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The E-commerce Mistakes that Drive Customers Away

July 15, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“89% of shoppers have stopped buying from online stores after they experienced poor customer service,” – John C. Maxwell The concepts and practices of electronic commerce, or e-commerce, exploded in the business world with the mass advent of electronic communications … Continued

“89% of shoppers have stopped buying from online stores after they experienced poor customer service,” – John C. Maxwell

The concepts and practices of electronic commerce, or e-commerce, exploded in the business world with the mass advent of electronic communications technologies such as the global Internet. Over the years, e-commerce has emerged as a powerful challenge to traditional norms of conducting business and has established itself as a force to reckon with. However, certain e-commerce mistakes have emerged that threaten the very culture and essence of such commercial enterprises. These mistakes bear the potential of robbing e-commerce businesses of their clientele, their business potential, their long term prospects, and the distinct identity such businesses have managed to carve for themselves in competitive markets. E-commerce mistakes can create potentially life-threatening situations for business enterprises because they create fertile grounds to fuel customer dissatisfaction and a negative image in the market. In light of the above, we may note that e-commerce business operators must stay vigilant against the silent proliferation of such errors in the interests of conducting a healthy business over the long term.

E-commerce businesses hinge on websites and mobile apps as the primary interface between the commercial enterprise and the paying customer. One of the significant e-commerce mistakes operates in the domain of electronic security, both in websites and mobile apps. Less than perfect security standards, protocols, and practices can sound the death knell of any e-commerce business because customers value their dollars and the mistake referred to can put those very dollars at monumental risk. Security concerns pertaining to e-commerce websites and apps can range from flawed data security paradigms that can expose the business and its customers to online malfeasance, data theft, and the electronic hijacking of customer information. We note that online business operators must demand top class security and online certifications from their business partners, such as third party web hosting organizations. For instance, an e-commerce operator should devote maximum resources to ensure the security of customers’ financial data because this information is critical to every transaction between the business and its customers. Any leakage of such information can lead to disastrous consequences for the business in the form of a massive loss of customer confidence, a blighted brand identity, irate market regulators, and potentially hazardous legal action leading to massive monetary penalties.

Irregular website or app navigation represents another aspect of common e-commerce mistakes. Website navigation is crucial to the fortunes of the electronic enterprise because it is linked directly to the end-user experience. We must bear in mind that online visitors prefer to run the gamut of offered products on a website or mobile app before they arrive at a purchase decision. Therefore, the browsing and navigation experience must be perfect in order to facilitate the customer’s appetite for visual and textual information. Broken (or compromised) back-end links on a shopping website or app can frustrate the customer no end and may lead to an aborted shopping expedition. Online businesses must acknowledge that such experiences tend to snowball because disappointed customers may vent their frustration on social media and this can amplify the negative outcomes for the business operator. In addition, the creation of customers who are dissatisfied robs the online business of the potential to create an incremental pool of committed, repeat business subscribers.

A critical aspect of e-commerce mistakes manifests in the form of sub-standard product images and photographs. Businesses must bear in mind that the Internet is essentially a visual medium that thrives on slick and detailed images. E-commerce websites are no exception, and therefore business operators must feature only top rate images in their products section. The visual appeal that emanates from a high-density product image is critical in the formation of a customer’s opinion and potential purchase decisions. The colour, visual texture, and multiple angles of product images must be flawless for each item of merchandise in the interests of gaining traction among online visitors. This is reinforced by the fact that e-commerce customers lack the ability to test the physical product as they would in a brick-and-mortar showroom. This limitation makes it incumbent upon every online business operator to field first class product images in their websites and mobile apps. In fact, such businesses would be advised to constantly endeavour to boost the quality of their product images through endless iterations in the interests of building and sustaining customer interest.

The building of customer trust and bonding remains an important fact for e-commerce business operators. Business management groups should avoid the pitfall of running a robotic business enterprise because this counts as a cardinal sin and a supreme member of e-commerce mistakes. The modern online business operator should leverage the use of email, text messages, banner advertisements, offline signage, online newsletters, and discussion forums to ignite customer interest in said business. The publicity and awareness generated by such devices is literally priceless and can propel business fortunes to unprecedented heights. Therefore, every online business should expend its energies to go the extra mile in the interest of forging enduring business relationships with its customer base. We may note that such efforts can generate tangible pay offs in the form of enhanced customer awareness and an expanded mind share among the growing legions of online customers.

The goal of an e-commerce business is to generate the maximum sales from its online clientele and therefore, consumers should be afforded a smooth and unproblematic check-out process at every instance. This mechanism is important because it encourages repeat sales and can help online businesses to gain extra customer dollars. A lack of fluency in check-out represents one of the primary e-commerce mistakes. The design of the online shopping cart should be perfect and the back-end architecture should be refined in order to facilitate an intuitive check-out and payment experience. Intelligent thought and competent design architecture should be employed by every online business in order to facilitate the transactional stage with every individual customer. We may state that the check-out experience is vital for every consumer because any glitches in said process can mar the overall customer experience and negate a valuable transaction. Further, the check-out and transactional stage is invariably tied to data safety and security; therefore, a business must strengthen these processes with the best available technologies.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have surveyed some common e-commerce mistakes and the remedies needed to counteract the baneful effects thereof. Businesses would do well to bear in mind that e-commerce mistakes must be diagnosed and tackled head on during the initial days of business operations. Any oversight in such matters can seriously effect business outcomes and may create additional downstream problems. The primary means to tackle these errors lies in creating failsafe back-end architecture and in on-going reviews of business processes and their outcomes. The lack of detection of lurking errors can lead to expensive and time consuming infrastructure re-engineering. In this respect, we should point out that the online business domain has witnessed multiple instances wherein serious questions were posed to business management regarding the efficacy of online business models. Every aspiring e-commerce entrepreneur should work to examine and tackle e-commerce mistakes before these acquire a life of their own and doom budding business enterprises.


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Ensuring a Positive Effect on Customers through a Promotional Banner

July 14, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“The promotional banner has become one of the most preferred methods for advertising both indoors and out due to the wide range of layouts, custom options and sizes offered,” – Nicholson Baker The commercial world needs to advertise its products … Continued

“The promotional banner has become one of the most preferred methods for advertising both indoors and out due to the wide range of layouts, custom options and sizes offered,” – Nicholson Baker

The commercial world needs to advertise its products and services using publicity campaigns. These can be viewed as a commercial obligation that is incumbent on most businesses because every modern brand and business operates in a highly competitive environment, which is populated by multiple brands and enterprises competing for customer dollars. The promotional banner has emerged as an important instrument in modern advertising because such devices are lightweight and durable, can be easily erected in a variety of locations, and can be created from multiple materials such as paper, fabric, polymers, among others. The promotional banner can also be developed and deployed to highlight creative side of a business enterprise. Ergo, businesses have realised that these devices offer a cost-efficient option to broadcast commercial messages and to attract customers.

The promotional banner has emerged as a versatile medium for advertising products and services. The key differentiator for such banners lies in the fact that these devices are lightweight and portable; in addition, the very nature of the promotional banner lends itself to all manner of designs, custom builds, shapes, and commercial messages. For instance, a small business entrepreneur can use these devices to fashion an economical campaign to broadcast his or her wares at any desired location. The said banners may be vertical or horizontal in alignment; these can be printed on a variety of materials to achieve the desired effect. Colourful banners attract the human eye and this mechanism can be coupled with attractive graphic design to highlight the business or the brand. That said, we must note that the promotional banner should not be crammed with too many messages because that creates an element of visual confusion. A simple, bold message can attract consumer attention to the site of the business.

