Customers Rock!

A blog about customers, their experiences, and how businesses can make sure their customer experiences rock!

Archive for July, 2007

Great Customer Service Online: “The Busy Bunny”

Posted by Becky Carroll on July 30, 2007

bunny.jpg I have blogged before about the little things that make a difference.  I have had several online experiences the last year with a small California-based company that makes my online buying experience great with little things.

The Busy Bunny is an online store based in San Bruno, California.  As they would say, they specialize in “Edible toy treats for pet rabbits, and fun stuff for people since 1987.”  Some of their best-selling products are wicker baskets shaped like carrots, alfalfa sticks, and cardboard bungalows for bunnies to chew and climb onto.  My bunny really likes the straw mats, which he can both sit on and chew up.  Yum!

The first time I ordered, I was asked to create a log-in account.  My information was securely saved – mailing address, billing address, and order.  Email address and phone number were also requested, along with an explanation of why they were needed.

Each time I go back and order from The Busy Bunny, my information is already available for me.  In fact, I can click on any previous order, see what I purchased, and choose the button that says “Reorder” if I want the same items (I usually do).  Once I order, I can also track the package from the same simple page.

The last time I reordered my bunny’s favorite straw mats (Saturday), I couldn’t quite remember which ones he liked last time.  Easy!  I just had to log in to My Account, look at my previous order, and click on Reorder.   All finished!  My credit card and all pertinent information were already in their system, so I completed my order in about 3 minutes.

Would I shop for my rabbit’s needs anywhere else?  No.  The Busy Bunny is very convenient for me.  They remember things for and about me, they make it easy for me to order, and they appreciate me!  How do I know they like me?  They send me a cute Busy Bunny notepad in each shipment.  This is a great way for me to feel valued as well as to keep their logo in front of me (I use them as my phone message pads).

I shop online with quite a few companies that are larger than The Busy Bunny, and the online shopping experience is not always as good as the one I have described.  If a small company can do it, a larger one should be able to do it as well!

Lessons from The Busy Bunny:

  1. Keep the e-commerce site simple.
  2. Remember things for and about your customers wherever possible – and use them!
  3. Make it easy to do business with you.
  4. Let your customers know you appreciate them with a small gesture or gift.

Thanks, Busy Bunny!  I can tell that Customers Rock! for you!!

Posted in Customer experience, Customer service, Customers Rock! | 11 Comments »

Web Marketing and Customer Expectations: A Podcast

Posted by Becky Carroll on July 27, 2007

image001.gif If you would like to hear more about creating a rockin’ online web experience for your customers, stop by the eMarketingTalkShow today!  I will be the guest on a live podcast today, July 27, from 4 – 5 PM Pacific time.

The podcast will be in four 15-minute segments as follows:

  • Understanding the Customer Experience
  • Developing a Rockin’ Web Experience for Your Customers
  • Customer Service Expectations on the Web
  • Customers do Rock! (examples)

You can listen live or download the archived podcast later (right click on the button on the right of the page; even though it says “coming soon”, the files are there!).  You can also call in during the live show with questions at 866-613-1612.

If you want to learn more about customer experience on the web, or if you just want to connect a live voice with a face/blog, then come and check it out!  There are a lot of other topics at eMarketingTalkShow as well, including podcasts from experts on SEO, usability, and various aspects of internet marketing.  A great resource!

Posted in Customer experience | 2 Comments »

Growing Business the Old-Fashioned Way

Posted by Becky Carroll on July 25, 2007

growth.jpg Many companies spend a lot of time and money on attracting new customers to their product or service.  Much of the marketing budget is spent on mass approaches such as advertising and direct mail.  While those media may have their place in attracting prospects, they don’t help companies with their most valuable asset: their existing customer base.

Taking care of existing customers is a fantastic, cost-effective way to grow your business.  

Drew McLellan shares some advantages we have when we concentrate on the “old” customers.  I especially like the first advantage he lists: 

“They know who you are and trust/like you enough that they’ve done business with you”

How well is your organization doing in its communications with your customers?   What would cause them to trust you and want to come back for more?

