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From socialmouths: In a way, social media has helped bring customer service to the very front end of business. Customer services is no longer a “behind-the-scenes” thing. We’ve always known that is easier to keep an existing customer than finding a new one but, in the era of “everything is public”, it also plays a big role on the marketing of the company.
The customer service department today is capable of making your company a success story or simply destroy it.
From 1to1 Media: Everyone in business has that hot-button issue that can keep them up at night. Whether it’s adjusting to how the economy is impacting business or gaining buy-in for an important initiative or keeping momentum going for a successful strategy, these challenges can be even more complex when they involve customers. During interviews with the 1to1 editorial team, several of the 1to1 Customer Champions shared their current hot-button issue.
From SmartBlog: Barry Moltz helps small businesses get unstuck. Sometimes, they have hit the sales glass ceiling. Other times, they run out of cash or the business owner becomes utterly exhausted. Through decades of experience running his own companies and consulting hundreds of other, internationally acclaimed business expert and author Barry Moltz has identified the six major areas where almost every business gets stuck: Sales, Cash, People, Social Media, People and Personal Productivity. Get ready … your business is going to grow like never before!
From FastCompany: Desktop software is sold “by the seat.” But a “by the hour” pricing structure offered by cloud-based apps means smaller businesses can put everyone on customer support — even the CEO or the weird guy clinging to his red stapler. Customers are increasingly expecting to get help from companies through social media, like Twitter and Facebook, in addition to traditional channels like phone, email, and web. That’s why Salesforce is launching a new application, called Desk.com, aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.
From ChangeThis: For those of you not familiar with Zappos, the company is an online retailer who defied the odds and built an Internet empire, initially as a virtual shoe store and now expanding its inventory well beyond shoes alone. Zappos has always charged top dollar for its products and has succeeded primarily because the leadership innovated an experience that consistently exceeds the expectations of customers, vendors, and people who simply encounter the brand.
Unlike other failed online vendors from the “dot gone” bust, Zappos invested in both the delivery infrastructure and the corporate culture necessary to produce customer evangelists. To help you appreciate how Zappos might serve as a provocative benchmark for your customer experience, let me give you a few highlights from the 5 principles outlined in The Zappos Experience.
From Chad Bauman at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference: I’ve gone to the conference for the past seven years to reconnect with colleagues, learn from case studies and catch up on new trends. As I return home this year, I am mindful that some arts marketers have limited control or influence over mission critical decisions, many of which affect audiences, revenue streams and branding. As marketers position themselves as growing agents of influence in their various organizations, I can’t help but think that perhaps our energies should be spent concentrating on the underperforming areas in which we can be the most impactful.
In this new environment of reduced resources, the ability for an organization to identify its competitive advantages is vital. Some of which, marketers have no responsibilities for. Others, we lead. In listening to Scott Stratten’s opening keynote address at the conference, I was reminded that the general woeful state of customer service provides a prime opportunity for arts organizations to distinguish themselves. In short, Scott reminded us that we should always look for “opportunities to be awesome.”
From Customer Experience Matters: What portion of consumers are dissatisfied with customer service and are not willing to forgive that company? That represents a group of very unhappy consumers.
From Chris Zane at ChangeThis: “These types of relationships are not easily formed nor are they formed overnight. They require exceptional care, attention, and a focus on continuously exceeding expectations. At Zane’s, where we have chosen to compete on service rather than on price alone, it means providing unparalleled customer service. We can never accept an unhappy customer, nor look at unsatisfied customer as an inevitable part of doing business. This method goes beyond the mindset of making an unhappy customer happy or simply matching the offers of our competitors. Creating lifetime customers requires that you offer every customer or potential customer more service than they consider reasonable. Further, it means that you actively solicit customer feedback about what you could be doing better and use that information to expand and tweak your offerings to best service the customer.”