Businesses must be careful when ideating to create a promotional banner. The intelligent use of colour can help to multiply the effect of the banner and can ensure the primary objective of attracting the customer’s attention. Information designers should pay attention to the material that goes into the creation of said banners. Modern technology permits the use of polymers in banner design and this should be leveraged to gain maximum visual mileage. We must note that brick-and-mortar businesses that operate physical business premises are ideally suited to exploit the full spectrum of benefits accruing from the promotional banner. For instance, a retail business operation can use such banners to keep customers informed on the various deals and discounts that are on offer at the retail establishment. The strategic placement of these banners at locations around the said establishment can guide interested customers to the business, boost footfalls, and raise the number of transactions. We must note that a promotional banner remains an economical option and therefore, can be changed frequently in tune with changes in business requirements.

Modern fair grounds and weekly farmer’s markets attract large congregations of casual visitors and thrill seekers; these avenues are also the site of pop-up business ventures that can leverage the use of a promotional banner to advertise their wares. Typically, fair grounds attract a wide range of low budget businesses that can use such banners to attract customers and to boost sales during the duration of the fair. We must note that children and young adults represent a key component of visitors; therefore, a bright banner can work wonders in terms of attracting the attention and the customer dollars of this particular demographic. In a similar vein, farmer’s markets can device low-cost banners to advertise the prices of the day on a wide range of agricultural and farm produce. These banners may be simple devices designed and created by hand and propped up by firm supports; such banners represent good value for money as compared to expensive, permanent advertising strategies.

In certain instances, the promotional banner can be utilised to educate and inform customers about the range of consumer choice. For instance, a telecommunications services provider can opt to create a limited number of pop-up booths in certain locations to inform customers about the latest service offerings. We must note that the telecom industry is ferociously competitive and therefore, telecom services operators need to add to their customer base constantly. The use of a promotional banner represents a cost-effective strategy to draw the attention of average consumers and passers-by. We may note that this instance represents one aspect of ambush marketing, wherein, the passing customer remains the prime target of the marketing spiel. In addition, we must bear in mind that the promotional banner offers enterprises the fastest route to markets; the decisions taken by corporate chieftains and marketing departments can be quickly implemented at moderate cost through the use of pop-up booths adorned with promotional banners. We may state that the use of such banners represents a low-technology approach to broadcasting the availability of the latest products and services.

The indoor use of a promotional banner is illustrated by the fact that retail establishments and large shopping malls can use various formats of banner at different indoor locations. For instance, a business that has newly opened shop inside a multi-storey shopping mall can advertise its presence through a strategically placed banner that spans multiple storeys. This must necessarily be a temporary arrangement, but can gain serious mileage in terms of alerting mall visitors. We could say that the use of such a banner helps to expand consumer choice, attract fresh footfalls at the new business premises, and serves as a prominent example of indoor advertising. Commercial banners can also serve as refined instances of street furniture and can trigger a festive atmosphere when deployed thoughtfully. In a similar vein, existing businesses can creatively deploy an indoor promotional banner to guide customers to new shopping areas or commercial extensions created to expand shopping floor space. Cinema houses and theatres that operate inside a shopping mall can use indoor banners to inaugurate new film releases and to drive excitement levels among business patrons.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the commercial uses of the promotional banner. These devices are fashioned to connect businesses with their consumers and perhaps, initiate a dialogue with members of the public. That said, we must note that every business that chooses to deploy such banners must invest thought into the design and the import of the message printed on such banners. Businesses should avoid negativity and ambiguity in the design and deployment of such commercial communications. In addition, the placement of brand logos should be prominent because that remains one of the key visuals transmitted in such forms of advertising. The technical parameters of printing brand messages and brand logos should be perfect; otherwise, the promotional banner may visually degrade the quality of the transmitted message. Further, brands and businesses must invest time and effort to finalise the strategic locations of the banners because such messages must be established in high visibility areas. A finely created promotional banner bears the potential to transmit an elegant commercial message, while multiplying the return on investment for the sponsoring business enterprise.

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Importance of Email in a Multi-Channel Customer Service World

July 13, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“One huge advantage of email versus social media is email’s linear delivery model,” – Jay Baer In the world of modern commerce, customer service has evolved into a fine skill that operates through multiple channels such as telephone, text messages, … Continued

“One huge advantage of email versus social media is email’s linear delivery model,” – Jay Baer

In the world of modern commerce, customer service has evolved into a fine skill that operates through multiple channels such as telephone, text messages, email, social media, websites, and face-to-face interactions. The propagation and distribution of customer services through said channels has enabled modern businesses to reach closer to the customer, examine closely customer motivations and intent, expand business relationships, and tailor products and services in tune with the customer’s emerging requirements. That said, we must note that the importance of email remains a crucial factor in the customer service domain. Email may be regarded as ‘old school’ in certain sections of the market, but the said medium has proven itself to be a cost-efficient workhorse that can build or mar business performance.

We must bear in mind that email represents a permanent communications medium that remains unfettered by the limitations imposed by paper-driven systems. The importance of email is underlined by the fact that every modern consumer has personal access to at least one email inbox and this represents unprecedented business access to every consumer. Email systems can be diverse – ranging from proprietary closed email platforms to free for all email systems that can be used by anyone with an Internet connection. Commercial emails afford businesses an opportunity to conduct ‘cold’ calling actions without disturbing the time and space of the consumer; this stems from the fact that the consumer is free to review received emails at any time and place of his choosing. This is in sharp contrast to telephone calls that demand the consumer’s attention in real time. In addition, emails can be designed and re-designed from the ground up, iteratively and infinitely, in an attempt to capture the consumer’s attention. These aspects help us to appreciate the importance of email in the world of customer services.

Businesses must bear in mind that the primary purpose of emails in customer service applications lies in resolving a specific problem being faced by a customer. The wide range of products and services offered by modern brands and businesses creates substantial scope for customer interaction; this may be enabled by the use of an email system. The importance of email is illuminated by the fact that an email chain can be created through the back and forth interactions of a business and its customers. The chain of communication records the import of the dialogue; this enforces a degree of accountability on the business enterprise, because it has to stand by the commitments etched in the email trail. Moreover, both the business and the customer are at liberty to review the progress registered toward problem resolution by perusing the different stages of the email-driven dialogue. We may say that this enforces a degree of transparency in commercial transactions; we may view this as an emphatic win in favour of the customer’s rights when viewed through the lens of commercial obligations.

Most brands and enterprises exert themselves to expand their customer base and increase their market share. Email-driven customer service actions can help in the achievement of such commercial objectives. For instance, a cosmetics and beauty products manufacturer can deploy the full power of email communications to keep customers aware of the latest product offerings. This action can be counted among customer services because informing the customer reflects positively on the brand or business enterprise. The importance of email is further reflected in the fact that the said business can poll its customers on the efficacy of its products and test customer reactions via email. A few questions can be appended to the emails in an effort to gauge customer reactions to the overall business and unearth any instances of negative customer impressions. We must note that the email-driven dialogue creates ample room for the customer to post his or her reactions; this considered response can be leveraged by the business to refine its customer service stances and improve its position in the market vis-à-vis the competition.