Take a brief break here and think about the last 5 communications you received from companies you (or your company) are doing business with.  What kinds of touches were they?  Interactions with existing customers tend to be one of the following types:

  • A bill
  • An upsell offer
  • A cross-sell offer
  • A renewal offer

While there may be some customer value in these actions, they tend to be more favorable to the company than the customer.  In order to keep and grow existing customers, a proactive strategy is needed.  Here are some great ideas from a few of my favorite bloggers:

Meikah of Customer Relations shares with us some insight from Jack Stahl, former president of Coca-Cola and CEO of Revlon, on how to strengthen relationships in a B2B setting:

Persist in offering value. Give consistent and routine attention, which shows that you are always interested in your customer’s business, in good times and bad. Also, have an ongoing dialogue with the retailer, when an opportunity arises to regain your business.”

Offering something of value to your customers is very important to furthering the relationship.  If there isn’t value, customers may continue to do business with you for awhile, but the relationship will be short-lived.  Keeping the communications line open, whether or not the customer has recently purchased something, is one of the keys to keeping up a conversation with customers.

Joe Rawlinson of Return Customer gives us some ideas on communicating appreciation with existing customers

“When was the last time someone told you how much they appreciated you? How do you feel when you get a thank you note?  If you’re like most, you get a warm fuzzy feeling inside. You smile. You feel a little bit better.

Don’t you think your customers would like to feel that same joy?”

Words of thanks are greatly valued by customers.  They are a nice antithesis to all the sales calls and could actually make the next call more fruitful! 

Rosa Say of Managing with Aloha tells us how to deliver on the promise of our customers’ dreams.  She tells her readers about the art of creating loyal customers:

Managing with Aloha incorporates the art of Ho‘okipa to achieve a service and product delivery that is unparalleled in the dreams of your customers, turning them into loyal customers for life. When people feel they have experienced the ultimate in good service and in hospitality, they return for more of it time and again.”

Customer loyalty comes from more than just great products and services.  The customer experience has a very strong influence on customer attitudes towards an organization.  I love the way Rosa describes it above – an experience that makes you want to return again and again.

Other ideas on how to create meaningful interactions with existing customers:

  • Birthday cards/anniversary of start of relationship
  • Invitations to customer appreciation events
  • Asking for customer feedback, then acting on it and letting customers know the results
  • Customer apologies, where needed
  • Customer advisory boards

Which types of interactions you use depends on the company, it depends on the culture, and of course, it depends on what is important to the customer.

Finally, one can always use the element of surprise to keep relationships fresh.  Here is an unexpected example from Bounce fabric softener shared in Andy Nulman’s blog.

Sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference.

(Photo credit: cookelma)

Posted in B2B Marketing, Customer loyalty, Customer strategy, Marketing | 12 Comments »

Magic, Marketing, and Memes: Oh, My!

Posted by Becky Carroll on July 24, 2007

magic-hat.jpg That Magical Reader Loyalty

(NOTE: no spoilers here!)  The Harry Potter series of books is a great example of reader/consumer loyalty.  After all, they have stuck with Harry through 7 books, 199 chapters, and over 4100 pages.  Many waited line in the US this past weekend, some dressed in costume, all excited to be one of the first to get hold of the last book in the series.  Parties were held all over the country (thanks for pointing out this Harry Potter event, Chris!).  On the beach here in San Diego today, I lost count of how many people were sitting in chairs poring through the book.

Each fan has their own way of dealing with the end of the series.  Some, such as Doug Meacham of NextUp, stepped around the aftermath of the Harry Potter Midnight Party at their local bookstore to buy a copy and start the read (although Doug had a hard time finding it in some places!).  Ann Handley of Marketing Profs decided to take matters into her own hands and read the end first in order to avoid hearing about it accidentally.

Does the hype about the end, the spoilers, and the movie bother these people?  No.  They are loyal fans, and they are dedicated to reading the final book no matter what.

How can you make your product or service impervious to outside interference?  Building strong customer relationships is one of the first steps.

Marketing Bloggers and Media Unite!

