Friday, 22 October 2010

Seven Steps to Managing Your Online Reputation

The subtitle to this article is
"Building B&H Photo’s reputation one angry customer at a time"
and it's well worth a read.
Henry Posner, a former professional photographer started handling online customer service for B&H 15 years ago.  To judge by the ratings, he is doing this remarkably successfully and is well known on pretty much all the camera-oriented forums, blogs, ratings sites, Facebook, Twitter etc.
His seven steps are as follows - but do click through and read the full article if you have the time.
1. If a customer complains, confirm, confess and correct:
2. If you’re not at fault, calmly make your case:
3. Go the extra mile for a trying customer, but not the extra hundred miles:
4. Customers appreciate useful info, not blab:
5. Customers only think they know what they want:
6. Keep your friends close, but your competitors closer:
7. Speak softly and carry a big rep:

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Customer is King...

.....  and Customer Experience is the way to his heart.  The latest Customer Experience Report North America sponsored by RightNow has some great stats that should be taken on board by all businesses, large and small.   Topline summary:

•    82% of consumers have stopped doing business with  a company as a result of a negative experience.
•    55% became a customer of a company because of their reputation for great customer service
•    40% began purchasing from a competitive brand simply because of their reputation for great customer service
•    85% of consumers said they would be willing to pay more over the standard price in order to ensure a superior customer experience.

Of those who decided to stop doing business with an organization,
•    73% was a reaction to rude staff
•    51% reacted to unknowledgeable staff
•    55% were because of issues that weren’t resolved in a timely manner

•    79% of consumers that had a negative experience with a company told others about it.   Because….
  o    85% wanted to warn others about the pitfalls of doing business with that company
  o    66% wanted to discourage others from buying from that company
  o    55% wanted to vent anger or disappointment
  o    24% wanted to see if the company would take action to resolve their issue

•    76% of consumers said word of mouth most influenced their purchasing decisions, followed by
  o    customer reviews and online feedback at 49%,
  o    product review web sites at 41%,
  o    magazine articles at 23%
  o    reputation on social networking sites 7%.

All is not lost if a company trips up.  In today’s transparent environment, owning up to your mistake and taking action yields positive results.

•    92% of consumers said they would be willing to go back to a company after a negative experience if they ..........
•    Received a follow up apology/correction from a supervisor/head office (63%)
•    Were offered a discount (52%)
•    Or were offered proof of enhanced customer service (49%)

•    58% of respondents would like the company to respond if they left a comment on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter.
•    But only 22% of those who actually did leave a comment on a social networking site got a response.
•    42% expect a response within a day
•    39% within a week
•    7% within an hour
•    2% within a minute

For full report see..
Presentation ppt
Site  pdf

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Latest Stats for the statisticians amongst us

58% of Americans now report that they perform online research concerning the products and services that they are considering purchasing. That is an increase from 49% vs. 2004.
The number of those who do research about products on any given day has jumped from 15% of adults in Sept 2007 to 21% in Sept 2010.
24% of American adults say they have posted comments or reviews online about the product or services they buy.
"Many Americans begin their purchasing experience by doing online research to compare prices, quality, and the reviews of other shoppers” 
“Even if they end up making their purchase in a store, they start their fact-finding and decision-making on the internet.” says Jim Jansen, Senior Fellow at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and author of a new report about online product research.
Find full report here

Monday, 11 October 2010

How Group Buying Is Changing the Retail Game & Why Reviews Matter

Everyone (including AOL last week) is jumping on the group purchasing bandwagon as Groupon, who were profitable seven months after inception, is now on track to become the fastest company to reach $1 billion in sales.
But this group buying phenomenon is also pushing businesses to improve their customer experience.  In fact, reviews and discounted buying are two very powerful strategies that result in the same implication for business.
  • Reviews drive sales, and can point to how to improve products. 
  • Discount buying sites drive sales, but require brands to become better to retain profitable customers. 
  • Both underscore that how you build your products and business matters most. 
Make your products exceptional.  
  • This will enable success on group buying sites.  And listening to customer feedback can help you get there.
Read Full Article