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Category: Building Customer Loyalty

Leslie Pagel

A list of social media resources


I was recently asked for help in getting up-to-speed on social media. While I’m not an expert, I have spent some time researching the topic. So, I agreed to pull together a list of resources.

Here is what I came up with. While this list might be exhausting, it is by no means exhaustive.

If you are serious about learning more about social media, the best way is to start using the tools. But, before you get started, you should check your corporate policies and become knowledgeable of safe internet practices.

When you’re ready, I recommend checking out all of the following (listed in no particular order). I’d encourage you to go beyond signing up and start using these tools to engage in discussions, whether they are personal or professional.

– Blogs (via RSS feeds)
LinkedIn
Twitter
YouTube
Facebook
Delicious

There are several different research studies on the topic. The two that I’ve used the most are:

Universal McCann – Power to the People is in its fourth year of measuring online trends globally.
Forrester Social Technographics – another global research project that looks at online participation

A few of the many influential social media individuals (these would be good people to follow on Twitter or subscribe to their blogs):

Chris Brogan – Focuses on helping companies leverage social media to build relationships and deliver value.
Seth Godin – He is strictly marketing, but marketing is one of the early adopters of social media.
David Armano – Expert in the field and writes for Harvard Business and Business Week on occasion.
Scott Monty – Head of social media for Ford.

Some books (Amazon links included):

Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation,…
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
Grown up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World

Your turn – What did I miss?

Note: This post was originally posted in Customer Connection on 11/5/2009.

How Do You Balance Your Choosers and Your Users?

So much of strategic account management is time management – making the right decisions about where to spend your time in order to realize the best results. One of the key questions is how much time to spend with people who are the users of your products and services versus people who are the choosers.

Obviously, we’re all trying to ‘work up’ in our accounts and we’re working on building customer loyalty with more senior people – these senior people may be either users or choosers or both. And, some users are more influential on the choosers in your account than others.

How do you maximize your time and influence with these stakeholders? A few basic tips that may prove helpful:

  • List all of the users and choosers with whom you interact in a given account. Give each a 1, 3, or 5 rating (5 being high) in terms of their importance/influence.
  • Take the amount of time you can spend with a particular account in a given week or month and divide it into 3 equal amounts.
  • Spend one-third with choosers rated a 5. Spend one-third with choosers rated a 3. Spend one-third with users rated a 5. And, DON’T spend time with any of the others.

This will be harder than it sounds – it will help if you literally track how you spend your time. As in so many things, time = money. Make your time pay off!
 

Sonya McAllister
Senior Vice President

Leslie Pagel

Five tips for creating a great customer contact list

This year, through Walker’s annual Usage Assessment, we explored the contact management process for customer feedback programs and asked the question, "Within your organization, what is the best source for pulling contact names and e-mail addresses?" The results suggest we have our work cut out for us.

Among the 41% that mention their CRM system is the best source, over half of these individuals indicate it is only a starting point because the information is not reliable and is not kept up-to-date.

The remaining 59% suggest that there is no central location because customer contact details are maintained through different applications like Outlook, Excel, and a handful mentioned LinkedIn or other social networks.

Based on this feedback, which is largely from sales and account management professionals, we should be cautious when pulling contact details from a database and expecting it to represent the best contacts for the customer feedback initiative.

Below are five tips for building a great account-level contact list.

  • Even with the best kept CRM systems it is vital to get the account team engaged in the process. Without their involvement the results might not be considered valid or valuable. If you anticipate resistance from the account teams, implement a form of motivation such as including an incentive based on their participation in the contact management process, make a competition out of submitting names, or perhaps withhold results from unwilling participants.
  • Let the customer participate too. Having someone from the customer organization add, modify, and delete contacts helps secure their buy-in. Getting the customer involved is particularly important if you plan to share a summary of the results and collaborate with the customer on any improvement initiatives.
  • Identify a good starting point. One-quarter of those responding to the Usage Assessment indicate a CRM system is a good starting point. Another great starting point is the contact list from the previous wave.
  • Make the process as easy as possible. Some companies use a simple Web form to collect customer information from account managers. Others allow account managers to upload Excel spreadsheets into a database.
  • Provide clear and simple instructions. Create a quick start guide like the ones you get when you purchase household appliances and link to the "manual" for more specific information. Include a grid to shows the types of people that should be included on the list. Include example titles, departments, levels, etc. to help avoid confusion or misinterpretation.

There is no doubt that the contact management process is one of the most important steps in the process and can be one of the most challenging. What tips have worked for you?

Note: This post was originally published in Customer Connection on 6/30/2009.

Great Service – Check Here!

I love when I get great service, don’t you?  

 

All of us have many opportunities to experience service in our daily activities as business professionals and consumers.
 

As a follow-up to that service experience,
many times I’m asked to complete a short

survey to provide feedback. 
I’m happy to oblige.  

Here are some examples, which I’m
sure you might be familiar with:

 

 

Booking a flight on a Web site. A short survey pops up to get my thoughts  
on functionality and design of their Web site, ease of navigation, speed of pagination, organization, etc.

 

– Taking my car in for service. An evaluation card is left on the front passenger seat for me to assess the overall service received, the convenience and time taken to book the service, the cleanliness of my car when I pick it up, etc.

 

Dining at a restaurant. A code to a survey is included on my receipt for me to complete an on-line survey about my dining experience, i.e. wait time for a table, my waiter, wait time until the food arrives, quality of my meal, etc.

 

These are but a few of the examples where companies seek the voice of the customer to make our experiences more pleasurable. I’m sure you been asked for your feedback in these or similar situations. 

 

I must admit, I have become used to receiving great experiences when I shop, dine, or do business.  It brightens my day.  Moreover, I want to continue to receive great experiences.  Providing feedback takes but a small amount of effort to help companies create more value as they listen to us, their customer! 
 

I commend these businesses for taking the time to obtain the voice of the customer, monitor the service they are providing, and make adjustments as needed – all with the desire to provide us a better service experience. They’ve not only earned my business, but they are building a repeat and loyal customer! 

How about you? Have you seen a connection in providing feedback and an improvement in one of your service experiences?  

Jane Gehlhausen
Vice President

Using PowerPoint to communicate your message

I’m sure everyone has seen many bad presentations in their career, but the key is having the ability to recognize that they are bad presentations.

How you communicate your customer listening information is crucial in getting people to not only understand what you are delivering to them, but for them to buy into it as well. If they don’t understand your concept, they will not support it, and all of your hard work will be lost.

Spend a little extra time on developing the presentation, and consult a designer if you need to. Taking this extra step will help you in getting your company to understand why it should be building customer loyalty.

I encourage you to read Dan McCormick’s blog post "Are you killing your presentations?," which gives some guidance on avoiding some of the pitfalls of bad presentation design.

And for a little entertainment, view comedian Don McMillan‘s routine about bad PowerPoint practices entitled "Life after Death by PowerPoint."

Jeff Wiggington
Marketing Communications