A great event is taking place in the community.  Todd Andrlik’s Power 150 ranking of top marketing blogs is partnering with Ad Age!   Todd has worked tremendously hard to continually rank over 350+ marketing and PR blogs.  In his post today announcing the inside scoop, Todd quotes Jonah Bloom, editor of Advertising Age, as follows:

“Of course we could have put something together based on our own opinions or bloggers’ traffic numbers, but Todd’s brilliant creation goes way beyond that and creates a ranking that combines traffic, influence and quality into a ranking of the best out there. We’re excited to be able to bring that to our readers. We also hope it’ll be a great thing for all bloggers listed.”

Congratulations go out to Todd for his perseverance; it paid off!  Congrats also to the blogging community, as we are making an impact on the business world by writing quality content.  Thank you also to Todd for including Customers Rock! on the list; it has been an honor!

In a related story, Kami Huyse of Communication Overtones points out that only 13% of the Power 150 are women.  She shares the Top 20 PowerWomen of PR and Marketing (blogs) to help raise the awareness of top women bloggers.  Thanks for the hat tip, Kami!

Meme-Mania: 8 Things About Me and Glass Half Full

Over the past few weeks, I have been tagged for the 8 Things meme by Janet Green, Steve Woodruff, Valeria Maltoni, Doug Meacham, and Nick Rice.  This meme asks the person tagged to share 8 things about themselves, as a way of getting to know the blogger better.  The tagged person should then tag 8 others to share some link love and to share great blogs.  In addition to the “5 Things About Me” from awhile back, here are 8 more things …

1. I am a fan of science fiction movies and books (especially the “classic” movies from the 60s-80s such as Planet of the Apes, Logan’s Run, E.T., Close Encounters, Star Wars, and one of my faves Total Recall).  Sharing them with my boys is a lot of fun, even if they do laugh at some of the “older” special effects!

2. I was once in the circus as a child.  Ringling Brothers Circus came to town, and my sister and I were chosen to be in the parade.  It was very memorable!

3. One of my favorite places on Earth is Maui.  We vacation there on a regular basis and stay with some lovely friends.  Aloha!

4. My husband and I love to travel.  We have been all over Europe and the UK, and we hope to go again soon!  I once travelled all the way around the world on a business trip for Hewlett-Packard when I was working there as a marketing manager - and I was 5 months pregnant!

5. I enjoy drinking red wine, especially if it is paired with Scharfenberger Chocolate.  Yum!

6. I just learned how to knit this year.  I think I will keep my day job, though, as I am not very good at it!

7. My favorite actor is Gene Kelley.  What an amazing actor/singer/dancer!  When my kids saw his “I Got Rhythm” tap dance in the movie American in Paris recently, one of them said, “Those aren’t really his feet moving!  The computer did that.”

8. I am a huge fan of Disneyland and Disneyworld.  One of the first things I did when we moved to San Diego was buy Disneyland season passes for all of us.  Tell me if any of you come out this way, and I will meet you at Mickey’s house!  :-)

I was also tagged for the Glass Half Full meme a little while back, this time by Meikah Delid and Ryan Karpeles.  Sorry to take so long to respond, guys!  This meme asked the blogger to answer a few questions.  Here they are:

1. How full is your glass?
2. What kind of glass is it?
3. What’s in the glass?
4. Reasons for #1, #2, and #3

And here are my answers:

1. My cup runneth over.

2. A red wine glass.

3. Ravenswood Zinfandel.

4. Reasons: My cup runneth over because I have been truly blessed in my life, much beyond what I could have imagined or deserved.  The glass is a wine glass because I enjoy drinking red wine with family and friends while noshing on dark chocolate.  The contents are Ravenswood Zinfandel because Ravenswood is a Customers Rock! company, plus it reminds me of my connections to the blogging community (fellow Ravenswood fan Steve Woodruff has been great at creating community with BrandingWire).

I now tag the following people (and apologies if you have already been tagged!): Daksh at TheMarketingBlog, Kevin Hillstrom of MineThatData, Katie Konrath of GetFreshMinds, Tim Jackson of MasiGuy, Daniel Sitter of Idea Sellers,  Kevin Dugan of Strategic Public Relations, Dale Wolf of The Perfect Customer Experience, and Christy Brewer of The Diff.