Businesses can be advised to expand the use of customer service emails by educating the customer on the use of business products and services. For instance, a software manufacturer can device emails embedded with screenshots, examples, and web-links to FAQ pages. This approach underscores the importance of email as a critical visual aid to help confused consumers to navigate the firm’s products. We must note that the email sent to consumers can reside in perpetuity in their mail boxes and therefore, represents a ready reckoner at the disposal of the consumer at any time. The visual nature of the email communication also helps the business to reduce costs because it prevents the consumer from initiating a telephonic conversation with said business; such conversations have to be manned by technical experts and therefore, entail substantial additional costs for the said business. This represents a critical factor that spotlights the importance of email in modern customer service paradigms.

The use of emails in business communications such as customer services allows a business to use simple language to communicate with the consumer. In contrast, using real time vehicles such as telephones and social media platforms can force a business to use complex terminology. For instance, a telephonic conversation with a consumer imposes real time restrictions on both parties because they have to be connected and must converse in real time. The consumer may have a problem relating the nature of the problem or situation he or she faces, and this may be exacerbated by the fact that the customer service representative may not have a direct answer or solution to offer at the time. Similarly, an interaction on social media is constrained by the limits imposed by cyber real estate, thereby generating its own set of problems. However, email communication shines because the consumer can describe the situation in his or her own words and the business can take its time to respond appropriately. This approach makes for a considered back-and-forth exchange and is more likely to remedy the situation. This analysis further underlines the importance of email in customer services.

The considered used of web-links is possible mostly in email-driven customer service platforms. Web links are important because modern customers tend to be literate and technology-savvy; therefore, multiple (relevant) web links can be embedded in an email in an attempt to solve the customer’s queries and direct him or her to relevant knowledge portals. This aspect highlights the importance of email in customer service because a satisfied customer is less likely to raise a complaint to the business enterprise. The said customer can also be more inclined to give a more-than-satisfactory rating to the business because his or her queries and concerns were resolved at first contact with said business.

The preceding paragraphs have sought to examine the competitive edges that grace email-driven customer services. We must bear in mind at all times that a customer represents a crucial business asset and must be serviced on a priority basis. Email-driven customer service represents a failsafe mode of communications that bears the promise of creating enduring business value. The use of such communications reflects business priorities in a positive light and has the potential to elevate the image and mind share of any brand, business, or enterprise.


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Reasons for Mobile Customer Service Failure

July 12, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“The ability to deliver effective customer service via mobile devices with smaller screens will help brands and organizations to deliver service and support via smart objects, smart appliances, and more in the future,” – Robert Morris Customers, clients, and modern … Continued

“The ability to deliver effective customer service via mobile devices with smaller screens will help brands and organizations to deliver service and support via smart objects, smart appliances, and more in the future,” – Robert Morris

Customers, clients, and modern business enterprises operate in electronically networked environments that are dominated increasingly by connected mobile devices, such as smartphones and consumer tablet devices. We could envision a time when customer service was delivered in person primarily at brick-and-mortar business establishments. Thereafter, the ubiquity of the landline telephone and copper wire connectivity moved the concept of customer service to toll free numbers that connected businesses and their customers. Modern businesses are migrating to customer service paradigms that are driven primarily by the dictates of mobile customer service. This is interesting because the modern consumer carries connected mobile devices in his or her pockets and therefore, can initiate a customer service request from any point in the globe at any point in time. However, certain instances can rank as failures primarily owing to flaws in the conception and delivery of mobile customer service.

The failure of a mobile customer service strategy may stem from a systematic disregard of basic norms that underpin customer service systems and paradigms. Brands and enterprises that (erroneously) take their customers for granted may fail to invest significant corporate resources into mobile customer service systems, may choose not to pay attention to the lapses in such systems as pointed out by their customers, or may implement flawed interpretations of a mobile customer service system. These problems point to a situation wherein, a brand or enterprise may experience significant sloth in its revenue streams or a setback in terms of achieving estimated profit margins. For instance, a quick service restaurant may choose to implement Internet technologies to cater to their customers both inside and outside of their business premises. However, certain blind spots in this strategy (including unresponsive design and unresolved software issues) may create a sub-optimal end-user experience for the customer, leading to mass disapproval of the strategy. We must note that the situation certainly multiplies the possibility of a negative customer experience and may create disconcerting after-effects for the said business. In this case, the executive management of the enterprise would be well-advised to temporarily suspend the programme, seek outside counsel in terms of consulting with domain experts, and re-initiate the programme once all operational aspects are fully addressed.

Weak or incompetent mobile app design may pose severe threats to the quality of mobile customer service systems. For instance, a freshly minted e-commerce business operator may rush into the online business domain in an attempt to capture market share. The business planning process may not have allotted serious thought and engineering efforts into the mobile app of the said operator. Flawed app design may emerge as a severe headwind to the commercial prospects because customers may not have the use of an optimally designed online interface. This single aspect may snowball into a raft of problems at various points in the value chain and may emerge as the chief challenge to the viability of said business. In addition, a sub-optimal experience on the mobile app may drive customer attrition and the flight of customer dollars to competing businesses. The said business would benefit by completely overhauling its mobile app and initiate a re-design from scratch. The business leadership of the e-commerce operator should also invest time and effort to re-think the mobile app, primarily because it serves as the main interface between the business and its customers.

Mobile phone-driven customer interactions remain an essential aspect of mobile customer service. In modern times, most businesses find it convenient to offer their customers the use of a toll free number that is optimised for mobile communications platforms, such as smartphones. However, reasons such as faulty contact centre operations, long wait times, inadequate staff training, lacklustre approach to customer service, an overt reliance on automation, and call drops and unprofessional behaviour on the part of customer service representatives may pose serious challenges to the delivery of competent mobile customer service. We must bear in mind that the customer contact centre paradigm offers businesses significant scope to stand out from the competition in terms of customer service delivery, but the fact remains that such operations are subject to an infinite number of variables that negatively impacts the end-user experience.

One of the significant reasons behind the failure of mobile customer service systems lies in the inability of senior management personnel to gauge the full import of implementing and sustaining efficient customer service systems. Business heads and company executives must understand that customer service remains the primary window of a business enterprise into the hearts and minds of its customers and clientele. This is reflected in the fact that most customers tend to form a clear impression about a business based on their interactions with customer service representatives. This fundamental fact must guide and inform the attitude of a business towards customer services. The ubiquity of electronic connectivity via mobile devices must therefore, encourage every business to pay special attention to the finer points of mobile customer service systems. A flawed strategy and inadequate business inputs represent a perfect combination of factors that can ruin the essence of customer service delivery through mobile platforms.

Electronic security standards on mobile apps must be perfect for enterprises that choose to deliver excellent mobile customer service. The mobile app has emerged as an important enabler for online businesses; therefore, transactions through mobile apps need to be safe and secure when customers place their orders and proceed to pay for the same. Problematic situations may arise when the app user is unable to complete the transaction at the payment stage and this experience may diminish the customer’s experience of mobile customer service. We must note that a smooth and flawless in-app payment process contributes much to the end-user experience, and therefore a habitual failure at this juncture must be addressed on priority. App designers and back-end architects need to appreciate the fact that jeopardising the security of customer information and financial data may contribute to the eventual failure of the business enterprise.

