The New Qualities for Customer Service Excellence

The current pandemic has clearly highlighted those companies who care about their customers and who provide them with customer service excellence.

If you claim to be customer centric are you sure you’re truly walking the talk and not just talking about customer service excellence? Many companies are and the pandemic has brought them into the spotlight.

A few years ago I was prompted to question this of the local Swiss cable company Cablecom. It had been desperately trying to address a long-term deficit in customer service excellence versus its main competitor Swisscom.

Swisscom has made customer service their MSP (main selling point or value proposition) and they are renowned for putting their customers first. Cablecom, on the other hand, had, until then, been trying to win customers through aggressive price cutting. In today’s connected world, especially when internet connection is concerned, dissatisfied customers will be quickly heard – across the net.

Back to the incident that prompted this post. After a few days of being ignored by Cablecom – my perception at least because my emails and phone calls were not being answered – I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that I resorted to Twitter.

It is more than five years ago that Twitter was first referred to as today’s call centre. Social media usually guarantees a quick response whereas contacting customer services through the usual channels often results in nothing.

 

What makes a great customer care centre?

Customers these days expect a response in minutes or hours rather than days. Recent research shows that 88% of customers expect a response from your business within 60 minutes, while 30% expect a response within 15 minutes or less! How good is your own customer service?

Most call centres today are a frustrating if sometimes necessary experience for customers to endure. In many cases, they are automated, with an often long and complex self-selection process of button pushing to arrive at the department one needs – if you are lucky that is!

Usually, the result of all that effort is just a recording that either announces that the department needed is not open at the moment, or that the collaborators are currently busy and to please stay on the line at best, or to call back later most often.

We are next subjected to music supposedly designed to calm our nerves, interspersed with messages suggesting alternatives to waiting on the line: going to the website to find a solution, to check their available FAQs, to complete a contact form, or to send an email. And then, of course, to add insult to injury, we hear the infamous message about our call being important to the company! Really? If so you’re not showing it, you’re not walking the talk.

Companies that have understood customers’ frustration with help-line queues have found alternative solutions, such as arranging a callback or providing sufficient staff to cover the busiest times, or at least to be available when the customer is most likely to need support.

Today there is no excuse for a consumer goods company to not be ready to help their users when they need it the most; for example:

  • Early morning or late at night for personal care products
  • Breakfast, lunch and evening meal times for food manufacturers
  • Evenings and weekends for TV and technology products

Whilst in a few cases, there may be customers who use Twitter to jump the call centre queues, in most cases, it is a customer’s final cry for help after being frustrated by long waits on their careline calls, or self-service selections that led nowhere.  Continue Reading

Top 10 Marketing Infographics to Smash 2018 (Inspiration for the Visual World)

One of C3Centricity’s annual traditions is to publish a post which shares the best marketing infographics of the previous twelve months.

Here is this year’s crop, with ideas on how you can get inspired to take action in your own marketing.

Interestingly, many marketing infographics that have been shared in the past year are actually about content marketing. It’s as if “true/traditional” marketing doesn’t exist any more. That in itself says a lot about the focus of marketers these days! Are they right to do so? I don’t think so, but let me know your opinion.

In the same way that new media channels were separated from traditional channels for a while. it seems that content marketing has also been separated from traditional marketing. This is wrong from my perspective, because content marketing has always existed, whether through communications on pack, in advertising or more recently on websites.

Anyway, here is this year’s crop of the best marketing infographics around. If yours is not among them then please add a link to your preference in the comments below.

 

The Most Shared Marketing Infographics of 2017

Most shared marketing infographics

It makes sense that I start this post by taking a look at the most shared marketing infographics of last year. What is great about this post is that it is itself an infographic! It explains what makes a shareabale infographic.

Take a look at the six most shared posts and draw inspiration from their ideas, to create your own.

(Source: Infographic Journal)

(Click image to see full infographic)

 

 

Top Marketing Design Trends 

SSTK Core TrendsIFGC Static english  eWith the rapid expansion in offers online, websites can no longer satisfy their audience by just adding content. They need to regularly update their design too, to stay fresh and appealing to changing preferences. (C3Centricity does this annually; le me know what you think when we relaunch our new design in a couple of weeks)

This infographic summarises beautifully the trends for the coming year. Check your own site against these images and if you find yours lacking in any way then an update should be planned – sooner rather than later!

(Source: Shutterstock) 

(Click image to see full infographic)

 

 

The Meaning of Colours by Culture

Meaning of colour marketing infographicIf you work globally then you already know that while we are all human beings, we are not all the same. This is particularly true in terms of our associations with colour.

These differences come from a wide variety of sources; from tradition, to history and even from the impact of the most popular brands.

So it is important that if you are responsible for a brand globally, or sometimes even regionally, that you understand the nuances in interpretation of your brand’s pack and communication by the colours used.

This infographic, while it may seem complex at first view, will become your best friend once you understand how to look at it.

(Source: Information is Beautiful)

(Click image to see full infographic)

 

Content Marketing Uses

Content marketing infographic matrix

This is a small but useful graphic – I don’t think it is “officially” an infographic but I’ve used the term widely as you have seen – that explains the differing uses of content in marketing. Continue Reading

Delivering a Campaign Win Amidst Online Saturation

Fifty years ago, the primary platforms used to communicate to customers were print media, TV commercials, and billboards. Given this, large-scale campaigns were pricey, and only a h andful of major br ands had the resources with which to execute them.

Now flash forward. These days, the results of corporate marketing initiatives are as ubiquitous as the air we breathe. As marketers, we still have the commercials, billboards, and print ads to content with, but now we also have to consider things like search engines, social media, and mobile computing. Beyond that, we must deal with the knowledge that just about anyone with a computer and an internet connection now has the capability to market a product or service online, quickly and inexpensively. The issue becomes:

Your customer is st anding in front of a fire hose, but are YOU the one getting them wet?

Every time your customer is hit with a new pop-up, banner ad, or promoted tweet, they become more and more desensitized. They’re getting bombarded with endless potato chips, when what they really want is a substantial meal.  Do you know how to feed them?

Content is the value

In an information-driven market, the companies that will prevail are the ones that underst and the type of information their customers must receive in order to justify their investment in a relationship. Just showing up and spouting what you want them to know about your offering doesn’t do the job anymore. Rattling on about features and benefits will put them to sleep—or worse, yet, make them click away.

Demystifying customer needs

The easiest way to give customers what they need is simply to hear what they’re saying. Have you listened to your customers lately?

  1. Discover relevant online destinations. Set up keyword searches to deliver information on the blogs, web sites, and social media outlets you need to monitor. Actively listen to the online chatter about your br and, industry, and competitors.
  2. Solicit direct feedback. Develop and share an online survey with your customers, giving them an anonymous way to tell you what they think— and what they want.
  3. Identify conversation trends. As you review the information you’ve gathered, you’ll probably be able to identify a number of recurring issues that appear to be the most important to your customers. Turn these into a set of key customer statements (e.g., “I need to stop wasting money on service bundles I cannot use,” “I want to spend less time managing my IT infrastructure.”).
  4. Turn customer statements into marketing messaging. Develop the pillars of your messaging framework around your customer statements (e.g., “We provide all the services you need, and none of the ones you don’t,” “Our products reduce your IT maintenance time by 65%.”), and then spin them further into marketing copy:

Are you tired of paying for service bundles filled with offerings you can’t use?
XYZ Company provides custom solutions that target your unique needs—without a lot of extras you don’t want. . .

Are you spending too much time managing your IT infrastructure? Continue Reading

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want me to catalyse your growth and profitability, just book a call.

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