You can choose which meme you want to respond to!  Have fun.

(Photo by nruboc)

Posted in B2B Marketing, Blogging, Book reviews, Customer experience, Customer loyalty, Marketing, Memes | 25 Comments »

A Primer on User Experience

Posted by Becky Carroll on July 20, 2007

ants-maze.jpg I have heard the term User Experience many times, and recently I had the opportunity to tour Intuit’s Usability Lab.  This got me thinking about how user experience relates to marketing and customer experience.  David Armano shared a presentation he did earlier this year on Experience Design as it relates to the digital experience. 

I tapped Sean Van Tyne, a friend, expert in user experience, and CEO at Van Tyne Consulting, to help me learn more about the subject.  The wisdom shared below is a summary of a recent discussion with him.

User Experience Definition

According to Sean, User Experience (also known as UX) can be defined as follows:

“User experience is everything a user sees/hears/smells/tastes with respect to a product.”

Wikipedia defines it as “a term used to describe the overall experience and satisfaction a user has when using a product or system.”  Sean agrees that it has been used quite a bit in the past with respect to technology but that it now has potential beyond the tech world.  He says that UX is still a relatively new discipline which is evolving, hence some of the confusion and mystery around it!

Sean shared with me that, from a B2B perspective (ex: enterprise software), there are two distinctions in designing the user experience. 

  • The first is designing for a “customer”, who is often someone in operations.  This design experience validates that the workflow meets the business needs.  Sean calls this “customer experience”.  (Note: now I see why I have been confused!)
  • The second is designing for a “user”, who may be an internal or an external consumer.  This design experience evaluates that the tasks are easy to accomplish.  Sean calls this “user experience”.

The design of the user experience can be done at two different places in the product lifecycle: early in the process before business requirements are completed, and/or later in the lifecycle before heavy product development is started.

The Many Faces of User Experience

User experience is a broad field and covers a lot of disciplines.  It can be broken out into three pieces: research, design, and testing.  Sean described the many faces of user experience as a continuum:

  • Information Architect – focuses on labeling, correct terminology, hierarchy of terms
  • Visual Design – colors, fonts, graphics, icons
  • Interaction Design/Human Factors Engineering – studies how people interact with technology
  • Industrial Design – ergonomics, ease of use
  • Usability Engineer – Sean broke this out into two sub-types: ethnographers, who do research on how people do things, and evaluators, who run tests to see if the tasks are easy to complete

“Experience Design” is a subset of user experience in general.

How It’s Done

User experience is a bridge between marketing and technology, where user-centered design puts people, rather than technology, at the center of the process. 

  • Marketing kicks off this process by doing research on customer needs.
  • Marketing, product development, and user experience work together to design something which will meet those customer needs.  If the customer is an enterprise, an extra step is taken here to validate the business needs before moving to the end-user needs.
  • User experience tests the design with both experts as well as novice users.  Paper, foam, and wire-frame mock-ups are used to help test the design.
  • A usability evaluation then takes place to see how easy the tasks are to complete, how well the product/service meets the user’s way of working, etc.
  • The design may be iterated many times before it goes to production! 
  • Once a basic design is ready, it is time to start bringing in other parts of the design team, such as visual design and interaction design, to help make the products more useful, usable, and desirable.

For those of you wanting more details on the process, Sean has written a great article on defining the user and customer experience for enterprise software  (pdf format) which was recently published in The Pragmatic Marketer.

Sources for User Experience

I asked Sean where my readers might go for additional information on the field of user experience.  Here are his suggestions:

GoodExperience blog - Mark is one of the experts in the field

Don Norman’s site - Don is considered one of the founding fathers

IBM Ease of Use site – good information on User Engineering

Don’t Make Me Think, a book by Steve Krug on web usability.

Many thanks to Sean at Van Tyne Consulting for his time and expertise about user experience.  Sean, you rock!

