Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Lose a Customer - Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s Dumb Marketing Award goes to GoToWebinar

Just when I think I have to find another example of a dumb marketing move, there it is happening to me. This week we are searching for a webinar software for a new webinar series, “Smart Marketing for Small Business”™. In our search, we decided to go with GoToWebinar (GoToMeeting's sister company).

I call and give my information to the person who answered, that’s a good move, a person answering the phone. Then she told me that she is going to transfer me to a sales person who can answer my questions about features. She transfers me and I get voicemail. Odd, but I thought, maybe this isn’t too bad. They called me back within 30 minutes.

I have a good talk with the rep, he answers all of my questions and he says that he’ll email his contact info and the set up instructions. Perfect! An hour later, there’s no email so I call back and the phone just rings and rings. Eventually, I get a recording to leave a message, so I did.

I waited another hour and half and still no email or no call back from our first call. So I called back and someone answered! I explained the situation, told them the reps name so he would get the sale, and I was put on hold for 15 minutes. The receptionist didn’t tell me why I was on hold for so long, or that the rep was on the other line with a customer. Nothing. So I just hung up.

So, we call back again since we were still waiting on the sign up email or a phone call back, and this time we left a very disappointed voicemail regarding their service, since no one answered again. We explained that their lack of attention to our phone calls and our interest in PURCHASING made us question their product.

All of this happened over two days ago, we never received a phone call or the promised email, so we don’t think this is just human error. We think it is lack of organization and management. This all boils down to that they lost a sale.

So now, we’re searching for another company.

Lesson Learned: Even though you have good rapport with a customer and they said they want to buy your product, follow through and attention to details is a very important quality. Just look at GoToWebinar. They lost a customer and now we’re telling others about it. “Take care of your customers or your competition will.” - Anonymous

Monday, October 25, 2010

Is your business being impacted by the left hand right hand syndrome?

Translation: Failure of those within your organization to communicate with each other. 
 Failure to understand that when communication is clear, thorough and consistent everyone benefits, when it isn't everyone loses and the company's reputation is impugned.

Create an environment in your area of operation as an example to others, when everyone works as a team the results can be outstanding, and when they don't, disastrous would be a better description of the end result. Nowhere is this more important than when you are interacting with the public and the trade. This is not brain surgery, just do it!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Are these better times?

The "Good old days" is a phrase one hears often uttered by an older person (40+), but were they really? In many ways they were. In this high tech world of computers, Internet, social media, etc there has developed some interesting syndromes.

Executives (mature ones) at management levels in business and organizations of all kinds, sizes and locations (including International) complain about a generation with few interpersonal skills, weak written and verbal communication skills, minimal literacy of the world in general and the frightening thing many hold college degrees. When I was growing up (a century or two ago) education was important to every family I knew and I grew up in a very multicultural environment.

Today the USA is probably the most illiterate of the industrialized nations, do you think marketers take those tens of millions with little skills to read or comprehend into their planning or do they just ignore them although they are a major segment of consumers? Interesting how some think these are "better" times.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't forget WHY your customers buy from you

What is the major reason a customer makes a purchase that most advertising misses?

Ask that questions of any sales, advertising, PR, Promotion and marketing person you know. You'll hear price, convenience, timing, need and more, but the answer is almost always perceived or real benefit to be received. Will it make us healthier, sexier, stronger, faster, look better and so on?

The failure in most marketing communication is a focus on features not the benefit. This should be as obvious as the nose on your face. It is commonsense. It is too rarely used.

Don't forget the benefits!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bend Over Backwards to Serve Your Customer

I have experienced bad customer service countless times, from companies that I no longer shop at or deal with, because I highly value my time, and don't want to risk wasting it at these locations any longer. BestBuy,, Sears, Circuit City, CompUSA, Jewel/Osco, Dominicks, Target Direct, Mac Warehouse, PC Warehouse, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, NorthWorst Airlines, and others come to mind.

It's hardly any surprise then that many of these businesses are struggling, or have gone out of business.

If they would stop quibbling over minutiae, and bend over backwards to serve the people who want to give them money - then they'd be profitable for the long term. But unfortunately, many only focus on the short-term and it's done at their peril.

