Monday, May 29, 2006

What's happened to our email

It doesn't take a madman to notice that the email industry is in shambles from all the trash that's floating around on the net these days. The effectiveness of email and newsletter campaigns is diminishing as people are starting to tire of the job of filtering through all the junk mail just to get what they want to read. Even with a double opt in email or newsletter many of the newsletters and emails are ignored and many are caught in the spam filters set up by corporations, ISPs or the system operator themselves, what to do?

It certainly doesn't help the customer's experience with your company when your percieved as part of the problem. In fact many customers quit many of their lists because instead of quality emails or newsletters that they signed up for they get an onslaught of up selling and needless marketing from the people they trusted. As a thought market sparingly, but effectively. Customer love real communication and information. They will tollerate some direct marketing, but will turn off to you and your company when faced with to much of it.

Talk about a bummer experience. The idea behind the customer experience methodology is to create contact points in which the customers trust is enhanced and the relationship they have with your company is a positive relationship they can count on for a number of issues, the least being privacy. Building an over all best customer experience is what it is all about.

There are a number of ways actually that you can reach your client and eliminate a number of issues that are all on the negative side of receiving email including opt in list you can't always opt out of. That is the use of a Desktop Marketer. This solution gives your client full control of what comes across their desk from you and by empowering your client with final say they turn around and give you the trust and buy in you need to be effective.

What is a Desktop Marketer? It is a software solution that allows your email and newsletters to go strait to your client's/customer's desktop. Talk about revolutionizing the effectiveness of email. Yep, you can send it strait to them by passing filters, spam traps, black holes and other such nightmares. The customer has complete control over what they read and you can market directly to the customer or market niche unlike with RSS feed solutions.

What really makes this software so hot is that the client sees it as soon as it arrives. It is separate from the normal email bag and is not mistaken for the garbage or unwanted solicitations that so often get in the way. Have an important message to get them, no problem send it and they see a notification icon on their screen immediately. Talk about a command performance.

the Desk Top Marketer creates such a powerful customer experience that it sends your customer/client's trust right through the roof, the same with newsletters and other email communication. This is such a powerful tool. I can't count the number of emails sent and not received. If you’re running an online business communication has to be a number one priority.

There is no special technology to learn or prep for as there are with other solutions like RSS feeds. The customer experience is so positive that the effectiveness of the email and newsletter campaigns run by those using this software went right out of sight, often with 100% response rate. Such responses mean higher conversion ratios and much better effectiveness ratings on communication. Check it out, if you don't try it your crazy. Especially new businesses that are coming online really need to use a .Desktop Marketer to enhance and strengthen their growth. As you build your email list you need to have a way to push your response rates and this is the best way out there. Enjoy your success with the Desktop Marketer

As always we ask for your response and comments.

To learn more about the customer experience and customer service visit "The Customer Development Center.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Part of the great Customer Experience is the Employee

I had the privilege of reading a good blog by Glenn Ross at "The Customer Service Experience Blog". Once again he brings to the forefront a problem that is probably the main root in establishing good customer service programs and customer experience strategies, and that is the employee connection. When ever I have a chance to escape the confines of the office or home for that matter, I always take the time to probe the employees where ever we take our time to shop, eat or just relax. It could be a coffee shop, a small family business, a local manufacturer or a large upscale store with multiple departments and regardless of the country, culture, or the size of the business the patterns are the same.

Employees get the rough end and are rarely included in decision processes and their feedback goes almost always ignored. Generally the employees single out the managers as the main issue. As a consultant who usually works with these managers I will second this appraisal of the leadership from the rank and file.

The single most destructive force in any size business comes down to the managers (leadership) taking responsibility for what happens or doesn't happen in any given business, this includes manufacturing as well. Managers are more focused usually, owners too on how they look instead on how to help those below them function and work better.

When something goes wrong it is always passed down from the owner, CEO, or chairman down to the bottom. If they could blame it on the janitor they will. This is the BIGGEST flaw in the development of consistent customer service programs and strong customer service strategy development. The fact that those who should lead the way aren't allowed to lead and when those who initiated ownership of a project or policy do screw up, they blame others for not doing their job in the first place.
Every business owner and employer is responsible for seeing that there employees are happy, well trained, listened to and included in the decision making process. Managers are facilitators not dictators. Little can be done effectively in the way of customer centered policies and strategy development without the full involvement of the employee. This is especially true since they are the primary contacts at every department level and the prime implementers of all policies.

So if your customer loyalty sucks, your retention rate is somewhee south of the south pole and when you say customer service your customers say what? Tke a look at how you are inlvoving and rewarding your employees. If you want a great customer response, effective policies and outstanding performance you better look to your employees and maybe listen to them, involve them and reward them.

As always your opinions matter a great deal to us and to those who read our blog. Please feel free to share your feelings and opinions.

If you would like to learn more about customer service and customer experience strategies please visit "The Customer Development Center"

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Customer Experience - Atitude is everything

First and Foremost, may I wish a

BIG Happy Mothers Day

to all the moms who may read this blog and to those moms who are busy doing other things.

I had the opportunity of walking into our neighborhood police center the other day, and no I wasn't in trouble. I was seeking information. I was greeted by two very sharp looking officers at the desk. They greeted me with pleasant warm smiles, and were ready to answer my question, or to address my needs, what ever the task was. When asked questions they answered politely, and they were well versed in their knowledge.

Wow! if only the businesses that we own or do business with every day could get a load of this. They were also quick to smile, and even laugh in response to the customer; putting even the most tense people at ease. Yes, there were some very tense individuals that came through the door, while I took care of my concerns.

They were professional and human all at the same time. I know no less than 1200 businesses that I would recommend them to immediately take over employee training.

My curiosity got the best of me so I asked some relevant questions as to training and such. To my surprise these were street cops, the ones that drive cars, walk the streets and knock on doors. They are, as part of there shift work, put on desk rotation for two hours out of their shift. Yes, they were trained in community relations and in dealing with tense people, and no they were not trained in customer relations or in help desk procedures, but they did a superb job anyway. Why these were men and women who cared about there job outcome not about themselves, who had made a commitment to excellence and had a passion for what they were doing. Is every cop this way? No, but I would bet there are a higher percentage of individuals in the ranks of this police force than there are in the employees you hired.

The point is customer experience management is managing all aspects of customer interaction with a given business or company, and hiring the right people that can embody this, and show genuine sincerity to your customers is (should be) the prime number one step to great customer service. If who you hired employee that can do what these guys did in handling people coming through the door then you hired the right people/person.

Customer service that aids in the developing of high customer retention rates,developing strong customer loyalty and long term strategic cash flow growth isn’t an illusion, if you develop your business with the basic foundation of skilled employees that have the right attitude and are well trained in the scope of your business, including customer care. In other words use smart customer experience development. I don't think I need to relate how this would affect someone’s business. Even if you only have one employee in a whole in the wall key shop you need to focus on more than just tasking skills. Hey sure they can make great keys, but they aillienate the customer.

If you have a machine shop and two lathe operators they should not only be the best you can get at running a lathe, but they should be well versed in customer relations development and be able to answer all questions that effect your scheme of work as a company including customer help desk skills. If not, then train them.

Your businesses success depends on it. Then of course if you just want to struggle for your contracts don't. This would apply to large, regional or small firms. If your struggling making your target numbers or would just like to do more than breakeven follow the above advice.

Please feel free to comment. We are always willing to learn from you.

If you would like to learn more about customer service or customer experience management please check out "The Customer Development Center"