Other Resources

I would add Logic+Emotion, David Armano’s blog on experience design (also in my blogroll!).  Many of you are also experts in user experience, experience design, and interactive design.  What other resources would you add to help a beginner learn more about user experience?

(Photo credit: kim_zhai)

Posted in Customer experience, User experience | 12 Comments »

Did Sprint do the right thing?

Posted by Becky Carroll on July 18, 2007

fired.jpg You may have heard about Sprint “firing” of some of its customers in the last few weeks.  If not, just go do a search, and you will come up with articles from many blogs and journals.  Quite a buzz!

The buzz

Most posts/articles focus on those 1000 or so customers who were sent letters to let them know their service would be terminated.  These were apparently customers who called customer service too often (substantially more than other customers).  Sprint paid off any outstanding bill for them, did not charge them an early termination fee, and gave them one month to find a new carrier.

From the customer viewpoint, I have read articles stating that some of these customers were calling in legitimately about problems with Sprint’s billing, problems that were not corrected month after month.  I also read that each “transfer” made to a different Sprint call center agent, due to the wrong department or Sprint’s need to transfer the caller, counted as one call.  It is conceivable, then, that some of these folks could have made 5-6 “calls” with just one call in.

Another story shares how Sprint renewed the contract of one customer only a short time before sending out the termination letter.  She had just bought a new phone with that new contract.

Did Sprint do the right thing?

It is not a problem to take action on your low-to-no profit customers.  It is actually a business necessity.  One should either change the value proposition for those customers or find a way to let them go to your competitors.

Perhaps it would have made more sense (and less publicity!) for Sprint to warn of termination at the next contract renewal.  Sprint doesn’t have to renew those very low-priced contracts if their business model has changed.  In that case, customers could have upgraded their contract to something else or could have chosen not to renew and go to another carrier.

What about those that remain? 

I wonder what the outcome will be for Sprint’s remaining customers?  Here are some questions to ponder:

Will those who are unhappy (or who want an iPhone) try to game the system and get “kicked out” rather than pay an early termination fee? 

If so, are those really the customers Sprint wants to have around?  More than likely they are not loyal; they are just looking for the cheapest deal.

Will customers with real problems hear about this and be afraid to call in?

Overall, it can be a good thing to either fire your customers or change the value proposition to improve the relationship.  Time will tell whether or not this works for Sprint.

(Photo credit: 3pod)

Posted in Customer experience, Customer loyalty, Customer service, Customer strategy | 14 Comments »

Age of Conversation: Launched Today!

Posted by Becky Carroll on July 16, 2007

ebook.jpg What book has 103 marketing bloggers representing 10 countries and four continents and where 100% of the proceeds support Variety Children’s Charity

The newly released book The Age of Conversation

Back in April, two really smart bloggers, Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton (themselves representing two countries and continents), set a goal of publishing a book with contributions from 100 bloggers.  Topic: the conversation age.  Each author wrote a one-page chapter for the book, interpreting the topic from their own point of view.  For example, my chapter is titled Conversations and the Customer Experience.

The format of the book provides for a quick read with lots of great food for thought on conversations in this age of new media.  The book is being released in three formats, so you can choose how you want to read it!

Hardcover: $29.99

Paperback: $16.99

e-Book: $9.99

Again, all proceeds are going to charity.  No author is going to earn any money from this book.

I highly encourage you to buy a copy of the book today, and spread the word on your blog, in your newsletter, and through your own conversations.  Be sure and come back here and leave your thoughts on the book!

Check out the great press this book is already getting:

Advertising Age

Social Computing Magazine

Update: more press!

Fast Company blog

Business Week blog

Authors

Below is the list of all 103 influential authors.  Here’s to The Age of Conversation!