Shoppers that use desktop computers may frequently use e-commerce websites for their shopping requirements. These websites are optimised for desktop computers, but an inability to display correctly on mobile devices may ruin the mobile customer service experience of the said shopper. This is a real danger because desktop shoppers may choose to visit the website on their mobile devices after work hours, and a sub-standard browsing experience may destroy business reputations and create turbulence in its relationships with the shopping community. It would benefit these businesses to re-engineer their websites for mobile platforms because shopping on mobile has registered incremental growth in recent times. Thus, e-commerce business operators need to closely examine their priorities and re-align the customer interface into a ‘mobile first’ paradigm. Connectivity options should be boosted so that the customers can open a direct line of communication with the business using either voice or data from their mobile devices.

Brands and businesses should consider creating the space for a general discussion with customers and clients using online technologies. This can be viewed as the electronic equivalent of a company chieftain meeting customers in person in an attempt to read customers’ minds and elicit reactions to the company’s various products and services. We must note that the stated strategy is part of the wider mandate of mobile customer service because an online conversation can help businesses to get closer to the customer, define customer expectations and respond to them, help in customer retention strategies, etc. When a business fails to activate such conversations, we might view it as a serious lapse of its mobile customer service strategy. Consequently, the business loses out in terms of gaining priceless insights into customer behaviour, consumer preferences, and the expectations of its stakeholders.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the reasons that signal failure of a mobile customer service strategy. We must bear in mind that increasingly, more customers are moving on to mobile platforms for a variety of their needs and requirements, and therefore, businesses need to device coherent mobile-based strategies to meet the customer on his or her terms. Every business has a duty to service customers to the best of its ability and must work to boost the infrastructure behind such services. Mobile technologies are here to stay and will gain serious ubiquity in the future; therefore, businesses must boost their commitment to mobile customer service paradigms.


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Personalising Customer Service for all Customer Age Groups

July 11, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“Personal service is about making the customer feel like they’re doing business with a human, not a company,” – David Weinberger Modern businesses, brands, and enterprises need to engage with their clients and customers in an open, dignified, but friendly … Continued

“Personal service is about making the customer feel like they’re doing business with a human, not a company,” – David Weinberger

Modern businesses, brands, and enterprises need to engage with their clients and customers in an open, dignified, but friendly manner. Personalising customer service is one of the techniques that can be used by businesses to attract, retain, and serve customers consistently. This technique can be operated by businesses of every hue because we live in an age of brand multiplicity, competing businesses, and fiercely contested commercial spaces. Consequently, the customer’s mind share has assumed critical importance and has emerged as a crucial battlefield for modern enterprises. That said, we must note that customer demographics have emerged as a primary aspect in modern marketing practices and therefore, businesses must work to personalise customer services in tune with the demands of all customer age groups.

We must bear in mind that businesses must undertake appropriate strategies in their pursuit of personalising customer service. For instance, a cake and confectionary maker should attempt to stay relevant by expanding the concept of customer choice. We note that this business mostly caters to young customers and therefore, may consider allowing customers to design their own cakes and confections. Product quality and consistency should remain a business prerogative, but customers should be allowed to create their own flavours, tastes, and colours. This collaborative approach may win considerable plaudits for the said enterprise and allow it to gain an edge over its commercial rivals. In addition, such a strategy is bound to boost customer curiosity and may trigger intense excitement among the young patrons. Some of the after effects may include vibrant word-of-mouth publicity, an enlarged roster of new customers, business awards, and a fascinating afterglow. We must note that this approach to business innovation remains a top-rate instance of personalising customer service.

In a similar vein, a specialised e-commerce business that deals in fashion apparel can choose to expand its share of the market by personalising customer service. The business should word to study current trends in its market and may choose to boost the creative quotient in its primarily app-driven enterprise. Fashion recommendations may be offered to regular customers based on their personal preferences as reflected in their app browsing histories. An extension of this logic would emerge when the business chooses to offer bespoke discounts to specific customers that qualify for such offers. We must note that since the said business is primarily app-driven, the customer service aspect should be focused on the app users. This would require the business to monitor consumer behaviour extensively when browsing the app, assessing and evaluating information that emanates from such activity, and then ideating to create unique aspects of personalised customer service. Advance previews of fresh merchandise, deep discounts on group sales, custom reminders pertaining to flash sales campaigns, priority shipping offers, and premium packaging can be the other aspects of personalising customer service. We must note that the said business enterprise must minutely examine the shopping habits of individual customers, collate the information, and then design specific stances on personalised customer service.

Businesses must value human interaction as a significant enabler of business outcomes. Offline business models that hinge on brick-and-mortar showrooms and physical business premises may choose to offer a human face to customers in their attempt at personalising customer service. Consider this: a business that sells music compact discs, vinyl records, turntables, and assorted musical equipment may consider deploying trained human staff in its business premises to deal with customers. Music has universal appeal and therefore, the business must work to train its human resources to deal with every segment of customer demographics. Sales staff must be trained in soft skills and intelligent conversation along with deep knowledge of the music industry in order to engage with customers at various levels. This approach to personalise every business interaction should help the said enterprise to gain a devoted customer following and to make a mark in its business domain. The campaign to personalise customer service should also include specialised training to deal with niche customer request for music records that may not be readily available in the market. These customer-facing aspects of the business can help it to strike a rapport with individual customers and command premium prices; this relationship may be counted as an intangible business asset that is likely to enable the business to operate and thrive in the long term.

The pharmaceutical industry should drive a focus on personalising customer service in the interests of gaining strong traction among older customers. For instance, a drugstore or a medical devices business can choose to deliver medicines and medical products to the home addresses of customers. This strategy is not unique to the said industry because the burgeoning food delivery industry operates a similar model. However, the said drugstore may choose to add value to its business proposition by personalising customer service through the home delivery of prescription-based medication and medicinal devices. An interesting aspect of this strategy lies in the fact that a significant segment of medicine consumers is senior citizens; therefore, the prospect of free delivery at the home address adds definite value to the said business enterprise. In addition, the said business can boost its value proposition by offering services of qualified and recommended medical practitioners to its senior customers.

Speaking the language of the customer is an important aspect of campaigns designed to personalise customer service. Businesses that primarily cater to young citizens must discard old school selling processes and mechanisms in favour of methods that create a personal rapport with individual customers. For instance, a skateboard and surfboard business primarily operates to serve young customers and therefore, the sales staff should work on personalising customer service. The linguafranca, the mannerisms, personal value systems, mind sets, etc. of the said business must be in synchronicity with its primary customers. The use of technology and selling techniques must be in tune with young citizens because this essential connection is vital to the success of the overall business enterprise. We must note that individual customers should identify with the skateboard business because such merchandise tends to evoke intense feelings since it is part of the core customer identity. Special training sessions can be offered as part of the selling strategy; this promotes innovation in the selling practices and can be useful in attracting new customers to said business.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have analysed some of the personalisation techniques that can be used into customer service practices. We must note that such techniques can evolve and become refined with constant practice; however, businesses must invest brainpower and company resources in order to wield such techniques credibly, to effective use. The intent and business justification that power personalisation of customer service lies in developing and sustaining an incrementally growing customer base; therefore, businesses should never lose sight of this basic fact. Personalisation should also be practiced within the bounds of the law of the land and must therefore, respect the customer’s privacy at all times. This is important because businesses operate in data-intensive environments and therefore, personal records in all forms must be strictly guarded at all times. The perfect approach to personalising customer service should enable every business to consistently achieve business goals at all times.


