Business

Are You Taking Care of Your Customers?

How many times has this happened to you: You have a problem with a product/service. It’s giving you a hard time so you call for customer service.

You give just a brief description of your problem and the supposed “help” tells you, “Sorry, it isn’t our fault. It’s someone else and there’s nothing we can do. Go bother them. You do something, not me.”

This is the worst thing someone can do in customer service. Ignoring the problem and passing the blame. The problem isn’t solved, there was no help, and it leaves the customer with a bitter taste in their mouth. How can this be corrected?

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  1. Listen! No matter how many times you have heard the same problem before from other customers, let the customer speak. The customer needs to know that you are there to help and that you care. Cutting them off sends a strong message that you don’t care and that they are bothering you. That is the worst thing you can do. Also, keep in mind that these people are frustrated. Let them work off their steam. It is nothing personal, they are just upset about the situation. Once they are done, then speak.
  2. Ask questions. Get what you can out of the customer without making it feel like an interrogation. Once again, this shows that you are serious about helping them. Also, it can provide valuable insight for fixing their problem. Just take care not to ask too many questions to the point that the customer is annoyed. Just enough to gather ideas for a solution.
  3. Explore options. Telling the customer there is nothing you can do is the very last thing you ever want to say. It makes you look incompetent and uncaring. Try to reason out other solutions first. If for some reason things are out of your scope then ask the customer if they would like to speak to a manager. That should be a last resort, but may be necessary if things are severe. Still, try your best to rectify the situation without having to pass the buck.

If the situation seriously is out of your hands, make every effort to guide the customer through the proper steps to solving the problem with the outside source. For example, if the problem exists with another company, provide them with the phone number and tell them exactly what to say to them. Better yet, try to take it to the next level by calling them yourself. This can lead to great customer loyalty with just this simple effort. Good customer service is a must if you plan on keeping your customers happy. Make sure they are a top priority and not just something shoved to the back.

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There is a great new meme project by on the top 5 reasons your blog making its way around the web. Mike Sansone of Conversations recently wrote his top five, and then some. Here are my top 5 reasons I blog:

  1. Learning – This works in many ways. First, I learn more as I write, about what I know and don’t. You find out quickly what you do and don’t know when you try to put your thoughts into words. It is a true test of your own knowledge. Also, I learn more by reading other bloggers’ posts and ideas, which leads to my next point…
  2. Community – Meeting other fellow bloggers and extending my network. Nothing like meeting new people to gain more ideas and get to know interesting people. Blogs are a great way of generating good contacts. You never know who you’ll meet.
  3. Visibility – As a marketer, I want to increase awareness of both myself and our company. Blogging gives me the opportunity to introduce myself to the public and extend my reach throughout the web rather than just having one site. The ability to mingle with other bloggers strengthens my visibility ten fold while also working on point 2.
  4. Ease of Use – Blogs make it easy to quickly update information. It only takes a moment to add new content to your page. Updating a webpage has never been easier.
  5. Use those tools! – Most of what I do for a living is on the web, and what better way to learn more about it than to work with something like blogging? This is only one of many tools I use to communicate with others and increase visibility on the web. I’m a self-professed tech geek, so I love making use of what is out there.

What are your top 5? Send your comments and trackbacks here. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I admit I’m one of those people that watched the Superbowl yesterday for the ads.  Save but a few ads, I came away disappointed.

It seems like it was less of a spectacle this year.  Also, it was interesting that only a few companies really had ads on it, and really just spread it out.  Coke had around 3 ads.  Two were entertaining, one sentimental.  I can’t help but think what happened here?

The answer is likely that television advertising just doesn’t sell like it used to.  Perhaps the cost-benefit of Superbowl advertising just isn’t worth it anymore.

Although it is true that television is a less used form of media now, the Superbowl is still the highest watched program of the year.

Have times really changed that much?  Somehow, the event that was once a spectacle didn’t really feel as special anymore.

Perhaps it is just me.  I ask you, the reader, your thoughts.  What did you think of the Superbowl and its advertising?

Seth Godin recently wrote a post reiterating points he made on bad PowerPoint presentations, and how they can become great ones.

He makes a lot of great points.  I’ve enforced many of these in the past, and he makes some great points I haven’t heard before.

One of the key things to remember about giving a presentation with PowerPoint is that you are the one giving the presentation, not the PowerPoint.

It is merely there to support you, but you are the one ultimately selling.  Seth’s point on using only up to 6 words per slide seems to work with that idea.

As I think back to all of the poor PowerPoint presentations I had to sit through in meetings, it is nice to read this breath of fresh air.

Take a moment of your time and read his post.  You’ll come out a stronger PowerPoint presenter if you take his words to heart.

Are You Where the Buzz Is At?

You’ve created your new marketing piece, but is it unique or does it? It can be seen everywhere, marketing and advertising ad nauseam. Every cliche you can think of being thrown into an ad. Bigger!

Better! As seen on TV! Everyone using the same action words and phrases, designs, and claims as the next guy, becoming a forgettable, uninspired mess.

It is one thing to use techniques you learned from marketing classes, but it is another to set yourself apart from the rest of the ones out there sing the same techniques.

What is one to do? Think outside of the box. It is okay to step out of the norm and experiment with different forms of advertising, advocating, or design.

The easiest way to think of this is to not limit yourself to your same tools. Think of anything and everything as a potential marketing tool.

Rid yourself of standards for what a certain product has to look like, or be. Take for example, Seth Godin’s book, The Big Moo, which was done as a milk carton for promotion.

Definitely not what one would expect to find a marketing book in, and it definitely got people talking.

Advertising moments have been expanded in all kinds of interesting ways such as selling forehead ad space.

This was definitely a unique idea that created an immense amount of buzz for him (and a nice profit).

Set yourself apart from the rest of the clutter by being original. The best place to start is by ridding yourself of what defines advertising.

Tying yourself to too many boundaries can put you into a rut of average marketing. It’s time to be remarkable and choose marketing that creates a buzz heard all around.

I was reading through some blogs yesterday and was trying to contact one fellow blogger directly.

There was one problem, though: No contact information was listed! I searched high and low, checking for what I thought were obvious locations for contact information.

After searching for quite a while, I gave up. I didn’t contact them, and I left disappointed.

If you are trying to generate some buzz and make new contacts having your contact information is vital.

The most obvious place to put it is on your About page or even your footer. If you have a profile listed on your sidebar then definitely take advantage of the space to give people a way to connect to you.

The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to say hi.

Just one simple sentence can make a difference from meeting an interesting person to no one at all.

Ron McDaniel told his story of how it worked for him with Buzzoodle. The question is, then, are you making it easy for your readers to reach out to you?

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