 2. Keep the ones you’ve got – “It can cost six times more to buy new customers than retain existing ones.” 3. Service leaders are more resilient in a downturn
4. Your bills get paid

5. Reducing customer defections improves profits

6. What did we say in Number 5? Here it is again – Points 1, 2, 5 and this one are all about keeping the customers you have and not losing them. Also bear in mind that in an economic downturn it’s far easier to win market share from the competition, so becoming defensive-minded is not always a sensible strategy.