Candid Letter from Sales to Marketing

Below is an article from Manticore Technology, a leader in marketing automation software. To read the full, original article, go to http://www.manticoretechnology.com/qmaguide/dload-qmag-s1-jkonrath.asp.

Dear Marketing,

I know we haven’t always gotten along. In fact, I’ve been pretty critical of you over the years.

I’ve complained that you’re not doing your part to get us business. I’ve blamed you when our new offerings fail to achieve their anticipated success. I’ve accused you of being out of touch with what’s really going on with our customers and prospects.

The truth is, I don’t want to be the fall guy when I don’t reach my numbers. You don’t either. In fact, you’ve been just as hard on me as I’ve been on you.

You’ve criticized my salespeople’s skills, telling everyone in the company that we’re unfamiliar with the concept of selling “value”. You’ve griped about our bonuses, whined about our expenses or grumbled that we don’t work hard enough.

Enough already. We need to stop this blame game or neither of us will be successful.

Personally, I’m out of patience. It’s harder than ever to reach our quotas, and I don’t see things getting any easier in the future – especially when I talk to the people who buy our products and services.

You may not realize this, but most of our prospects today suffer from a severe case of Frazzled Customer Syndrome. This is a debilitating condition brought on by excessive workloads, lack of down-time, information overload, no sleep and job-related stress.

To read the full, original article, go to
http://www.manticoretechnology.com/qmaguide/dload-qmag-s1-jkonrath.asp.

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Viral Marketing

This post was written by lynn on August 2, 2010

Top 10 Customer Service Turn Offs

Top 10 Customer Service Turn Offs: How to avoid common mistakes

It takes only a few moments to demolish a customer relationship that took several years to build.  The best way to retain your existing customers is by being diligent in your everyday dealings.  Given below are the top 10 customer service turn offs (as researched by Global Response) and ways to turn these around to reinforce and strengthen your customer relationships.

Amateur Staff

Nothing irritates a customer more than a customer service representative with half-baked knowledge.  Even if you have a small team of customer service agents, it helps to train them adequately so that they can represent your company appropriately. It helps to understand that, each and every customer service agent is the face of your company for the customers, and hence should be knowledgeable enough to give correct information and provide suitable solutions.

Trying to Win an Argument:

You can certainly win an argument by defending your company and reacting to your customer’s complains, but you cannot win his loyalty by doing that. You can only win his allegiance and loyalty by empathizing and apologizing (and that holds true even when it is not your mistake!!).

Rigid Policies:

Sticking to stringent policies can be the fastest way to lose customers. Depending on the strength of the customer relationship, you should be willing to bend policies for him, or at least try to identify ways of bending policies to strengthen customer relationships.

Futile Commitments and Promises:

Only promise when you are hundred percent confident, that you will be able to deliver within the committed time. For some reason, if you realize that you cannot deliver within time, then have the courtesy to call your customer and inform him of the reason and the time when the commitment can be fulfilled.

Diffidence:

Any customer would like to do business with a company which is accessible. If you have not kept your customer informed about the point of contact during an hour of emergency, then it is more than a probability that he will soon shift his base to another company. If you want a customer to return to you, then you must provide him with accessibility and warmth.

Poor Acknowledgements:

If you fail to acknowledge your customers with appropriate comments, then your customers are bound to feel ignored and neglected, which will inadvertently lead to loss of business. If a customer is unhappy about a personal or professional loss, you should be caring enough to acknowledge and comment suitably.

Poor Records:

The same goes for titles as well. Referring to Mrs. Thomas as Mr. Thomas, or Mr. Jackson and Mr. Johnson is only going to worsen your bond with the customer. Constantly misspelled names and inappropriate titles discourage customers to come back to you.

Ignoring the Basics of Customer Service:

Simple acknowledgements such as “Thank You” and “Sorry” still mean a lot to majority of the customers.  If you ignore these basic phrases, you can be quite sure of losing your existing customers.

Call shuffling:

This is indeed the worst and the most common customer service turn off. If a customer’s call is being transferred from department to department, and if no one is ready to take the responsibility, then it turns off even the most patient customer. On the contrary, if you are able to provide your customer with ‘First Contact Resolution’, then you can be assured of a returning customer.

Apathy and Failure to Listen:

Last but not the least, apathy and failures to listen are two of the most unforgivable customer service mistakes, and are often taken seriously by customers. Sometimes, you can simply make your customers day by listening to him attentively.

In today’s tech-oriented, increasingly uncongenial business world, you can win the hearts and loyalty of your customers by avoiding the above 10 customer service turn offs.

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Viral Marketing

This post was written by lynn on July 27, 2010

Embrace Makes an Impact While Promoting Seat Belts (Amazing Video!)

