Search Results

Work with us

August roundup: What does it take to get technology to market?

August

By Hailley Griffis

Last month’s lineup featured dueling posts from Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette about Ottawa’s future innovation complex and how the thing just needs to get done. And as always, we had excellent content from our associates and contributors on effective and engaging presentations, getting an app to market, entrepreneurship, and marketing and customer service lessons that are universal.

In case you missed any of it, here is a handy recap of our posts, as ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:

August 14: Ottawa’s new innovation complex needs lots of parking. And maybe a few other things, too, by Francis Moran

August 08: Ottawa’s proposed innovation complex suffers Ottawa’s familiar inferiority complex, by Francis Moran

Read More

Posted in:

Empowerment is the core of superior customer service

imagesBy 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

Posted in:

Marketing lessons learned from a weekend camping trip

sale-300x300By Leo Valiquette

In this socially enabled age, it could be argued that “try before you buy” has become as anachronistic as a laptop case with pockets for floppy disks.

As a consumer, why bother to waste the time when you can simply turn to product review sites and customer review ratings?

Because opinion is seldom objective, that’s why.

Many negative reviews say more about the reviewer than they do about the quality or performance of the product. It’s impossible to appreciate and factor in all the variables that could be influencing another buyer’s reaction. They may have had unrealistic expectations, their needs may not have not have been an appropriate match, or they could have been looking for features and functionality that were not present and are not relevant to you.

Read More

Posted in:

A tale of ProFantastic customer service

Outstanding-Customer-ServiceBy 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.

Read More

Posted in:

Ottawa’s new innovation complex needs lots of parking. And maybe a few other things, too

Ian Scott presents Ottawa's plans for new innovation complex at Bayview YardsBy Francis Moran

Once they got past an inexplicable preoccupation with parking, participants at a focus group session last night had some good input for Ottawa’s economic development folks who are planning an ambitious innovation complex just west of the city’s downtown core. Ian Scott, an economic development officer in the city manager’s office, gave a presentation on the proposed new complex, slated as part of a complete community development plan for the near-derelict Bayview Yards, and then solicited feedback from the 50 or so people who turned out.

Suggestions ranged from the bizarre — one participant, harking back to days when out-of-town customers had nowhere nearby to stay when they visited Ottawa tech companies in Kanata, insisted a hotel had to be part of the development — to the obvious — restaurants and coffee shops. But folks also called for an inclusive facility where startups could launch and grow, where support services would be available, where a critical mass would build such that people, both tenants and others, would want to hang out, and where — and this was my chief contribution — serendipitous collisions could happen between those entrepreneurs and all elements of the startup ecosystem.

A lot of the discussion, though, focused on the negative in a way, I have to say — In fact, I did say — that is so bloody typical of this city.

Read More

Posted in:

Page 4 of 52« First...345...10...Last »

Join us

Events We're Attending:

  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description