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Ways to Justify Investment in a Customer Contact Centre

July 10, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“Cloud-based call management, recording and intelligent call analytics are a crucial tool in enabling businesses to improve their sales performance and deliver excellent customer service,” – James Slaney Business leaders have often viewed a customer contact centre as a load … Continued

“Cloud-based call management, recording and intelligent call analytics are a crucial tool in enabling businesses to improve their sales performance and deliver excellent customer service,” – James Slaney

Business leaders have often viewed a customer contact centre as a load on business bottom lines because such centres are, inter alia, primarily driven by paid employees, such operations requires significant investments, and the return on investment in such operations cannot be easily quantified. The concept of the customer contact centre has,  however, undergone significant changes in the last few decades and has emerged as a significant driver of business outcomes. Business mantras and operating paradigms may be subject to evolving market conditions, but a telephone-driven channel (such as a contact centre) has emerged as a mandatory aspect of modern businesses. Therefore, an investment in a customer contact centre should be viewed as an essential business investment that can help to raise the profile of a business or corporate enterprise.

We must note that a customer contact centre remains a vital operation for businesses because these centres can drive customer service, earn customer loyalty, and ensure a steady stream of revenue for the modern enterprise. For instance, a mid-sized e-commerce business operator may choose to invest in contact centre operations to cater to customers, clients, vendors, and suppliers. This signals serious corporate intent to offer the various stakeholders a direct line of communication to the business. Customers that have queries regarding a product or service may dial the toll-free numbers of the said business in a bid to address their queries and concerns. A customer contact centre can also be used as a platform that enables said business to sustain a steady dialogue with its customers and leverage the resulting information to refine and streamline business processes. The continuing relevance of such a contact centre is underlined by the fact that it boosts customer convenience in the aftermath of a sale.

The massive and pervasive use of electronic connectivity technologies can boost the business case for investing in a customer contact centre. Technologies such as automatic call distribution, computer telephony integration, and interactive voice response can help a business to boost cost-efficiency metrics in the operation of a contact centre. We must note that large trans-national businesses cater to a numerically heavy roster of customers (and other stakeholders) and therefore, the use of the above technologies helps the enterprise to serve individual customers better. The business case is further justified when we factor in the customer satisfaction levels that can be achieved through efficient customer contact centre operations. Further, we must bear in mind that satisfied customers are more likely to sustain a business relationship with an enterprise and effective contact centre operations remain instrumental in boosting customer satisfaction levels.

The trained staff and technical resources available at a customer contact centre can leverage sales operations in outbound operations. This implies that the contact centre need not restrict itself to answering customer queries and resolving customer complaints. The sales organization within a commercial enterprise can use the resources of the contact centre to promote sales, initiate first contact with sales prospects, renew contracts with existing customers, stage upselling techniques, and thereby boost the business bottom line. We must note that selling remains at the heart of modern commerce and the customer contact centre (or part thereof) can be dedicated to the commercial activities outlined above. Human interaction over telephone lines increases the probability of closing a sale and is ranked second only to face-to-face interactions. We must note that this ability alone justifies the business investment in a professionally organised and operated customer contact centre.

The centrality of a positive customer experience in modern businesses remains beyond question and a customer contact centre can help businesses to create a competent end-user experience. Customer service driven by human interaction can help a brand or a business to connect with customers at a deeper level. When assisted by technology inputs, a human-driven customer service experience can help enterprises to achieve superior customer experience that may not be possible through technology alone. For instance, a large telecom services provider needs to be able to address customer queries and concerns swiftly and efficiently. This is important for said business because customer dissatisfaction or a half-baked end user experience may drive customer attrition, which remains one of the key parameters in said industry. Bearing in mind the significant acquisition costs of new customers, the said business enterprise would be advised to leverage human interaction to drive positive customer experiences. In addition, we must note that the trained staff members of a customer contact centre can easily bring to bear human intelligence on contact centre operations, assess customer requirements, and defuse a situation on the telephone. These aspects highlight the importance of the human touch in commercial operations. We must note that these factors easily justify the business investments required in initiating and sustaining the operations of a customer contact centre.

Outsourcing contact centre operations remains a viable option for business enterprises. This strategy hinges on cost reductions for the parent enterprise without removing the benefits of operating a full-time contact centre. The outsourced operation represents emphatic business benefits such as reduced costs, scalability, and flexibility in business operations. A business can gain distinct advantages when it outsources its contact centre operations to a third party operator, but the quality of service delivery must certainly meet (and exceed) targets set by the business. In this context, we may note that the outsourcing business model can be viewed through the prism of international politics, but the demonstrated benefits inherent in such operations easily outweigh the costs.

The successful operation of a customer contact centre helps business to develop institutional knowledge and critical customer-facing skills required to sustain a business. The deployment of knowledge management technologies inside a customer contact centre can assist the wider business enterprise to grow and expand its human potential by providing a career path to its many employees. The efficient capture and processing of information from a contact centre operation can be directed into the wider business enterprise for consideration at the highest corporate levels. These facts offer additional business justification for operating a full-fledged customer contact centre. Further, the sustained operation of such centres can provide valuable inputs that can be harnessed to refine business processes and align the business better with the changing contours of a market.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have outlined some of the reasons that justify the operation and expansion of a customer contact centre. Corporate chieftains and business policy architects must realise that a contact centre should be treated as a viable and dynamic business operation that often represents the public face of a brand or business. These operations provide a business with critical elbowroom in the event of an emergency or in situations that can be addressed by immediate communications with customers and other stakeholders. A large and well-managed contact centre operation can also be treated as a business showpiece that can be displayed to interested investors. Interesting market insights and windows into evolving customer preferences may emerge from contact centre operations that achieve high quality benchmarks. Therefore, every enterprise must objectively assess the advantages and benefits that accrue from such operations.

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Importance of Knowledge Management in Customer Service

July 9, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“Knowledge management is not a shrink-wrapped thing in a box, it’s a discipline,” – Scott Elliot Modern businesses and enterprises operate in intensely knowledge-driven environments that were made possible by a variety of electronic knowledge sharing mechanisms, the global information … Continued

“Knowledge management is not a shrink-wrapped thing in a box, it’s a discipline,” – Scott Elliot

Modern businesses and enterprises operate in intensely knowledge-driven environments that were made possible by a variety of electronic knowledge sharing mechanisms, the global information highway, and a modern emphasis on data capture and dissemination. The catch phrase of knowledge management is widely used to denote processes that identify, capture, retrieve, and share an enterprise’s information assets; these assets may include documents, policies, databases and the work experience generated by individual workers. Knowledge management assumes outsized importance in modern businesses because the integration of the above aspects of a business enterprise can elevate customer service mechanisms and improve the end-user experience. Businesses need to view knowledge management as a justified business investment because the outcomes of such implementations will definitely outweigh the initial costs. We note that companies and commercial organizations that deploy knowledge management practices to boost business functions can achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction and trust.