Gavin Heaton, editor
Drew McLellan, editor

CK
Valeria Maltoni
Emily Reed
Katie Chatfield
Greg Verdino
Mack Collier
Lewis Green
Sacrum
Ann Handley
Mike Sansone
Paul McEnany
Roger von Oech
Anna Farmery
David Armano
Bob Glaza
Mark Goren
Matt Dickman
Scott Monty
Richard Huntington
Cam Beck
David Reich
Luc Debaisieux
Sean Howard
Tim Jackson
Patrick Schaber
Roberta Rosenberg
Uwe Hook
Tony D. Clark
Todd Andrlik
Toby Bloomberg
Steve Woodruff
Steve Bannister
Steve Roesler
Stanley Johnson
Spike Jones
Nathan Snell
Simon Payn
Ryan Rasmussen
Ron Shevlin
Roger Anderson
Robert Hruzek
Rishi Desai
Phil Gerbyshak
Peter Corbett
Pete Deutschman
Nick Rice
Nick Wright
Michael Morton
Mark Earls
Mark Blair
Mario Vellandi
Lori Magno
Kristin Gorski
Kris Hoet
G.Kofi Annan
Kimberly Dawn Wells
Karl Long
Julie Fleischer
Jordan Behan
John La Grou
Joe Raasch
Jim Kukral
Jessica Hagy
Janet Green
Jamey Shiels
Dr. Graham Hill
Gia Facchini
Geert Desager
Gaurav Mishra
Gary Schoeniger
Gareth Kay
Faris Yakob
Emily Clasper
Ed Cotton
Dustin Jacobsen
Tom Clifford
David Polinchock
David Koopmans
David Brazeal
David Berkowitz
Carolyn Manning
Craig Wilson
Cord Silverstein
Connie Reece
Colin McKay
Chris Newlan
Chris Corrigan
Cedric Giorgi
Brian Reich
Becky Carroll
Arun Rajagopal
Andy Nulman
Amy Jussel
AJ James
Kim Klaver
Sandy Renshaw
Susan Bird
Ryan Barrett
Troy Worman
S. Neil Vineberg

CB Whittemore

Posted in Blogging, Book reviews, eBooks, Marketing | 9 Comments »

Sales vs. Marketing – Who Wins?

Posted by Becky Carroll on July 12, 2007

tug-of-war.jpg Many companies have an unspoken war going on between sales and marketing.  Sales complains because marketing doesn’t bring them any good leads.  Marketing complains they feel like second-class citizens, and why doesn’t sales ever follow-up on all the great leads they give them?   Who wins this war?  No one.  Who loses?  The customer, and the company.

When I headed up B2B marketing for a large high-tech company in the UK, sales and marketing were supposed to collaborate but instead kept complaining about each other. After I spent time talking one-on-one with the sales managers, some sales reps, and the members of my marketing team, I broke down the walls. I assigned one marketing person to each sales district to become fully ingrained with the sales team. They were to eat, sleep, and go on customer visits with them to better learn how to meet their needs.

After several months, these marketers were seen as integral parts of the sales teams. They were invited to off-site sales meetings and asked for their ideas.  They were invited to sales Christmas parties and were treated as “one of the boys”.  They basically became an extended part of the sales team.  We ended up beating quota that year for the first time in quite awhile – as a joint team.

Customers want to be approached by such a team.  They don’t want to be in the middle of a war.  Valeria Maltoni asked recently, who owns the customer?   In my opinion, no one at the company owns the customer.  The customers own themselves.  They are in charge of whether or not they continue to purchase.  They are in charge of the relationship, if any.

In that case, it is imperative that sales and marketing work together.  The goal is to understand the customer so deeply that everyone wins: sales+marketing and the customer.  Only then will a relationship have any chance of taking hold and growing to meet the needs of both company and customer.

Thanks to Lewis Green for getting me going on breaking down the walls of departmental thinking.

(Photo credit: nruboc)

Posted in B2B Marketing, Customer experience, Customer strategy, Marketing | 11 Comments »

Marketing an Experience

Posted by Becky Carroll on July 11, 2007

people.jpg One of my most popular blog posts was from this past January, called Marketing Experiences, not Products.  I am re-publishing it now because it is very pertinent to a new series of posts I have coming up on customer experience and the intersection with user experience.

Enjoy!

Marketing Experiences, not Products

Customers don’t just purchase products or services.  They experience them.   I wrote last week about how my experience of getting my car repaired was about much more than how well those repairs were done. 

