INFOGRAPHIC: Omnichannel Customer Loyalty

By TJ Shroat on Wed,Apr 17, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Topics: Metrics Social Media Marketing Customer Satisfaction Customer Engagement

INFOGRAPHIC: Customer Relationships and Social Media

By TJ Shroat on Wed,Mar 06, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Topics: Customer Service Social Media Infographic Customer Satisfaction
2 min read

Reasons People Don't Trust Companies

By TJ Shroat on Thu,Aug 02, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

Building trust may be the most important way to gain customers. And yet, many companies come across as untrustworthy, without knowing it. From Hubspot, here's a list of 21 ways that companies get in their own way by appearing untrustworthy.

Erratic Website Design
Messy sites are perceived as symptomatic of a messy company. Distracting, cluttered or slow loading sites can also evoke fears of viruses.

No Way to Contact Someone
Not offering contact information gives the impression that you're willing to take a customer's money, but not willing talk to them.

No Pricing Information Available
Give visitors at least a general idea of the cost of your products or services. Otherwise, customers will assume you are only trying to sell to them.

Vague Copy
If customers don't understand what you're trying to say, they will assume you are being deliberately evasive.

Spelling/Grammar Errors
Spelling and grammar mistakes indicate a lack of professionalism.

Writing for SEO, Not for People
Search terms used in writing need to make sense to actual humans.

Lack of Thought Leadership
Build credibility and authority through quality content.

Bait and Switch
Represent your content and offers fairly and accurately.

Overly Personal Form Fields
Don't ask for personal information from leads unless the reason is apparent.

No Visible Privacy Policy
Let leads and customers know that you won't share their information with third-parties.

No Organizations Vouch for You
E-commerce sites and service businesses need to demonstrate legitimacy via third-party badges like BBB, VeriSign and TRUSTe.

No Customers Promoting You
Customer testimonials can convince leads and prospects that you're safe.

Bad Online Reviews
Monitor and address negative online reviews.

No Social Presence
As social media has become ubiquitous, companies with no presence don't look savvy or organized.

Not Engaging in Social Media Conversations
Maintaining a social media presence means answering questions and having conversations.

Take an apologetic approach to social media disagreements.

Emailing People That Didn't Opt-In
Avoid being seen as a spammer by only emailing leads that have requested emails from you.

Unsubscribing from Email Is Difficult
"Unsubscribe" buttons in emails are a legal requirement. Make them easy to find and make sure they work.

Poorly Targeted Email Content
Poorly targeted email content makes people feel like a sales target.

Emails That Always Trigger SPAM Filters
Make sure you're optimizing your emails for the inbox.

Be Excellent to Others
Build trust by proactively showing customer, fan and employee positive feedback.

View Original Article
Topics: Content Marketing Lead Generation Lead Nurturing Customer Satisfaction Customer Engagement
1 min read

Avoiding a Social Media Revolt

By Chandler Austin on Tue,Jan 03, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

Social media has tipped the balance of power from corporations to consumers. We saw this in action several times last year. Customer reaction defeated a $5 debit card fee at Bank of America and a plan to split Netflix into two different services. Most recently, Verizon Wireless reversed its plan to institute a $2 fee for consumers who aren’t enrolled in an automatic payment plan, when faced with a torrent of consumer ire. From Good Business, here are some tips to help companies avoid public relations fiascoes.

"Talk to Users First"
 “Why not post it on your Facebook page?” Ron Shevlin, a business analyst, suggested to The New York Times. While reaction might still be negative, you'll avoid the backlash of having to reverse a policy.

"Make a Coherent Argument"
Customers aren't likely to be reasonable about a new few if the company can't explain the cost behind it.

"Don't Use Fees as Marketing"
Sell customers on the benefit of a service rather than trying to bully them into accepting a new product.

"Don’t Go after Low-income Customers"
The Verizon fee would have mostly affected low income customers that don't regularly have enough money in their bank accounts to cover their charges automatically.  The Bank of America fee would have applied to customers who didn’t meet certain balance requirements. Social media has given these customers an unprecedented voice. Even unaffected customers aren't likely to look kindly on "chiseler" fees.

View Original Article
Topics: Social Media Social Media Trends PR Customer Satisfaction
1 min read

Social Media Failure

By Chandler Austin on Tue,Sep 06, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

The point of using social media for marketing is to enhance relationships and build trust. Not everyone seems to get that point. From Keith Dawson at the CMO Site, here are some examples of tone-deaf uses of social media.

