Tag Archives: customer service

Changing Your Image Can Revive Old Loyalties – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to V8 Juice.

V8 has always been one of my family’s products, and in the past they have created some memorable ads and here they’ve done it again.

Their recent commercial caused me to laugh out loud for a number of reasons:

1.   Jackie Chan, a well-known actor because of his martial arts skills, was used for this commercial and they incorporated it in the commercial in a funny and in your face way.

2.  It had very little dialogue, but used an action oriented approach to make a strong point.

3.  It had a clear and concise message that the juices and smoothies people were drinking did not compare to the health benefits of V8.

The commercial is short and utilizes a relatively familiar environment — someone eating breakfast or walking down the street to make the V8 pop and stand out, because of the brightness of the V8 bottles and with the use of martial arts movements.

This is a great way to grab the audience’s attention in a cluttered communications landscape as well as send two messages; a push for healthier living and a push for a better product.

Lesson Learned: When marketing a product one has to look at what’s being done by others and “think-outside-the-box” in order to not only stand out and be remembered. The promotion possibilities here are unlimited and hopefully they company took advantage of that scenario.

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Don’t Throw Your Customers Away During the Sale Season – Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s dumb marketing move goes to Macy’s.

Black Friday. It gives sales a whole new meaning. It’s the start of the sales season, free shipping, and great discounts with a mix of crowds, chaos, and long lines. Macy’s, one of my favorite shops around, was a disaster in the aftermath of Black Friday.

I went to go look at the shoes because Macy’s has some of the best shoe sales every season.  Once I got there, I was severely disappointed with what I saw; shoes were in no particular order, the employees were less than helpful and couldn’t keep organized as to who was helping who. The displays were a mess and there was a no clear distinguished section for line and people just standing around.

Because the shoes were in such disarray, it was hard to really tell what was priced what because they were moved from table to table and different prices were posted. Also it was impossible to use the coupons that Macy’s has been marketing because “the items were already sale” so it wasn’t permitted to use them.  Macy’s is normally such a nice, orderly, and friendly store, but with the rush of the holiday sales, it’s best to steer clear unless you have infinite patience and an understanding of people and the craziness that comes with holidays.

Lesson learned: If you’re going to offer sales that are hard to pass up, make sure that your customers are taken care of and make sure that you can offer them assistance. Also, when promoting seasonal sales, make sure you make it possible for your customers to utilize all their benefits, including coupons and discounts.

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“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Communication Breakdowns Results in Disgruntled Consumers – Dumb Marketing Moves

This week’s Dumb Marketing Move goes to: University Crossings.

As a college student I wanted ease of access, so when I signed up for my apartment I had to opted for an automatic monthly payment. I figured that it would be easier than having to remember to go to the office every month and bring a check, but in the end it was not.

There were no problems up until May, when the automated service was changed, without any notification for the residents. I was sent a letter in mid-May stating that I was being evicted and had ten days to vacant the apartment. I was shocked, to say the least.

I called the office and told them that is was a mistake because I paid my rent. I was informed that they had not received my May rent therefore the eviction letter was sent. I checked my bank account and saw that, in fact, that was true. What I wasn’t told by the main office was that they changed their system and no longer took automated payments.

This frustrated and annoyed me because as a company that should be in communication with its leasers, did not email, call or in any other way inform the residents of the pending changes. It resulted in a lot of chaos that could have been easily avoided and the loss of many residents.

Lesson Learned: An ill-informed customer is not a happy customer. Make sure your company is user friendly. If you’re changing something major that affects your customers, have a plan to inform your customers. Make sure your employees are able to help your customers if they have questions and put it in writing. Send a letter to each customer, as well as a reminder email or letter.

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“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Getting a Deal on New Shoes Brings You Back for More – Smart Marketing Move

This Smart Marketing Move goes to Famous Footwear.

In my search for new sneakers, I noticed that Famous Footwear was having an end of year sale.  I went in and found shoes that I needed for running. This was right after the holiday rush and before New Year’s, so they were entering a slower time of year for sales.

After I paid for everything, the sales associate handed me a something that said “Famous 5 Bucks” with my receipt. As he was handing it to me, he explained that I can get another pair of shoes but for $5 off after the New Year. I was pretty excited because I just got a fantastic deal on this pair of shoes, now I have a chance to save more at a later date.

What did they do here? They gave me a reason to come back in, with an expiration date. They are building trust and loyalty, plus it just made me happier. Honestly, I don’t think I ever bought from Famous Footwear before this purchase; so I had no idea about these “Famous Bucks”.

