Direct-to-Customer Commerce

Icon

Strategic insights into the direct commerce industry, including ecommerce, direct marketing and related fields

Eight email failures … Seth Godin

Seth is a great observer and writer and he hit the nail again with this post:

Eight email failures (and questions for those that want to do better)

It’s not so much based upon any decisive research … but rather just a lot of common sense.  I think one of the burdens carried by the new generation of marketers, is the ease of using short cuts to the execution of marketing programs, and often the associated low cost of most digital-based messaging.

This short cut has allowed many marketers to be less discriminating about what works with whom and boasting about remarkable ROI’s because of the low cost.

Seth’s insights are worth examining … and marketing management should consider the impact of excessive digital marketing on the customer experience / satisfaction / annoyance.

Advertisements

Filed under: Direct Commerce, Opinion, , , , ,

Customer Engagement v Customer Service

I’m going to write about this again later, but here’s a link to a blog post by Seth Godin on Customer Service.  It’s entitled, The only purpose of ‘customer service’.

He makes a great point about customer service, so contemplate what he says about customer service.  Then, consider how, when talking about social media and marketing, so many people are discussing customer engagement.

I don’t mean to infer that customer engagement is the same thing as customer service.  I don’t think it is.  But I probably do think customer service is more important than customer engagement.

We’re using words in marketing these days, which suggests we can create a nearly intimate relationship between a business and its customers.  And I think that borders on the ridiculous.

I admit, I’m a real fan of Five Guys, a franchise that sells hamburgers and fries.  Their second store is right near my home and I’ve been eating there for a long time.  But I remain a fan, because their burgers remain among the best I eat.  And they’re a good value, from a price point of view.  So, I’m a fan because they continue to provide me a good product at what I consider a good price.

When they fail to do that, they may lose me as a fan.

If you want to set customer engagement as a goal for your company … go for it.  But only after you get everything else correct, first.

Filed under: Direct Commerce, multichannel commerce, Opinion, , , , , ,

The sixth step to multi-channel commerce

Step 6 is about customer service.

Customer service poses an interesting problem for multi-channel merchants.  A common complaint about customer service at brick & mortar stores is that a shopper often can’t find anyone to even take their money, much less help them with a problem.  And I suspect this is at least one factor in driving some people to the web, where customer-self-service is more possible.

In the direct commerce environment, merchants often are faced with a conflicting dilemma.  Customer service remains an expensive proposition, even when it’s over the phone or via some text based medium (SMS, chat, Twitter, email, Facebook), because it takes so many people.

However, on the other side, customer service is often a merchant differentiator.  So, it’s well within the self-interest of merchants to provide as good a customer service experience as possible.

Seth Godin, in his blog, on Sep 26, 2012, wrote:   The simplest customer service frustration question of all … “Why isn’t this as important to you as it is to me?”

And the reality, it often seems, is that a customer’s problem is rarely as important to the merchant as it is to the customer.  But that is so easy to change, if merchant leadership decides to do it.

Nearly everyone has had horrible customer service experiences and nearly everyone has had great ones.  Customer Service staff needs to have the authority to fix customer issues and the tools to do so.

In addition, customer service should be reachable via a channel or medium of the customer’s choice … a list of options which is continuing to grow:

  • phone
  • web self service
  • chat
  • SMS (short message service), aka text messaging
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • electronic mail

And here’s an important reminder:  Customer Service should come before your web site.  It rarely does, but it should.  Because the moment your web store goes live, you’ll need customer service.

Filed under: Direct Commerce, Ideas, multichannel commerce, , , , , , , , , ,

Pages

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 27 other followers

2016 ElectionsNovember 8th, 2016
Get ready!
October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Feb    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031