However, not many companies are focused on how their customer experiences are impacting their customers (unless they really blow it, and multiple blogs and YouTube videos pick it up).

The customer experience encompasses all aspects of a customer’s interaction with us.  It spans the sales, the packaging, the “out of box” experience (opening the product), the registration and installation/set-up, the usage, and the ongoing maintenance of the product or service (think PCs).  Or, in retail, it spans the in-store experience of the shelf displays, the size of the aisles, the crazy wheels on the shopping cart, the employees, the restrooms, the check-out lines and clerks, and the ease of returns.  In service, it spans the sales, the installation, the usage, the subscription, the monthly bills, and the upgrades (think cable/satellite TV).  Take a moment now and think of what this looks like for your company and your industry!

In the above-described customer lifecycle scenarios, many departments are responsible for the customer experience, including marketing, sales, R&D, manufacturing, customer service, field service, as well as training.  Thus the entire company plays a role in “marketing”, yet each of them has their own areas of expertise which they need to bring to the table in order to design the optimal customer experience. 

Yet as Mack Collier discussed in this post from The Viral Garden, many marketers are more focused on meeting their own needs than the needs of the customer.  Per Mack:

“Good marketing is any effort by a company/ individual/ association/ etc to DIRECTLY satisfy the wants and needs of its customer.”  I don’t think it has to get any more complicated than that.

But the hitching point is that ‘directly’ part. Most marketers want to satisfy their OWN wants and needs directly, and let satisfying the customer be a byproduct. Turning it around and using your marketing as a tool to directly satisfy the wants and needs of the community takes a pretty big leap of marketing faith.

When we focus on how many customers we can market our products to, we are focusing on our own wants and needs directly (sell more, get better leads, improve marketing campaign ROI).  When we focus on which products and services we can sell to each customer, we are focusing on meeting customer wants and needs. 

In other words, rather than focusing on increasing our market share and marketing ROI, we focus on increasing our customer share-of-wallet and value of each customer.  These latter measures are often left out of board room discussions but are essential for truly understanding the health of our customer base.

Once we understand our customer’s wants and needs, we can begin to market to them through the customer experience.  CustomersRock! companies create a strategy for a consistent, satisfying customer experience across the entire customer lifecycle. 

(Photo credit: solarseven)

Posted in Customer experience | 2 Comments »

The Conversation Draws Near

Posted by Becky Carroll on July 10, 2007

ageofconversation-book.jpg It is almost here!  Next week, on Monday, July 16th, we will see the launch of Age of ConversationBack in April, I signed on with Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton to co-author this book (one chapter), along with over 100 other contributors (see below for list).  While originally designed as an eBook, due to popular demand, it can also be had as a paperback or hardcover book.

All proceeds from all book sales will be going to Variety Children’s Charity.  Get ready to have a good read for a good cause!  Special thanks to Drew, Gavin, and all the other authors for making this happen.

I can’t wait to buy it and read the other chapters, and I hope you will do the same!

Authors:

Gavin Heaton
Drew McLellan
CK
Valeria Maltoni
Emily Reed
Katie Chatfield
Greg Verdino
Mack Collier
Lewis Green
Sacrum
Ann Handley
Mike Sansone
Paul McEnany
Roger von Oech
Anna Farmery
David Armano
Bob Glaza
Mark Goren
Matt Dickman
Scott Monty
Richard Huntington
Cam Beck
David Reich
Luc Debaisieux
Sean Howard
Tim Jackson
Patrick Schaber
Roberta Rosenberg
Uwe Hook
Tony D. Clark
Todd Andrlik
Toby Bloomberg
Steve Woodruff
Steve Bannister
Steve Roesler
Stanley Johnson
Spike Jones
Nathan Snell
Simon Payn
Ryan Rasmussen
Ron Shevlin
Roger Anderson
Robert Hruzek
Rishi Desai
Phil Gerbyshak
Peter Corbett
Pete Deutschman
Nick Rice
Nick Wright
Michael Morton
Mark Earls
Mark Blair
Mario Vellandi
Lori Magno
Kristin Gorski
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