Here’s what part of the back says: “Customers receive $5 in Famous Bucks for every $50 spent.” Then there are directions on how to use them, but the back reveals that this is an ongoing campaign for them. I thought it was just because we were entering a shopping slump in the retail industry, but it wasn’t. They continue this throughout the year, bringing people back into the store and helping them save a few bucks.

Lesson Learned: Once you complete a transaction – online or brick and mortar store, what are you doing to keep the customers you already have? It costs 50% more to get new customers than to keep one. Learn from what others are doing like Famous Footwear, especially during the holiday season since everyone is hustling around in stores. Offer a discount on their next order, give them a referral card so that they can refer their friends and they both get a gift or discount. Just don’t forget an expiration date! Think creatively and you’ll gain something money can’t buy, loyalty.

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“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Customer Service Costs the Customer – Dumb Marketing Move

Comcast Cable TV – Customer ServiceI recently received one of those automated calls saying that I was behind in my payment. As it was, I had been traveling and had just mailed payment to them that morning. I decided to call and try to talk to someone in the billing/customer service department to advise them of this.That is when I got a recording saying that if I wanted to talk to a “customer assistance” person rather than deal online it would cost me $4.95. My first thought was this was incredulous or perhaps it was a trick by Direct TV to recruit me as a customer. But no, it was a Comcast rule, so I went to the web and found that their online customer support system doesn’t work well with those of us who use a MAC. 20 minutes later I finally found a way to send them an e-mail explaining this situation and expressing my dismay with their version of being “User Friendly.” Follow up calls , when I could reach a human contact said I had misunderstood the message.

Thus I eagerly nominate Comcast for the honor of the Dumbest Marketing Move of the week, month, year, decade or century…take your choice.

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“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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VIP Services Means Loyal Customers – Smart Marketing Move

This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to: BANANA REPUBLIC.

              

Black Friday is known for its great deals, but also its long lines and mad rushes into stores. I figured I’d try to take advantage of the midnight opening for various stores at my closest mall on Black Friday. As expected, the stores were as packed as a regular business day, with the few exceptions that weren’t participating in the sales rush.

                The first store we went to, Banana Republic was surprisingly neat and still relatively calm. We walked in and right away, one of the employees came up to us and asked if we needed any help and if we wanted a dressing room.  We immediately took her up on the offer for the dressing room and it was a smart choice, because they quickly filled up.

                The employee came back a few times, to ask if we needed her help, but didn’t hassle us, and proceeded to get different sizes and colors of the different pieces we were trying on. We had tailored service even in a chaotic setting. It was nice to feel like more than just a consumer. I’m not sure if the people were getting time and a half or working on a commission, but the fact that the people working took the time to make sure that each person was helped made my willingness to continue to patronage their store a huge plus.

                Lesson Learned: Making your customers feel like VIPs is a crucial part of keeping them coming back for more. Plus, fantastic Black Friday deals don’t hurt the inflow of people. When you offer tailored service and accommodation to customers, people feel seen and like the attention. Good work Banana Republic on making Black Friday a memorable and successful event. 

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“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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Electronic Trash Turns Away Customers – Dumb Marketing Moves

This Dumb Marketing Move goes to Comcast.

Email marketing is a big deal. When a customer gives a company their email, it is quite the step for the customer. It’s a line into their personal life. With that said, I ran across an article about Comcast’s email marketing that seemed….sneaky. It was a new product, never introduced to this customer and they thought it was spam.

Here is the email they received:

Dear Comcast Customer,

Your immediate attention is required. Constant Guard™ identified that one or more of your computers may be infected with “Bot”. We strongly recommend that you visit the Comcast Constant Guard Center at https://constantguard.comcast.net for important information on how to remove malicious software from your computer(s).


A “Bot” is malicious software or malware that is used to gain control of your computer, typically without your knowledge. Online criminals can use Bots to collect your personal and private data, such as Social Security numbers, bank account information, and credit card numbers by monitoring your keystrokes. This can lead to identity theft and fraud.

We appreciate your prompt attention to this important online security notice.

Sincerely,

Comcast Customer Security Assurance

Lesson Learned: As a company, small or large, you must respect each and every email. If you don’t, you can easily lose a customer’s trust, they will want off of your email list, which means you lose most of your contact with this customer. Yes, there is social media but more than likely once you cross the line of making a customer feel uncomfortable in their inbox, they’re done. So remember, when introducing a new product, do it with integrity; your customers will see right through it otherwise.

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