Making Life Inconvenient For Customers

May 26th, 2016
Steven Howard

Customer Retention Results From Customer Convenience Convenience is one of the critical 7 Cs of superior customer service. But sometimes I have to wonder, are organizations in the business of making things more convenient for their customers or for their staffs? This question was highlighted to me a few years ago on a flight between Singapore and Melbourne. I was traveling on the airline that had made a reputation, right from its creation, …

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Delivering Upon Your Promises

May 24th, 2016
Steven Howard

You Need To Deliver Upon The Promises Made To Customers Vernon Hill, President and CEO of Commerce Bank, was quoted in one of Fast Company’s First Impression Newsletters as saying, “We have to keep delivering what we promise to customers.” When I first read this, I thought “how utterly silly” that a CEO of a major bank is making this kind of a statement. Is it really necessary to go all the way …

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The Sales / Service Relationship

April 19th, 2016
Steven Howard

SALES = SERVICE = SUCCESS Many organizations segment their service function from their sales activities. I believe this is a mistake. The closer you can entwine your service and sales activities, the more successful you are likely to be. After all, the customer rarely segments a sales activity from a service activity. To him or her, all your activities are service related! The formula for weaving these two activities together is to: Turn …

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Treating Customers Differently

February 4th, 2016
Steven Howard

Customer Retention Marketing: The Art of Keeping Good Customers™ I have written often about the growing need to treat customers as individuals — with individual needs, wants, desires, likes, and dislikes. There are four steps to go about this, and are detailed in the book The One to One Fieldbook by Don Peppers, Martha Rogers, and Bob Dorf. They identify four key implementation tasks that can be used as a guide for initiating …

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Building True Customer Loyalty

February 2nd, 2016
Steven Howard

You Have to Build and Earn True Customer Loyalty An interesting phenomena that we see in the world of marketing today is that companies are switching from a transaction perspective to a loyalty-building perspective….at least when it comes to their best (and most profitable) customers. There are only three ways to grow your business….and it doesn’t matter what business you are in. You can either: Increase the number of your customers. Persuade your …

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Customers Do Not Buy Products

January 29th, 2016
Steven Howard

Customers Buy Solutions, Not Products There are five key customer-driven marketing principles that I consider critical to marketing success today. The first is that the customer is king. The second is: customers do not buy products….they buy solutions. Hence, it is important that you and your entire organization think of your products and services in terms of the solutions they provide to your customers. For example, a person doesn’t need a quarter-inch drill. …

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No Such Thing as a Commodity Product

January 26th, 2016
Steven Howard

You can differentiate any product or service Product differentiation is a marketing technique that can be applied to any product or service offer. It is my deep-seated belief that there is no such thing as a commodity product….there are only products that are marketed like commodities. Remember: Customers do not buy products — they buy solutions. One way to differentiate your product is through the way it provides solutions. Another is through the …

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Brands and Customers Are Hidden Assets

January 21st, 2016
Steven Howard

The Corporate Brand and Your Customers Are Two Great Assets A goal of every organization is to increase its assets over time. These assets are typically defined in terms of revenue, customer accounts, properties, human resources, and capital. But there are two hidden assets that every organization can develop and that are critical for marketing success. These often overlooked and under-valued assets are the brands and customers. Your brands, particularly your corporate brand, …

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More Thoughts on Customer Retention

January 19th, 2016
Steven Howard

Time to make CRM mean Customer Retention Marketing Over the years, I have written about customers being hidden assets of an organization. Hence, you can imagine how aghast I was recently when walking through an airport and coming across a poster for a software company that read: “Customers are an investment. Maximize your return.” Not surprisingly, this company was touting its CRM (customer relationship management) software solutions. Customers are not an investment! Customers …

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Customer Retention Marketing

January 14th, 2016
Steven Howard

Customer Retention: The Art of Keeping Good Customers™ The world in which marketing takes place continues to change and evolve at a rapid pace. Reduced trade barriers, extensive deregulation across numerous industries, an increasingly globalized economy, customers who are more aware of the choices available to them, and changing customer values are all combining to ignite a dramatic increase in the competition between products, brands, services, companies and, indeed, even countries. Additionally, customers themselves …

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