By way of example: I've been shopping at a grocery store ever since moving into the town I live in (30+ years) - great food, great selection, good prices, and most importantly - their motto is "We Bend Over Backwards To Serve YOU!" ... and they do!

When I was in high school, I got to know customers that had been shopping there for 40+ years. Now, 20 years later, I see many of those same customers. How do you engender 60 years of loyalty? Simple - stop quibbling, get customers what they want when they want it, if something goes wrong - take it back, apologize and ask what you can do to fix it, open counters when even ONE person is standing in line (until you have all your counters open, you're wasting my time if I'm standing in line), unload the carts, bag the groceries, load the cars, take it to the customer's car, deliver it. Whatever it takes - just handle it.

Companies that fail to give great customer service do so at their own peril. Those who DO give great customer service, advertise that fact, and practice what they claim get my business.

David Data, Inc.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cashier's Customer Service is Important - Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s dumb marketing move goes to Wawa!

For those of you who don’t know what or who Wawa is, it is a convenience store located in PA and NJ. They do a lot of the right advertising and promotions to get the constant flow of people. They have definitely made a name for themselves in these neck of the woods. They also have a lot of die hard fans but there is one thing that has stuck out to me when I’m in line at Wawa.

Their customer service is lacking.

Convenience stores are just that, convenient and they get you in and out quickly with your goods in the bag. But is that the only thing we want?

Here is the scenario I’ve seen multiple times:

The cashier rings someone up, hands them their change and before that customer has their money back in a wallet or before they grab their purchase off of the counter the cashier is ringing up the next person. This not only makes it awkward for the two customers, it is just plain ol' bad customer service to do that. This customer is more than likely a repeat customer too.

This just disgusts me when I’m the next person in line. It makes ME feel like I’m being rude and pushy. I’ve said to a cashier before, “I can wait” and they look at me like I have two heads. Unfortunately, our society has made us think that we just want fast service, not good service. Well friends, society is dead wrong and it hasn’t been the first time. As customers, we will pay for good service because it’s rare to find.

Lesson Learned: As a CEO or manager, shop your store like your customers would. Pay attention to the little things in customer service. They add up quickly. If you see a problem over and over again that means that something must be done. It might be training; it might come down to saying something to just one employee. But you must must must pay attention to your customer service. Your bottom line will thank you.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Case of the Inexperienced Employee- Dumb Marketing Move

I was in a Borders bookstore yesterday looking for a children's series which I specifically needed books #30 and above. However, they were missing numbers 30,31, and 32. I called my daughter-in-law and found the books needed to be read in order...


I asked a store staff (Asst. Manager) to tell me if there was any inventory on #30. She told me if "I" didn't have the name..."she" couldn't look it up. I told her that she should try searching under the author. Of course ALL the numbers books came up.. I was holding six books in my hand numbers 33-38 at $ 7.99 each...


She told me they were out of stock on the three books I couldn't find and I asked her if she could order them for me.

I have seen signs in the store saying they would order books not in inventory.


Promptly after asking her if she could order them she told me she was very busy and that I could go to the corporate website and order them myself (at home).


I laughed and actually asked if she realized that she had just asked me to leave the store. She didn't understand, so I handed her all the books I had in my hand..... and left. I'm sure she'll be telling someone about that idiot who was being unreasonable, but I'm sure it was the first thing I did right in the whole interaction.

CEO Lesson Learned : Don't hire cheap inexperienced help by giving them inappropriate titles. Yes, payroll drops, and yes, they are stupid enough to work without benefits that a real employee would want/need. Truth be known. Your sales goes down in direct relationship to the quality of the sales and sales service staff.......

Garbage in--- Garbage out!

Pete Ticali, Director
MLA Training Center

**Editors Note**

Customer service is a big part of marketing because employees are building relationships with customers, as opposed to a customer viewing advertisement on television or a large billboard. A company can potentially lose a customer due to the fact that one individual will more than likely tell ten or more people about their bad experience. Management neglecting to properly train and analysis employee interaction with customers can be a costly decision.