Businesses must realise that first-rate customer service should be a corporate watchword and must figure among the top priorities of a commercial organization. The very tangible gains that accrue from the use of knowledge management techniques are coterminous with business objectives; such techniques can reduce customer service costs for a customer facing organization. For instance, a medical services group can develop an extensive database for internal use by its customer service representatives. The said workers can use the database to answer customer queries on the telephone and achieve a high rate of problem resolution during the first contact with a customer. We must note that this strategy is based on the continuous addition of relevant business information to said database, as also training service representatives in the fluent and efficient use of said database. The lack of such business practices may result in customers repeating their phone calls to achieve resolution, thereby driving up business costs and eroding the metrics of customer satisfaction.

The modern electronic age has compelled many businesses to implement the use of Internet and web technologies in their customer service paradigms. This approach enables the deployment of self-service options and thus represents a cost-efficient approach to certain aspects of customer service. We note that knowledge management operates at the core of said approach. For instance, a hardware manufacturer and supplier can choose to use web technologies to answer common questions posed by most customers and business prospects. This technique primarily hinges on knowledge management practices because concise and relevant answers have to be provided to each customer that poses a query to said business enterprise. The web-based self-service paradigm can offer the correct answers, thereby ensuring a high degree of customer satisfaction and significant wins in terms of customer conversion. The human aspect of customer interaction can be reserved for scenarios wherein, highly experienced technical staffers and customer-facing sales personnel can guide customers to the final contours of a bespoke solution crafted specifically for individual customers.

Knowledge management gains further importance because it has a direct bearing on customer retention. Every business must work to retain its customers and expand the said metric. We could say that knowledge management helps a company to gain a competitive advantage. For instance, a software manufacturer can extend its customer service policies to include animations (coupled with screenshots) to guide customers in the use of a new software product. The final guidance package is the outcome of a systematic knowledge management initiative wherein, company workers pool in their collective expertise and product knowledge to create fluent guidance package for the benefit of its customers. This strategy can become part of standard business practices at the said enterprise and may help it to expand its mind share and customer base. New customers may be attracted to the business because the said guidance package makes it easy for customers to adopt new software packages. We note that this approach cuts the time required for trouble shooting and placing calls to customer care contact centres.

Every business regularly operates with its clients, customers, vendors, and suppliers. Needless to say, businesses must value the time of all these stakeholders and must use knowledge management techniques on company websites, online forums, chat modules, and mobile apps to cater to the knowledge requirements of these diverse stakeholders. Self-service channels such as FAQ pages can help the business to efficiently deliver organised and vetted information on a 24×7 basis. The central plank of such information sharing lies in an integrated approach to organizing and presenting pertinent business information. We may note that this strategy can help businesses to achieve their customer service goals in a consistent manner, while attaining substantial cost savings. This strategy is also premised on the fact that the global Internet can be accessed from any point on the planet and therefore, connectivity technologies can be combined with efficient knowledge organization to craft outstanding customer service paradigms.

Knowledge management tools and techniques can be leveraged by a business to train its customer service representatives. This can directly impact customer service levels and can generate higher customer satisfaction. For instance, a banking and financial services institution can use knowledge management tools to train its staff members on the various products and services marketed by the bank. We must note that banking and financial services hinge on knowledge-intensive operations and therefore, customer-facing operatives need fluent and expert knowledge to pitch for and close a sale. The tools mentioned above can help to bring all staff members on the same page in terms of product and service knowledge. In addition, the content being purveyed by said tools can be updated over time to reflect the latest state of knowledge and updated information.

In the above paragraphs, we have surveyed some of the significant impacts of knowledge management techniques in the domain of customer service. Every business that hopes to leverage knowledge management systems to improve customer service must work on the premise that no knowledge is too trifle for capture. Another watchword that may underpin this strategy is that knowledge management is essentially an accretive process and therefore, it is incumbent on the commercial organization to constantly develop and refine its knowledge management practices. In addition, internal business processes must be aligned to extract full mileage from the multiple databases that lie at the core of a knowledge management practice. Businesses must remain sensitive to the fact that knowledge management operations must have a full ‘buy-in’ from the top management cadre; else, the use of such systems may not generate the optimum returns necessary to sustain and multiply the returns on such investments. Businesses must also enable their customers to contribute meaningfully to knowledge management strategies. For instance, an insurance services provider may choose to poll its customers on the most popular insurance policy, the requirement of various types of insurance, customer preferences in terms of business practices, etc. The elicited information can be easily integrated with the firm’s internal knowledge management systems in an attempt to create a better customer service experience. In light of the above, businesses must understand that knowledge management needs to be a dynamic process that must steer clear of corporate silos in the interests of achieving outstanding business outcomes.

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Simplicity is the key to Customer Engagement

July 8, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“In addition to bringing new levels of simplicity, customer engagement platforms should streamline daily operations, reduce costs, and allow customers to engage with brands how and when they wish,” – Oman Air Customer engagement should be the bedrock of every … Continued

“In addition to bringing new levels of simplicity, customer engagement platforms should streamline daily operations, reduce costs, and allow customers to engage with brands how and when they wish,” – Oman Air

Customer engagement should be the bedrock of every business enterprise because customer dollars are critical to achieving business outcomes. We could say that a business is obliged to engage with its customers at multiple levels in the interests of sustaining business performance, expanding the customer base, maintaining a credible business reputation, and competing evenly with all players in the market. That said, we must note that a simple approach (or combinations thereof) to customer engagement is worth the time and effort because complex manoeuvres may fail and may lead to confusion and the resulting loss of customer trust. Therefore, customer engagement remains one of the primary aims of a serious business enterprise.

Conversations with customers imply that a business remains interested in listening to the customer’s voice; this dialogue-based approach should be marked as one of the lynchpins of customer engagement. We should note that this strategy is a simple, cost-effective approach to engage with customers; yet, the returns can be outsize when the execution is flawless. Conversations can be initiated and cultivated in both online and offline media because this dual approach helps to impart meaning and momentum to such activities. For instance, a business that deals in custom furniture and woodworks can choose to inaugurate a dialogue with customers inquiring about their choice of wood, their preference for design languages, wood-finishing and polishing lacquers, etc. We note that this simple inquiry can help the business to unearth substantial information from participating customers. This information can be leveraged to refine business strategies, offer market-beating products, and to raise the profile of the said business.

In a similar vein, a civil aviation services provider may choose to simplify/overhaul its customer engagement strategy by whittling away at complex questionnaires and reducing its queries to two questions. These queries may centre on customer likes and dislikes, high priority or low priority, service plusses and minuses. The information gleaned from the simple approach can help the airline to revisit its customer service strategies, refine its approach to the average customer, and create truly innovative service planks. We must note that this approach to customer engagement hinges on two premises: eliciting raw information from customers and an intelligent reading / in-depth examination of the motives that generate such information. The combination can work wonders for any business and may help to elevate, qualitatively, its approach to customer engagement.

