Tag: customer service

Anticipatory Marketing

May 18th, 2009   •   2 comments   

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Anticipatory marketing is like a water cooler in a park on a hot day

When a customer purchases a product or consumes a service, are there are unspoken needs that you can meet?  Are there supplementary services which can augment his or her encounters with your company?  

In other words, have you attempted to “read the minds” of your customer and anticipated the problems that they face or the additional help that they need, even before they utter a single word?  

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Saying Sorry is Good for Business

August 22nd, 2008   •   3 comments   

Saying Sorry is Good for Business
Image courtesy of Billboard

“Sorry” may be the hottest hit by Justin Beiber on the charts today. However, it is still incredibly hard for companies to say.

And that has led to so many countless cases of organisational grief over the years.
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Service Recovery at an Aunty Restaurant

April 27th, 2008   •   5 comments   

To celebrate my dad’s 68th and my niece’s 10th birthday, my mum decided to book a restaurant for dinner last night at Tiong Bahru’s Seng Poh Lane. Going by the unassuming name of Por Kee Eating House (porky?), the outlet was your typical old-fashioned Chinese restaurant with red plastic chairs and an outdoor al fresco eating area. It was as unpretentious as you can get, with a clear focus on its food rather than ambience.

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When we arrived, we were ushered to a space next to the public carpark outside, under the starry moonlit sky. As the evening was cool, most of us didn’t quite mind sitting outside. Especially with a beer or two!

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My Family’s Car Accident – A Tale of Service Excellence

October 7th, 2007   •   32 comments   

Yesterday afternoon, my wife together with my son and maid got into an accident along CTE (I was attending a work lunch then). What happened was a tale of God’s divine providence mixed with extraordinary service excellence.

My wife was driving towards the city and encountered the usual Saturday afternoon jam. Traffic was extremely heavy and crawling at a snail’s pace. Unfortunately, a slick black BMW driven by a young 19 year old guy crashed into the rear of our car. He must either be driving his dad’s car or distracted by his girlfriend.

The shock was so hard that the beamer’s airbag popped up. Fortunately, my family didn’t suffer major injuries although my maid had a swelling on her head (currently under observation) while my wife’s back hurt. Both cars stopped and my wife took down the driver’s full particulars (NRIC, license plate, hand phone photos of damage, insurance company, car model).
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Service versus Sales

August 13th, 2007   •   13 comments   


Used car salesman (courtesy of Chaka Raysor)

I am always puzzled why companies spend a lot more energy and focus on trying to sell rather than pleasing their customers. If you don’t already know, customer retention is a far more profitable strategy than customer acquisition. That, plus the fact that word of mouth is taking off more than ever in this ad-saturated age of increasingly powerful social networks. Here are some sobering statistics which tells you why you should pamper your existing customers rather than court new ones:

  • A typical dissatisfied customer will tell 6-10 people about the problem. A typical satisfied customer will tell 1-2 people.
  • It costs 6 times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an old one.
  • Of those customers who quit, 68% do so because of an attitude of indifference by the company or a specific individual.
  • About 7 of 10 complaining customers will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint in their favor.
  • If you resolve a complaint on the spot, 95% of customers will do business with you again.

(Source: Customer Are Always)

Studies have also shown that a Customer’s Lifetime Value (CLV) can be far greater than that of a single transaction. In fact, 70% of a telco’s revenue comes from 30% of its customers: those who stay for years and purchase increasing levels of service. There is a nifty way to calculate CLV here.

Now shouldn’t you start paying more attention to those customers who made you who you are?


Service Excellence without Frills

May 21st, 2007   •   12 comments   

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A contender for SPRING’s Excellent Service Award?

Many of us would have heard about Singapore Airline’s legendary service. Or how every employee at Ritz Carlton, from GM down to housekeeping maid, is taught to resolve any guest complaint. Must quality service only exist in premium establishments?

The answer is no.
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Marketing Public Services

May 4th, 2007   •   3 comments   

Came across this interesting post by Seth Godin on his experience in applying for a VISA at the Indian Consulate. Totally agree with Godin that little touches like this make a world of difference to the way people perceive a country before they travel there for whatever purposes. I guess this is why in branding and marketing, every single customer touchpoint matter, right from the start (warm welcome) of the experience till the end (fond farewell).

“..Many of the chairs are broken, leaving sharp steel platforms on which to crouch. And there aren’t enough chairs, broken or not. The signs are confusing, the two clerks are protected by a sheet of glass a full inch thick (which is twice the thickness of a typical bank’s) and the little machine that dispenses deli-style tickets is broken.

Fixing the consulate would be easy. I’d start by putting in phone lines to a call center in India and making it easy for anyone waiting to get questions answered by a helpful person with plenty of time to invest in the conversation. I’d buy some comfortable chairs. I’d invite airlines and hotels to have brochures or even better, a booking agent right there in the waiting area. I’d hire seven more clerks. And I’d definitely lose the glass.

The more important issue is this: this is a business. They take in more than $20,000 a day in fees, but even more important, the way they market themselves has a direct and important impact on travel decisions. No visa, no trip. Big hassle, no trip. Given that every single person traveling to this vast country must deal with the consulate first, think of the leverage… Just a small influence on the quantity or quality of travel to India would be huge.”

Link


Divine Dabbawallas

April 18th, 2007   •   11 comments   


A dabbawalla doing a balancing act. Steady bro!

Hat tip to Seth Godin for this fascinating food phenomenon in India called the Dabbawalla. These guys deliver food in tiffins (metal containers like the one below which we also use in Singapore) to thousands of offices every day.


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Parking Lot Principles

March 8th, 2007   •   15 comments   

I was piqued by this recent post on Seth Godin’s blog which spoke about how a bank manager parked at the most convenient lot available right in front. An excerpt from it below:

“The manager of the Chase bank in Pleasantville parks right out front. Her branch is on a quiet street with parking meters available for customers to use. Figure there’s perhaps a dozen spaces convenient enough to make it worth going to the bank… if they’re full, keep on driving, because there’s always another bank coming up soon.”

This reminded me of exactly the same frustration which many of us face.
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Customer or Crook?

February 10th, 2007   •   12 comments   

Spotted this sign at a second-hand bookshop somewhere. It tells me a couple of things:

1) We are very pally with the men-in-blue so “you better watch out, you better not cry…”

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