Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

Zach-Taylor-3Recent articles published by Inc Magazine & Harvard Business Review have capped the increasing amount of attention paid to ‘Customer Experience’.  Apple, and the way they handle the massive crowds at their retail locations, catapulted the customer experience conversation that has exploded in the past two years. The concept originated in the service industry – hotels and restaurants – then moved into the retail environment (ie. Apple, car dealers, etc.), and is now everywhere we look.  The importance of customer experience continues to gain momentum in the B2B arena.  As the world gets smaller and competition grows, great execution of customer experience in the B2B space is now paramount.  While still not perfectly measurable, the strategy is sound: deliver an amazing customer experience and your customers will never leave you (they will buy more and provide referrals).


Leveraging The Power of the Press

Posted: June 24, 2012 by Bill Cunningham in Customer Service, Leadership, Marketing

 “It is a special pleasure for me to introduce our two home run kings … Mike McGwire and Sammy Sooser.”

–Sen. Ted Kennedy

We all say things we would love to take back as the foot-in-mouth syndrome neither tastes great or is fulfilling. Unfortunately for public figures like the Senator from Massachusetts, the media waited like vultures in the desert for his next faux pas of the English language. So it goes for entrepreneurs as well!

Recently, one of our more successful entrepreneurs got caught up in the sensationalism of a Silicon Valley blogpost. If that blog set out to prove that Silicon Valley has a ton of great resources for entrepreneurs, then the blogger must be hard up for news. Everyone knows the valley has been very entrepreneurial since Hewlett met Packard. Silicon Valley loves to manufacture entrepreneurs, but so does Cincinnati and Pittsburgh and Cleveland and Louisville and Lexington and Detroit. (more…)

Is one of your primary goals as a new business owner to “satisfy” your targeted customers?  Well, if it is you are probably headed for disaster because as it turns out merely “satisfied customers” generally don’t come back to make repeat purchases.  According to a Harvard Graduate School study “62% of supposedly “satisfied customers” do not repurchase from the same source” (Kick-Ass Business and Marketing Secrets: How to Blitz Competition, Bob Pritchard).  So after all the hard work and funding you invested to acquire a group of targeted customers there is a high probability that over half of them will seek other sources of supply on future purchases.  So, what are the primary reasons that “satisfied customers” seek other sources and what can you do about it?

As is the case with many situations within the business environment there is usually an 80 / 20 cause and effect relationship to consider.  According to a Rockefeller Institute study the following are the primary reasons that customers switch sources of supply: 9% are attracted by competitors; 14% leave because they are dissatisfied; a whopping 68% of customers switch because they think the company they buy from doesn’t care about them.  So, the most significant problem isn’t that companies supply poor products and services, it’s that they are at best indifferent about customer service.  Think about it for a minute.  If approximately 62 out of 100 customers switch sources of supply and 68% of those that switch do so because they think you don’t care about them, then that means 42 (62 x 68% = 42) out of 100 customers that you acquire might purchase from someone else next time.  Can you afford to let that happen?  Once you do the math of how much profitable growth the 42 out of 100 customers represent you might want to re-consider the type of relationship you have with your customers.  Just think if you could retain even half of the 42 that might leave you.