Monthly Archives: November 2013

Can customer service representatives with good intentions hurt your business?

Everyone nowadays talks about the customer experience and the fact that companies need to do a great job at it.

While this is true, trying too hard may actually have a negative impact on your relationship with the customer.

For instance, some customer service representatives tend to offer all kinds of bonuses to customers in order to keep them happy, but don’t consider the costs of the free stuff they’re giving away.

Furthermore, customer service representatives can sometimes act as sales people, usually for up sell or cross sell, but they often times lack both the training and the knowledge they need for sales.

What ends up happening is that customers get an unrealistic picture of your company and expect the same treatment in the future. But, if you only provided free goods or services to attract them or promised something that you may not be able to deliver, it will eventually fire back and this can irreversibly damage the relationship.

Don’t seduce and abandon your customers and don’t try to make them loyal by offering them deals, discounts, etc. Customers can only become loyal because they like what you have to offer and you treat them with respect. Anything else is only a temporary solution for you to generate more sales but it won’t last forever.

Furthermore, customer service people usually have a good reputation because they’re the good guys who try to fix the problems customers have. If you turn them into “bad guys” who try to sell they will lose their credibility and customers will trust them (and you) even less.

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Why you need to do everything I tell you

Because I know better. Also, what I share with you is making you smarter and your business isn’t going to die if you do exactly what I tell you.

It goes without saying that if you don’t let me help you (and pay for it), you’re in big trouble and it will cost you much more to fix it later.

Does this sound familiar? We all get this type of messages on all channels and companies don’t seem to understand that we don’t need them. Or maybe we do need them.

Do we need illusions or facts from marketers and sales people? what if someone promises you a beautiful house but delivers this:

image

You will surely be disappointed, but did you ask the right questions to avoid getting this?

In a time when “trust is the new currency” I think we’re way too easily influenced by people or brands which seem credible but aren’t.

Does the BCG-matrix apply to CRM?

The BCG matrix or the growth-share matrix was created in the seventies to analyse the correlation between the use of cash and the cash generation by the products of a company. Boston Consulting Group concluded that there are four types of products, depending on the level of investment that they require and the amount of cash they generate.

The matrix also summarizes the lifecycle of most products, which starts with problem children or question marks (products which require high investment and generate low cash flow), which become stars when they are successfully or dogs/pets when they’re not. Stars can only become cash cows (whey they are less successful but still generate a lot of cash) or dogs/pets (when they stop being successful).

BCG matrix

Image of the growth-share matrix from a BCG Perspective. Author or copyright owner: The Boston Consulting Group, Source: http://on.bcg.com/12PLAlh

Without even knowing it, you may be applying the same logic when you decide how you treat your customers. As you know, in order to get cash from your customers, you need to invest in your relationship with them. All new customers are questions marks, which become stars in the best case scenario. The loyal ones will eventually become cash cows. Most of your customers are probably pets and you may not be sure what to do with them because they don’t buy a lot from you but they don’t cost you much either.

You may think that the customer experience revolution that everyone is talking about will make this logic obsolete, but can you realistically provide a great customer experience without investing in people, tools, training, maybe new facilities, marketing and PR, etc.?