Tag Archives: customer relationships

Vendor/client relationship in real life, sad but true

It’s something we’ve all have to deal with at one point or another – a not-so-balanced vendor/client relationship. If you’ve ever struggled on either side of the equation, you’ll appreciate the sad but true scenarios played out in the video below. Enjoy!

Why Zappos sent my mom a get well card

Today I’d like to lighten the mood a bit and tell you all a warm and fuzzy little story about my mom and Zappos. Yes, my real mother (Diane) and Zappos, the customer service focused online shoe retailer.

A few weeks ago she was online looking for a new pair of shoes to wear to a wedding. She had recently broken her ankle and needed a pair of shoes with a long ankle strap to fit around an air cast.

So, she finds a pair of shoes she likes online. Being more of a traditional shopper, she wanted to call and speak to a human being about the shoes to make sure the ankle straps would fit in her situation.

During the conversation with the customer service representative, she shared her reasons for shopping for a new pair of shoes. After hearing her uncomfortable reason, they waved any shipping costs and put her name on a “Preferred Customer List.”

If that wasn’t enough, one week later she received this get well card in the mail:

Zappos' outstanding customer service

Zappos' outstanding customer service

Not only did the customer service representative she was working with write her a thoughtful message, but six other representatives signed the card as well.

It’s just another lesson on awesome customer service and an example of how Zappos is leading the way.

Putting customer feedback to work

Customer feedback in action

Customer feedback in action

“You Spoke. We Listened.”

It’s a simple idea that helped Best Buy launch it’s latest project devoted to customers. By actively listening to customers, Best Buy’s “Blue Label” line has put customer feedback in action by incorporating recommendations into the design process of future products.

It all started with one question: “How would you describe your ideal laptop?” Through conversations with customers on community forums, Best Buy discovered customers wanted laptops with longer battery life, a thin and lightweight design, an illuminated keyboard, more optimal screen size and superior warranty support.

Now, the retail giant has released two new computers from Toshiba and HP equipped with product elements developed with ideas sourced directly from customers.

Best Buy was able to deliver the products consumers wanted by being flexible, responsive, starting conversations with customers, and paying attention to the actual needs of the people they serve.

How many companies out there are taking customer input as seriously as Best Buy has? Does your company actively involve the customer in product design?

Companies avoid social media despite benefits

Despite evidence that social media improves customer relationships and boosts sales, a   new global survey found that most senior executives have no plans to adopt social media as part of their marketing efforts.

Fear and apathy toward social media were noted as key obstacles to using social media, according to an independent survey by Avande.

According to survey findings:

  • More than 50% of respondents said senior executives and IT staff resist social media out of fear it will negatively impact employee productivity.
  • 60% believe management does not understand the potential benefits social media offers employees and customers.

Though resistance is high, top executives realize that social media technologies have the potential to transform the way companies build and manage relationships with their customers. Most companies have no formal plan to adopt and manage social media.

Early adopters of social media questioned in the survey revealed overwhelmingly positive results from using Web 2.0 tools. Of early adopters of social media:

  • Two-thirds of those surveyed saw improved customer satisfaction.
  • 64% reported an improved marketplace reputation.
  • 2 in 5 companies directly associate increased sales by using new forms of media.

Rather than waiting for the next crop of Generation Y employees to bring social media into the workplace, jump on the bandwagon before you’re left in its dust. Remember – social media is right, even if you think you’re doing it wrong.