By Francis Moran
We have a bit of a preoccupation with customer service here at Francis Moran and Associates, and we write about it a lot. It stems from my conviction that superior customer service is the only truly sustainable competitive advantage available to most companies. If you have a technology advantage, the next wave of innovation will leapfrog over you. If you have a price advantage, someone will eventually figure out how to do it more cheaply. But if you treat your customers like the kings and queens they are, you will prevail over the long term, and even more so if you are in a commodity industry. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I call it “Francis’s first law of competitive differentiation.”
Usually, we are bewailing the sorry state of customer service almost everywhere. It’s as though most companies have yet to figure out that the cost of retaining an existing customer is a fraction of the cost of acquiring a new one. Every so often, someone does such a truly horrible job that I am obliged to award them my Air Canada-Harold McGowan Memorial Award for Truly Egregious Customer Service in honour of Air Canada’s baggage-handling chief at San Francisco Airport who said to me, when I started telling him why my bag had failed to arrive with me on a flight from Calgary, “Keep talking sir, it’s going in one ear and out the other.”
But nobody’s getting that award today. Indeed, just the opposite. Read More
By Leo Valiquette
Your quality as a vendor is often demonstrated best by how you deal with prospects who have decided your product or service is not for them.
As Francis wrote in his last post on customer service, we have a particular preoccupation with this subject because of its timeless relevance to any technology company:
“Customer service is based on what I have come to call my first law of competitive differentiation, the proposition that, in an age when almost any technological or cost advantage will rapidly and inevitably be eroded, the only sustainable competitive differentiation for most companies is to treat their customers like the centre of the universe, which they are.”
My most recent experience should be of particular relevance to software vendors, especially software vendors that are targeting niche markets and are trying to keep a lot of balls in the air with a small team.
By Hailley Griffis
Happy Friday everyone. This week, as usual, we have our favourite articles of the week lined up for you. Since we’ve been talking about startups and entrepreneurship in Ottawa in a few posts on the blog this week (look to Leo and Francis’ duelling posts), our first article talks about why startups should opt for digital marketing. Next we take a look at the latest change to Facebook and what that means for B2B marketers. Finally, the last two articles we’ve rounded up talk about how to combine your customer service and marketing efforts by making your marketing useful and avoiding silly mistakes on social media. We pulled this week’s content from Nashville Business Journal, Convince and Convert, Social Media B2B and Memeburn. Let us know what you think!
4 reasons startups should invest in digital marketing
Samantha Owns Pyle, Owner of Green Apple Strategy, looks into some excellent reasons why entrepreneurs should consider beginning their marketing efforts with digital marketing, as opposed to jumping into traditional mass marketing. Cost effectiveness is a big one for startups, as is setting up early-stage personal branding.
By Hailley Griffis
This Friday we have two distinct trends in our favourite articles of the past week.
The first is the importance of looking to the future of marketing. Articles by Marketo Blog and featured on LinkedIn discuss the changing landscape of marketing, the new roles that will be required in the future and suggestions for accomplishing your goals while you can.
The second trend is that of customer service, something this blog always makes a point to highlight. Articles by CopyBlogger and FastCompany look into why you may be losing your prospects’ trust and how to avoid it. Also, should you actually listen to your customer? What if they don’t really know what they want?
By Hailley Griffis
As per our usual Friday schedule, we have rounded up some of the best articles we’ve come across in the past week to share with our readers. Front and centre this time around are Social Media Today, SocialMediaB2B, Marketing Sherpa Blog and Econsultancy.
How much content do you need? Here’s a formula
Jay Baer looks into a formula for content marketing. Is there a certain amount of content required? According to Jay, if you want to make your content useful, there absolutely is. You need to look at personas, budget stages and the number of questions you need to answer, before moving to the next stage. The formula involves all of these numbers and helps you figure out how many of your customer’s questions your content should be answering.
Daily social media usage includes B2B customers and prospects
Though some companies seem to think their customers aren’t on social media, Jeffrey Cohen writes about recent statistics that reveal that 40 per cent of the world uses a social media site every day. The study goes into which social networks are used and when specifically their traffic peaks throughout the day, with information such as “2.1 billion search queries are conducted on Twitter every day. That’s almost half as many as performed on Google.” The importance in these numbers for marketing lies in understanding where your customers are on social networks. With that information, you can create the presence, and the content, to find them.