New York Police Department
The NYPD announced the formation of a unit to search social media sites or information on planned crimes and their perpetrators. While that's an appropriate use of social media for them, they're missing an opportunity for engagement and they would certainly benefit from fostering more trust.

The Department of Defense's advanced research arm is also missing a chance to foster trust through engagement. They're researching  "purposeful or deceptive messaging and misinformation" and techniques that can "recognize persuasion campaign structures and influence operations across social media sites and communities."

City of Chelyabinsk
This city in Russia is one of the most polluted in the world. They are hiring an SEO contractor to "optimize" search engine queries like "radiation in Chelyabinsk" and "dirtiest city in Russia" to return more positive or neutral links.

Spirit Airlines
Spirit issues a steady stream of tweets, but doesn't seem to listen or converse, ignoring sizable amounts of bad will directed at them.

These organizations have all ignored the watch-words of social media marketing: engagement, relationship, transparency, trust.

View Original Article
Topics: Social Media Marketing Monitoring Tools Social Media Trends Customer Satisfaction
1 min read

Getting Great Online Reviews

By Chandler Austin on Mon,May 02, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

Andy Sernovitz on Damn! I Wish I'd Thought of That, talks about how to get great reviews and make sure your prospective customers see them.

"Ask for testimonials and reviews"
Happy customers are glad to do this. Prompt them to do so with a simple, friendly request. Make sure your site has a way to submit feedback.

"Get permission to share them"
Don't use testimonials in marketing material without getting permission first. Permission can be informal, but should still be written. Include a checkbox with your feedback forms.

"Put it all on your website"
If you have great reviews, you want prospects to see them. Include them on your homepage, sales or product pages, footers and any spot that has visibility..

"Link to compliments already on the web"
Link to positive word of mouth on blogs, Twitter and forums. If it's publicly posted, you don't need prior permission.

"Check it out: Amazon’s funniest reviews"
Most reviews on Amazon are sincere, but occasionally, you can find mock reviews that are sources for some great comedy. Enjoy.

View Original Article

Topics: Word of Mouth Marketing Marketing Strategy Social Media Marketing Customer Satisfaction
1 min read

How to Keep Customers Happy

By Chandler Austin on Mon,Mar 21, 2011 @ 03:15 PM

Tiny things can make a big difference to your customers. Being treated well often trumps price as the defining piece of a customer's experience. Companies should "sweat the small stuff" whenever they can, so customers don't have to. From Adam Helweh at Social Media Explorer, here are some ways to honor your customers.
  1. Hire employees that are customer-focused, rather than money-focused.
  2. Make your customers feel smart with great content.
  3. Your website should be easy to navigate.
  4. Make it easy to submit feedback and suggestions.
  5. Sell a product that is what you advertised.
  6. Simplify transactions. Selection to delivery should be easy.
  7. Share customer success stories, even when not directly related to your company's product/service.
  8. Quick, sincere, effective responses to your mistakes.
  9. Start by listening.
  10. Take ownership of customer issues, even if you aren't responsible ultimately for the resolution.
  11. Leave your emotional baggage at home.
  12. Have events that allow you to meet customers in person.
  13. Recommend other businesses that might benefit your customers.
  14. Don't make customers languish on hold.
  15. Empower your customer service staff to solve all possible issues.
  16. Be cheerful and polite.
  17. Easy customer communications over multiple channels.
  18. Feature customers and/or customer stories in a blog post or other social media.
  19. Include customer input in new product development.
  20. Unsubscribing from your newsletters should be easy as subscribing.
  21. Accept customer ratings and reviews of your product.
  22. Have a large enough staff to handle customer issues in a timely manner.
  23. No hidden fees or agendas.
  24. Easy product returns/exchanges.
  25. Allow customers to get to know your employees.
View Original Article and Author's Apple Customer Experience

Topics: Word of Mouth Marketing small business marketing Customer Satisfaction
1 min read

Social Media at the Golden Arches

By Chandler Austin on Wed,Mar 16, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

Mark Schaefer of {grow} interviews Rick Wion, Director of Social Media for McDonald's, at South by Southwest.

Highlights of McDonald's best practices with social media:
  • McDonald's uses monitoring tools to track conversations about their brand.
  • They tracked for over a year before reaching out and engaging on social media.
  • Their team combines employees from PR and from Customer Satisfaction.
  • Their tweeters have personal bios, allowing customers to connect the brand on a personal level. Specific tweeters have fans.
  • Conversations on social media have more than quadrupled in 18 months.
View Original Article

Topics: Social Media Marketing Twitter PR Customer Satisfaction


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