We must note that a simple approach to engaging the customer springs from a business conviction that information gathered from customer engagement strategies should be analysed deeply. This conviction can help businesses to analyse said information from multiple approaches, seek deeper meaning in customer feedback, and eliminate blind spots in information analyses. For instance, a hospitality business that operates customer loyalty programmes may choose to survey the information generated by said programmes. A preliminary analysis can yield the numbers that are expected from such analysis. However, a deep dive into the numbers may yield information pertaining to the motives of customers that enrol in such programmes. Additional insights may indicate the actions necessary to commit more clients into the customer loyalty programs. We must note that the hospitality business can choose to combine these sets of information to drive business insights and prepare itself for future business scenarios.

Human beings live and operate in an information age, and therefore, businesses might consider using information as a primary driver for customer engagement strategies. Market news, industry updates, and industry information – these can be considered the nucleus of an information-driven customer engagement strategy. This strategy operates on the premise that customers need useful information to make choices and therefore, businesses may act to fulfil this latent customer demand. We note that businesses in every industry can leverage this approach in a bid to gain and exploit a competitive edge over their peers. For instance, a steady flow of structured information can be loaded onto a business website at regular intervals. This information can be the ‘hook’ that attracts customers to the website on a daily basis. Useful content may invite customer appreciation; this approach also offers significant scope for customer interaction because human beings remain creatures of habit. We could say that regular interaction with legions of customers can help the business to expand its market share and gain future business opportunities.

The considerable abilities of social media platforms can be leveraged as a customer engagement tool. This strategy hinges on the fact that social media is ubiquitous, has the potential to heavily influence consumer and customer behaviour, and represents an ‘immediate’ means to connect with customers. Therefore, every business must strive to inaugurate an active dialogue with its customers through social media platforms. These interactions can help a business to gain high visibility for its brands, foster consumer confidence and trust, operate a direct connection with its consumers, and pursue a variety of customer engagement strategies. In addition, various business functions such as product development, new business development, and service tiers can gain significantly from the information culled from social media interactions. Further, the ‘immediacy’ of social media interactions can offer businesses quick insights into customer preferences, market trends, customer feedback, and other such information. Therefore, a simple, yet integrated customer engagement strategy centred on social media technologies can offer businesses significant returns on their investment.

A simplicity-driven approach to customer engagement should place business value at the centre of transactions with each customer. The delivery of tangible business value should be a fundamental aim of every enterprise, because value remains central to the customer’s interests and motivations. This premise assumes more importance when we note that modern customers are subject to a surfeit of brands, products, and services. This situation prompts consumers and customers to switch loyalties and encourages them to try a variety of brands and products. Therefore, value for the customer’s money can be a defining attribute for the modern, successful business enterprise. For instance, a courier service that operates in multiple geographies can offer customers premium packaging for the documents and other shipping items. We note that this may entail additional expenditure for said business, but may help the courier service to attract and retain customers. The premium packaging can be said to be the key value differentiator that may help said business to achieve an outstanding brand reputation in all markets.

In the previous paragraphs, we have surveyed some of the techniques wherein, a business can deploy simplicity in its customer engagement strategies. We must note that simplicity is an elegant approach to conducting business because it reinforces and accentuates core business values. Therefore, businesses management groups and corporate chieftains must invest resources into simplifying customer engagement strategies; this assumes more significance because such strategies inherently value the customer’s time and money. Simplicity can also be viewed as the deployment of innovation in business practices, and therefore should be widely promoted in customer engagement strategies. A lengthy questionnaire is more likely to be discarded in the busy lives we live today; however, a simple format is more likely to elicit genuine consumer reactions that can be priceless to a business enterprise.

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Top Features of a Most Effective Website

July 7, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“Websites promote you 24/7 and no employee will do that,” – Paul Cookson Online technologies dominate the world we live in and therefore, an effective website is a pre-requisite for most businesses in modern times. We must note that a … Continued

“Websites promote you 24/7 and no employee will do that,” – Paul Cookson

Online technologies dominate the world we live in and therefore, an effective website is a pre-requisite for most businesses in modern times. We must note that a website may be viewed as ‘old school’ in certain quarters, but there is no denying the fact that a flagship online presence can serve as a business destination in cyberspace and can be used to underpin a credible corporate identity. A website should be viewed as a cost-efficient business investment because the global Internet is forever expanding and offers significant sales opportunities for every enterprise. We must note that an effective website should be available to all online visitors at all times, must not be curbed by geography, must have high redundancy standards, and must be equipped to handle substantial volumes of online traffic.

An effective website should be designed and engineered from scratch so that the commercial organization that owns it can lay claim to an original online creation. Website content and website navigation should ideally be top-rate so that the business can create an emphatic impression on first time visitors. For instance, a business that deals the manufacturing and marketing of ceramic tiles should brainstorm to create high quality and relevant content to greet visitors. We must note that content should be central to an effective website because it represents the seriousness of the business enterprise and promotes credible volumes of repeat traffic. Therefore, the ceramic manufacturer can choose to enlighten visitors about the historic importance of ceramics and pottery in human civilization and then trace the development of the subject into recent times. In addition, the said website should be embedded with online mechanisms that enable visitors to transact with the business through the Internet. This attribute remains important because enabling e-commerce mechanisms can help the business to expand its customer base. Further, website navigation should be flawless because this enables customers to peruse the varieties of merchandise on offer before they arrive at purchase decisions.

We may note that the scope of content on an effective website can take the form of an online newsletter that should be refreshed at regular intervals. For instance, a business that sells office supplies online can choose to inform and educate its customers about the primacy of paper, plastics, and polymers in the domain of office supplies. This can be viewed as an attempt to embellish the mandates of commerce with useful information to achieve a winning combination. The online newsletter should be crafted keeping current market dynamics in mind, as also the latest products and gadgets that are relevant to the enterprise. High definition product images and multiple colour combinations can be used to highlight the various aspects of office supplies. In light of the above, we may note that an effective website can be a force multiplier that promotes sales and business information in a bid to capture a larger share of the said market.

Search engine optimisation is a crucial factor that may help transform an effective website into an outstanding web presence. This aspect of online technologies is significant because the use of such optimisation technologies can generate higher traffic to business websites. We must note that search engine optimisation remains an ongoing project and must be meticulously executed to achieve the desired results. For instance, a retail business should employ optimisation technologies so that its website is ranked higher than the competition. This will automatically direct higher volumes of online traffic to said business, thereby improving its commercial fortunes. We must note that the Internet has emerged as a significant sales channel for modern businesses, and search engine optimisation techniques can boost online visibility and increase profitability.

An effective website should be compatible with all major display platforms. These include smartphones, connected tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. The back-end engineering of the website should make it mandatory for the website to be immediately available to any user that visits the web address using any of the said devices. We could view this as website optimisation because a perfect display is necessary for a thriving business enterprise. The lack of such optimisation can lead to lost sales opportunities, an incompetent commercial image, and sub-optimal levels of online traffic. We must note that such optimisation can involve sunk costs for the business, but these must be undertaken at the planning stage of the said website. Further, colours and content must be perfectly aligned on every display platform because this can help the business to create and project a professional online demeanour.

An FAQ page can be considered a worthwhile addition to an effective website. This feature of a website can be viewed as an important differentiator because it makes the business appear user and customer friendly. A business can use the FAQ page to collate the most repeated customer queries and present the relevant information in an organised manner. In essence, the said page can be part of an ongoing conversation with customers. The page also signals the seriousness of the corporate enterprise to help first time and returning customers with information these entities are most likely to seek. In addition, we may view the FAQ page as a device that lightens the work loads of customer care executives. This aspect remains relevant because these executives can quickly paste web-links to the FAQ page (or the relevant sections thereof) and transit the links via email and online chat systems. Further, the FAQ page can be used to educate customers about a company’s products and services and this can help to spur market demand for said products and services.

