Thanks to the two former employees last week, Dominos has been in the midst of a PR and customer service firestorm. Following the incidents of JetBlue (snowstorm stranded passengers) and Motrin (mommy-gate). According to Emily Bryson York’s article in AdWeek, companies have only 24 hours to respond to widespread online complaints.
Are you prepared?Richard Levick, president of Levick Strategic Communications, isolates four steps every company should take to prepare for this kind of crisis.
1. Identify your crisis team: investor relations, government relations, public relations, crisis communications, outside lawyers, general counsel, digital communications, human resources, multimedia communications experts and an executive team.
2. Imagine your nightmare scenarios and prepare for them — make sure you own all the search-engine-optimization keywords, and that lawyers who specialize in class-action suits against major companies don’t.
3. Track the blogosphere and other social media. Be connected with the major players and be as responsive as possible.
4. Don’t wait. Your response time is only 24 hours.
Harvard Business Publishing recently ran a post on customer service and the balancing act that corporations must do to earn both customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. According to the post, managers often view service efficiency and customer satisfaction as incompatible goals. But they don’t have to be. By maintaining customer service during a slowdown, companies with a strong core of loyal customers position themselves for growth and gain a competitive edge. What do you think is the key to balancing these two customer service goals?
Be sure to check out the rest of the post here.
The 1to1 Blog recently wrote an article that once again placed customer service on the shoulders of the employees. When a company invests and trains in their employees, the customer experience is ultimately a better one. A great example is this one from PetSmart:
Molloy explained that employees are trained, for example, to move dog owners shopping for dog food “up the aisle” from grocery brands to mid-priced “bridge” brands to premiums brands. Since pet food accounts for the bulk of PetSmart’s revenue, having engaged employees who are comfortable with and trained to move customers along the value chain can make a significant impact on the bottom line.
Earlier today I came across this post on Performix Integrated Marketing in which they highlight a recent article that Michelle Eggers of SAS Institute wrote about the importance of implementing marketing metrics and Customer Lifetime Value in your business.
Here’s a brief summary of the article as described by Performix:
- Look at the processes your marketing department is using. Are they ahead or behind schedule on jobs? Efficient, or chaotic? Keep a grasp on the people part of the process to be able to increase productivity.
- Distinguish between measuring campaign performance (e.g.. how the cross-sell campaign did online in the last 3 months) and look at the OVERALL effectiveness of all marketing programs, direct and traditional or broadcast media. You need to have the data on how all are performing in order to develop the right media mix.
- Develop and focus on broader business metrics that are not specific to any marketing program, like: sales growth, market share, total sales and total profits, Are they aligned? How do they interact?
- Look at the customer: except for managing marketing processes, all of the above relate to the customer. Are they affecting the customer positively or negatively? Create customer metrics, for things like: products (owned) per customer, customer profitability, customer satisfaction, net-adds, and customer lifetime valiue.
Does your business fully understand CLV?
In an effort to better serve their customers, Verizon has created one number for customer service, 800-verizon. This idea isn’t too new has large U.S. cities have been using 311 has an all inclusive information hotline from noisy neighbors, civic programs to homeless outreach. The idea makes it very easy for customers or citizens to get the help they need. Do you think more companies will follow Verizon’s lead?