How to create a Road Map for Great Customer Support

headshot 3.jpgAnother fine guest post by Stefanie Amini, Marketing Director, WalkMe

An open and honest orientation towards customer problems is the key that opens the door to marketing success. In business, there are only two ways to create and sustain a superior performance on the long run: an exceptional customer care and constant innovation. A company that adopts the marketing concept philosophy sees the client as the principal driving force behind his work, believing that business can only survive if it can satisfy his needs.

In a competitive market economy, buyers can choose what, when and where to buy, or whether to buy a product or not. Thus, to succeed in attracting consumers, the logical starting point for the company is to identify what customers want and then try to meet these requirements in a more effective way than your competitors. In the long term, a company must satisfy customers and make money from it. 

As the company offers better synchronization with the demands, preferences and desires of its consumers, they will be willing to pay more, and thus generate profits for the business. As a result, marketing as a business philosophy can be defined as the ability to create and retain profitable customers.

Creating clients for a company involves monitoring business to react to shifts in potential consumers’ needs, so that they become loyal customers.

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Customer retention refers to the ability of the company to minimize or avoid threats to its customer caused by changes in their needs or because of changes that occur among competitors.

Customer orientation is found in cases where companies are concerned to know what their customers’ needs are. In many cases, companies are concerned about production and related technological processes, failing to perceive that customer needs have changed and that their products do not meet those needs. In these situations, it is created an opportunity for its competitors to enter the market and provide products and services that better meet those needs. Thus, the companies in question will face increasing difficulties in selling their products. 

Without a results-oriented marketing strategy, one which involves a strong customer support, a company would gain new customers and perhaps lose the ones that they have previously gained after a very short time. According to one old style marketer’s quotes, if you manage to win a customer when he is young, you’ve won his life. Here’s a comforting thought, but not an entirely true one. Preferences are perishable, especially in our days. If you fail to come up with new ways to recreate or restore people’s preference for a product, customers will disappear and you will soon disappear too.

Indeed, you need to win the customer’s trust while they are still young, but you also have to come up with new reasons for people to buy your product. Customer support plays a very important role in this, as clients need to be assured that someone will come to their help in case something goes wrong. Thus, the customer care department might even more important than advertising when it comes to a company’s long-term survival strategy. Companies like WalkMe try to combat this area. With the help of self service and online guidance, customers can be in control, while feeling like they had a great service. Self-tasking gives customers empowerment. If there are small issues, the self-service tool can help, and for bigger issues they can happily contact support. Waiting times will be shorter due to less customers calling for small issues that still cost the call center money.

Coca-Cola understood this message very clearly when it began losing customers in the early 70’s. It was assumed that since Coca-Cola was loved by the public, would be automatically consumed. But guess what happened? Coca-Cola was loved, but not consumed. The same thing is happening to many other companies which consider themselves a landmark in the sales department. 

The way in which customer support should be regarded can be learned from companies like Zappos, the shoe company which puts customer service above everything. They offer free shipping to their customers on all items, over 1000 brands to choose from, an unmatched 365-day return policy, and a friendly customer service that’s available 24/7. Customers are always happy to purchase from Zappos, and as they recommend their services to more and more of their friends, the company is the one which rejoices from an ever-increasing loyal customer database. We should all learn from this and treat our customers like they are the only ones in the world, since otherwise competition is the once which takes advantage of our mistakes.

What can we learn from this? is that you need to secure long term service for the customer. Make sure they are happy not just today, but tomorrow and the next day too. Offering a service that is solid will create loyalty and then customer service becomes easy.

Image representing WalkMe as depicted in Crunc...

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Stefanie Amini is the Marketing Director and Specialist in Customer Success at WalkMe, the world’s first interactive online guidance system. She is chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts.Follow her @StefWalkMe WalkMe™ is Named “Cool Vendor” by Gartner and is Winner of Red Herring Top 100 Tech Startup Award.

Check out WalkMe in the Press

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Seth’s Blog: Who’s responsible for service design?

paper princess chic

So true. But being a human I blame the messenger. As a manager I should know better…

Seth’s Blog: Who’s responsible for service design?.

Who’s responsible for service design?

How many people should be answering the phone at Zappos on a Saturday? What’s Southwest Airlines policy regarding hotel stays and cancelled flights? Should the knobs on the shower at the hotel go side by side or one above the other?

To be continued at Seth’s Blog: Who’s responsible for service desig

Photocredit: http://www.416cyclestyle.com/

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At Zappos, Culture Pays

HENDERSON, NV - JULY 22:  A sign is seen on th...
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Found at At Zappos, Culture Pays.

Clue that something a little weird is happening at Zappos can be found near the bottom of the home page of the company’s website, where you’ll find lists with headings such as “Shop with Us” and “Customer Service,” beneath pictures of Anne Klein, Rockport, and Nike footwear; New Balance shirts; and Tommy Bahama shorts. Buried in one list is a link advising, “Don’t ever click here.” I did, of course, and the link opened a YouTube video of the Muppet rock band performing, as lead singer Beaker lip-syncs, “Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down.” It is a not-so-subtle message to Zappos’ customers and perhaps to its employees as well.

Another link opened a company-produced video in which employees talk about their favorite Zappos values — there are 10 values in total — with the same conviction and enthusiasm that the Muppet band brings to its musical antics. A clear winner: “Create fun and a little weirdness.”

To be continued at http://www.strategy-business.com/article/10311?gko=c784e&cid=enews20100914

Photocredit: christian.senger

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Listen to the Zappos Interview: CEO Tony Hsieh On His New Book ‘Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose’ with Blake Landau

Tony Hsieh delivering happiness
Image by ManoelNetto via Flickr

I listened to this podcast (from Blake Landau) as part of getting acquainted with the book “Delivering Happiness”. Hope u like this trilogy

Found at The Zappos Interview: CEO Tony Hsieh On His New Book ‘Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose’ with Blake Landau.

In this podcast with Blake Landau, Hsieh explains why “we live in a time where the good guys can win” and how the happiness equation figures into running a profitable businessZappos is living proof that happiness, no matter what the product is, can turn a profit

While 50 years ago companies had to choose between maximizing profits and making their employees happy, this is no longer reality.

Hsieh has captured the attention of the business world with his unorthodox management style and ability to generate big profits. Zappos brings in more than one billion dollars annually without traditional performance metrics. Instead the company focuses on employee and customer delight. Zappos is famous for being a customer service company that happens to sell shoes (and now many other products). 

Surely Disney can’t be the “the happiest place on earth”—anyone who has visited the Zappos call center knows Zappos must truly be “happiest place on earth.” Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness spills the secret ingredients for the Zappos kool-aid and how you too can change your company culture, your career path and your life with some of the Zappos core values. 

Did you know that most people cannot predict what will actually make them happy? Well Hsieh has a pretty good idea and has translated this into practice with Zappos. When Hsieh talks about the “science of happiness” he’s interested in the fact that no one bothered to find out how to make “normal people” happier. Find out how Hsieh has created the new “happiest place on earth” and other powerful management methods that make customers, employees and investors happier. Tune into our podcast recorded at the CM Summit in New York City.

Listen at http://www.customermanagementiq.com/podcenter.cfm?externalID=537&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+CMIQ+(Customer+Management+IQ)

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