Archive for the ‘marketing strategy’ Category

A good idea poorly executed is a bad idea.

August 14th, 2008 1 comment

Sorry for not writing earlier but I’ve been very busy.
Well… lets start again…

All of you must agree with me that the most important part of the business is the customer since without them there is no business at all. Also it is overwhelmingly true that the easiest sell is to you current customer. Based on these two statements, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) has its reason to exists, helping companies to keep their customers happy thus buying more from them. Ways to implement CRMs are for example call centers, rewards programs, etc.
The question is, what if your CRM system is alienating your customer? Let take a closer look based on personal experience:
The great idea: Offer online (real –time) chat support to customers while they are in your webpage, so they don’t have to call, send an email or go the company’s office. Great!
Well folks, let me tell you that the road to hell is built with good intentions, here is an example. I have Amica as insurance company for my car and I recently moved to a different city so I have to change my plates and my type of insurance, so I went to the web page and while I was reviewing my policy a banner caught my attention, it said: “Get help from an online agent. Live chat”, and I thought to myself: sweeeeet!
After rigorous process of confirming your personal information, I painted the picture to the Valeria, girl on the other side of the screen and I asked her to change my plates on the system for the new ones and she replied: “ I can’t do that over chat, you will have to call.” Then I asked for a quote, and he said: I can’t give you a quote over chat.” What???  Then I asked for information regarding cancellation and guess what was the answer… yes… she can’t cancel my insurance over chat.
So I closed the chat window really disappointed. Just imagine, I contacted Amica to give them more business, that is, more money for them… I went to knock on their door to give them cash and they said… NOT NOW, call me later. And this is an insurance company, could you imagine what would happen the day I’m making a claim for some damages? If it’s hard for them to take my cash I can’t imagine how difficult would be to take some from them.
This is not an isolated event, I had a similar problem with Verizon and an airline (don’t remember which one).  Verizon’s guy was funnier, after several I-can’t-help-you answers, he had the silly idea of asking me: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”… I typed: “I can’t reply that over chat, sorry”
This post could not be complete without making some suggestions to Amica, Verizon and to the people who offer these services (because my best guess is that this is an outsourced service):
–    If you can’t help me, call me or ask me how else can you help me, not just push me away.
–    Remember that the agent in contact with your customer is the face, voice or text of the company at that moment, don’t screw that up.
–    If you are there to answer questions about the services, put the live chat offering only on the pages where makes sense, not where you know you can’t help me.
I’ll stop here, if you want to know more about how to fix these little nuances that will give your clients a headache, hire me.
In the meantime I will say bye to Amica and Verizon as soon as possible.
Have a great weekend!

Wants vs Needs and Features vs Benefits

Let’s assume you have a great product or service and you would like to sell it. That is pretty much any entrepreneur challenge, to sell. Since you created the product you will think that is so amazing that as soon it hit the market, people will fight each other to get it as if they where future-brides on a wedding gown sale.

Alas, the truth is that situation seldom happens (unless you are selling wedding dresses to future brides at half-price or less), and usually is really depressing or shocking for the entrepreneur to notice that no one understands how marvelous product or service offered is and how is going to make their lives simpler, more comfortable or more entertaining!

If you are having that problem even after your marketing campaign has started, then you may need to re-evaluate what are you broadcasting to your customer and what kind of product or service are you offering. Among many possible issues, I will mention two common problems when creating comprehensible marketing campaign:

  • First, you need to know if you are selling something that is “a must have” or “a nice to have.” Your marketing communication have to make emphasis on whatever the nature of your offering is, so you can tell the consumer either how does it solve their pains, or how does it make their lives even better.
  • The second one is whether you are broadcasting the features or the benefits. Usually is better to broadcast the benefits of what you are selling, for example: let’s say you sell a top notch computer mouse, and you know that it is ergonomically designed and has 3000dpis of resolution. Those are features and that may not be understandable for all your potential customers, but if you translate those features to benefits such as “your hand will never get tired after playing computer games all night” or “the accuracy of the mouse will let you click on what you want without struggling” then you are telling something easy to understand to the consumer. After this step you will need to figure out which benefit is the most important for your potential customer.

Defining these two concepts will help you to determine what you need to tell to your customer in your marketing copy so they can understand and see the value on what you are offering.

By the way, I know this blog is not (yet) a “must read”, I’m just warming up. I hope it is at least “nice to read”