Here’s a very good example of putting viral techniques to good use…

Who? What? Why?

The SSRP (Sussex Safer Roads Partnership), in South East England, is currently promoting Embrace Life, a campaign designed to remind individuals of the importance of wearing their seat belts.  Started in February 2010, it has quickly become an internet phenomenon. Embrace Life broke 1 million views in less than two weeks, is being shown in front of James Cameron and BIll Gates at the Ted.com conference in Long Beach, California, and may also be screened on international TV stations from the Arabic Gulf to Canada, the USA to France. It currently sits at 5.8 Million views on YouTube and growing daily!

If you haven’t seen Embrace Life yet, log onto the dedicated website – www.embracethis.co.uk and don’t forget to join the Facebook group set up by one viewer to lobby for Embrace Life to appear on national TV!

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Online Video, Viral Marketing

The 2010 US Census: Going Viral Saved Them $85 Million

I’ve never been more excited for a US Census…EVER! They’re doing a perfect job of marketing to our generation. This television ad is part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s national advertising campaign to boost mail participation rates in the once-a-decade population count. For every percentage point increase in the 2010 Census mail-back participation rate, the Census Bureau saves about $85 million in follow-up costs with households that failed to return their forms. The advertising campaign represents the most extensive and diverse outreach campaign in U.S. history, with advertisements appearing in 28 languages

The 2010 census is the most ambitious count ever of the nation’s population. Did you know that a census is required every 10 years by the U.S. Constitution’s Article 1, Section 2? I didn’t, (but that doesn’t say much)!

What Peaked My Interest?

I was still a bit weary and un-interested, but at this point, I not only felt obligated…I was actually excited! And then I got this letter…

…I couldn’t help but think “Woah, I’m actually excited to fill out this census!” Can’t speak for anyone else, but assume other people felt the same way.

Use of The Internet/Viral Campaign

The commercials went viral and their web-presence was growing, but how effective was it overall? Their YouTube campaign (Youtube.com/user/uscensusbureau) was helpful, though their channel has only received 100,000 views. That’s less than “David After Dentist” which has over 54,000,000+ views on that 1 video alone. It doesn’t imply anything about our country, but for something this important, I feel they should have had more views. STILL…they deserve credit for Blogging, Tweeting, Newsletters and more. They’ve done everything possible to reach us and make us interested, now it’s time to do our part…

For more information, visit 2010.census.gov.

Posted under Blogs, Events, Online Marketing, Online Video, Social Networks, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on March 22, 2010

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Lady Gaga Goes Super-Viral (Good News For Diet Coke, Virgin and Wonder Bread)

Lady Gaga Goes Super-Viral…

According to Viral Video Chart: It was Discovered 12 Mar 2010, have been 15,683,005 views, 3,910 blog posts (+ this one),  and 9,588 tweets. All of that in a matter of 3 DAYS!!! It seems to be slowing down. (Slowing down in this case is going from Super-Viral to simply Viral, which by any standard, is still amazing!)

Gaga Will Sell Your Product!

Want your product noticed? Have Lady Gaga promote it and I guarantee you’ll see results! This 10 minute video plugs at least 10 separate brands: Virgin Mobile, Diet Coke, Polaroid, Wonder Bread and more…! And not only that…SHE MAKES THEM SEXY! Next time I see Wonder Bread, I’m going to think of this video and Gaga 1/2 naked with star patches for a bra. “The corporatisation of pop seems to have reached a different order of magnitude with Telephone, and I can’t help thinking it fundamentally alters the relationship between pop star and fan.” (Guardian – UK)

Is Lady Gaga Too Sexy For TV?

Despite the prison fights, lesbian kissing, 90% nudity and mass murders, according to CBS-News, “the video for the Lady Gaga-Beyonce collaboration “Telephone” has not been banned by the music television channel, despite previous reports that they would not air the clip.” The rumors that it wouldn’t be on MTV resulted from a “segment that aired on CNN on Sunday in which reporters Fredricka Whitfield and Jacqui Jeras discuss the video — which at press time has been viewed more than 14 million times on YouTube since its release late Thursday — and say that MTV had banned the clip.” (MTV.com) There is no proof of this on the CNN site, but you can find the original clip on MediaIte.com.

In Conclusion:

I would encourage all pop-stars to try and take their videos Super-Viral, but leave the product placement at home. Otherwise, the future of music will be one giant glorified set of commercials. There needs to be a distinction set now, before that ‘fine-line’ is broken. Now stop reading this article and watch the video if you haven’t already: Lady Gaga – Telephone Music Video Premiere

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Online Video, Social Networks, Viral Marketing