June 25, 2007
Experts are made, not born...
An article in the latest issue of the Harvard Business Review (not online yet) reviews the latest evidence that shows that experts are not born, but made - and that it takes years to become an expert. The article also suggests that expertise cannot be captured in "knowledge management" systems...
Fascinating stuff, more on it later.
June 22, 2007
Comments down for now
Apparently I get so much comment spam at this point that it brings down the server. I am using MT on this site and have been thinking of moving to Wordpress. Is there anyone out there who might have a solution to this issue?
If so, please email me at francois at emergencemarketing dot com as I had to close down comments at this point.
June 20, 2007
How little things can go a long way to solidify customer satisfaction and loyalty
There are some companies where employees do not really care whether you have a bad buying experience - either acting completely unapologetic or worse, making you feel like it's all your fault.
Not so with Lenovo and Starbucks.
After my recent buying experience with Sony I bought a Lenovo laptop. And just like Sony they ran out of parts for my laptop just before their promised ship date. Unlike Sony, they are the ones that alerted me of the manufacturing delay. The email was very apologetic, gave me an option to cancel my order if I could not wait, and offered me a free gift for the inconvenience if I decided to stick with them. Guess what - I took the free battery and was not in the least annoyed with the delay. In fact it made me feel good about the way the company was dealing with customer problems. Because at the end of the day, you know that something will always go wrong - and it's not the fact that something goes wrong that makes you lose customers - it is the way you choose to deal with those exceptions that affects customer loyalty.
The same happened at Starbucks this morning. I was in a bit of rush and found out that they just started brewing the dark roast and that it would take 4 minutes to get my coffee. Watching coffee brew for 4 minutes is an eternity. I was a bit miffed - thinking that maybe Starbucks' employees had gotten infected with the same bug that is plaguing their neighbor . Sensing my unhappiness, all three employees at the store this morning found a way to apologize, and one gave me a coupon for a free drink the next time I visit a Starbucks. Even the coupon apologizes - telling me that they hope that my next Starbucks experience will be a good one!
Guess who I have talking about all morning?
OK - enough about customer service now, let's get back to marketing...
...but wait...isn't this marketing? :)
June 19, 2007
A solution for those pesky customers that want to excalate their call to a "supervisor"
As I was trolling various support forums to find how to best connect my Tivos with the new Verizon FIOS service I ran across a support chat transcript that made me laugh out loud.
The exchange in its entirety can be found on the TIVO support forum, but the piece that got me laughing was
David Adams: Can I be escalated from this chat?
Kevan: Basically in regards to these chats the representatives (IE me) have the full capabilities as a supervisor to get an issue resolved in any way possible. Unfortunately, for this issue we do not support.
Brilliant! Isn't it? I wonder why I did not think of that earlier!
Just give every phone operator the title of supervisor and you will never have to deal with those pesky escalation requests anymore. Plus, your call center performance metrics will likely improve as you will have less "reported" escalations and "faster" customer problem resolutions.
Back in the saddle
After travelling abroad, being flooded with work, and having my office flooded with water (which also ruined my kitchen above it), I will now attempt to get back to regular postings - so stay tuned!
June 5, 2007
Covering the Global Messaging Conference in Monaco!
This morning I got to attend a series of sessions on mobile communities and user generated content - a topic near and dear to my heart, especially as I am preparing to take on the chairmanship of the 2nd annual Community 2.0 Conference which will be held next year. It was quite disappointing to hear that the two main business models that panelist could come up with during that discussion were subscription and advertising based models. Is there really no value in harvesting the content generated from multi-million user based communities and package it up in such a way that it can be sold back to vendors? Not only would that provide higher value to vendors than standard click-through advertising, it might actually benefit the users as well.
Another surprising factoid is that at this conference press representatives do not get fed... If you are from the press corps, you pay for your own food. What a great model to save money from those freeloaders :)