Social media is a reality in both the commercial and personal domains and therefore, businesses must tap virgin markets through social media platforms. An effective website should be deeply integrated with multiple social media platforms so that the business can conduct significant outreach among social media consumers. The social media buttons can help online visitors to share content, blogs, and information nuggets from the website, therefore expanding the visibility of said business. Interesting patterns of customer and business interaction can emerge and these can be leveraged to attain commercial objectives. In addition, we must note that the social media handles of a business must operate in synchronicity with content on the business website. This would enable the business to reach new customers and conduct co-ordinated marketing campaigns in cyberspace. Further, a credible social media marketing mix can help businesses to plumb younger demographics and therefore boost the pipelines of future customer interactions, thereby enhancing its mind share in the market.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have assessed some of the top features of an effective website. Businesses must devote significant resources and brainpower into constructing a definitive online presence; such actions must be ongoing in keeping with changes in consumer behaviour and customer mind sets. An outstanding website can assist a business to scale its operations through the use of Internet technologies, while remaining a major force in commercial domains. Websites should also encourage customer interaction because the inputs and information that emanate from such dialogues can help the business to refine its marketing strategies and build an enduring enterprise.

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Aspects of a Successful Re-engagement Campaign

July 6, 2017 0 comments Customer Service

“If you are not involved and don’t have re-engagement, you don’t have a campaign at all,” – Keri Jaehnig Enterprises thrive on client and customer relationships and the business outcomes that drive such interactions. However, the modern customer tends to … Continued

“If you are not involved and don’t have re-engagement, you don’t have a campaign at all,” – Keri Jaehnig

Enterprises thrive on client and customer relationships and the business outcomes that drive such interactions. However, the modern customer tends to be a finicky creature that is subject to all manner of marketing spiels and selling campaigns. The establishment and proliferation of multiple businesses selling experiences, products, and services is the outcome of consumerism and the free market economy that is prevalent in much of the civilised world. The very nature and impulse of modern enterprise makes it incumbent upon businesses to expand constantly, their customer base in order to power business expansion and attain commercial growth in competitive markets. Therefore, businesses may find it useful to fashion a re-engagement campaign that hinges on re-igniting commercial relationships that may have lapsed with time.

When we examine the above premise, we find that the expansion of consumer choice and the wide prevalence of customer fatigue are the twin drivers that make it important for businesses to craft a re-engagement campaign. In addition, the considerable acquisition costs of new customers highlight the importance of such business strategies. Customers and clients that have engaged fruitfully with a business enterprise in the past can be brought back into the fold (so to say) through a re-engagement campaign. For instance, an insurance service provider that finds itself operating in increasingly crowded markets may find that instituting such a campaign may help the business to add additional customers. We must note that this approach reflects positively on the business enterprise because a re-engagement campaign is a cost-effective strategy that adds heft to the bottom line of the said business. This campaign can be initiated by the marketing department because it essentially hinges on reviving contact with former (or lapsed) customers and can assist the business to take on the commercial competition.

An email-driven re-engagement campaign is an efficient technique that promises to inaugurate a meaningful dialogue with former customers. We must note that every business that opts for this strategy must bear in mind the reasons that nullified the first contact with such customers. These reasons may include repetitive or irrelevant content, deceptive email content, an overdose of information, lack of technology optimisation, among others. The re-engagement campaign should ideally avoid such problems and create the grounds for a renewed, meaningful interaction premised on clear value additions. For instance, a retail flower business may choose to re-engage with customers through an email campaign that emphatically renews the value proposition missing in the said enterprise. The business managers may work to boost consumer confidence by highlighting new services, an enhanced range of flower products, and interesting variations of flower bouquets, a toll-free number, value added services, etc. in an attempt to re-kindle commercial relationships. We must note that email remains one of the most cost-efficient vehicles of business communications and therefore, the said business is likely to harvest significant returns through this strategy.

A successful re-engagement campaign can hinge on personal interactions between a business and its many customers. The strategy of injecting the human element into commercial interactions promises significant dividends because consumers are likely to ‘buy’ into a commercial relationship that offers a human face. For instance, an e-commerce operator may choose to respond to changing market conditions and create a re-engagement campaign that hinges on face-to-face interactions with clients and customers. This approach to conducting business assumes significance because it is predicated on trust and the emotions that typically govern human interactions. We may note that prevalent models of e-commerce and the concept of human interaction may prima facie present an anathema, but an out-of-the-box approach may be required to take on market competition. Per this strategy, business executives may interact with customers and seek information on customer experiences during past business transactions; additional points of conversation with customers may choose to gauge customer satisfaction, seek customer inputs in terms of product and service preferences, and seek out pain points in client delivery processes. The information that emanates from such interactions may be used to create a better customer experience.

A different approach to a re-engagement campaign can be created around electronic text messages that can be transmitted to each individual customer’s smartphone. This approach promises an immediate context because most customers carry mobile phones on their person and check the device multiple times each day. Texting also presents an unproblematic approach because a simple text message can be used to revive customer interest. A toll-free number for voice and text can be embedded in the said message to encourage the customer to respond to the said campaign. Additional information in the text message may include web-links that direct customers to a web address that seeks updated email, mobile number, or home address co-ordinates. We note that most customers would find it difficult to ignore a text message and therein lies the value proposition of this re-engagement campaign.

Online competitions, electronic coupons, promotional codes can be leveraged as the crux of a customer re-engagement strategy. A business can leverage these tools in an attempt to re-ignite customer interest and capture additional mind share. This variation of a re-engagement campaign leverages the use of novelty and discounted prices to attract past customers to a business enterprise. However, we must note that the devices listed above can only attract customers when the business follows up said offers with a solid value proposition. For instance, an electronics retail business can choose to expand its customer list using competitions and coupons, but sustained customer interest will follow when the business consistently executes on its promises. Similarly, a value-for-money business enterprise must device market-beating offers that hinge on a genuine value proposition in order to attract and retain customers.

Re-engagement strategies must be carefully configured and constantly monitored to attain the desired results. Businesses that opt to operate such strategies must not shy away from creating variations because different markets and different customer segments deserve customised sub-strategies. For instance, a business that deals in premium products cannot create a re-engagement strategy that hinges heavily on discounted products. This approach may erode the brand value of the said enterprise and may drive customers to try competing brands. Similarly, a medical products business should not contemplate one-for-the-price-of-two offers because this can invite a regulatory backlash and may severely erode the profit margins of the business. These two instances should be borne in mind when an enterprise seeks to design a worthwhile re-engagement strategy.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have considered some of the planks that can be marshalled in pursuit of creating a successful re-engagement campaign. Every business should prize its customers and must work to ensure customer retention to the extent possible. The management cadre of a business should actively peruse the number of active customers and must work to expand the said list, while minimizing the threat posed by customer flight. However, we must note that firm commercial intent and business integrity must be placed at the centre of every re-engagement strategy. This would help to guide the enterprise through all the subsequent stages of said strategy and establish its moorings in the fiercely competitive modern markets.

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