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Why You Need to Know Thy Customer

This is modified from my post on Bizlaunch.

One Click Or Two?

Looking to sell more? Pay attention to your customer. She’ll tell you everything she  wants and needs, as well as how can you deliver products or market to her in a way that speaks her language, if you know how to listen.

How to Find Out What Your Customer Wants

Think you can’t afford to research what your customer is thinking? Wrong.

Eight Rules of Social Media Customer Service You Can’t Afford to Ignore

We’re seeing more and more companies using tools like Twitter and Facebook to reach customers and address service issues. I personally am loving this, and have been helped by numerous companies this way (sure beats calling an 800 number).

In  High Tech, High Touch Customer Service, author Micah Solomon covers eight unbreakable rules of social media customer service. Whether you’re currently using social media for customer service or simply considering it, these are worth examining.

1. Avoid the fiasco formula: a digital stitch in time saves nine (million)

Solomon says that the longer you wait to address a serious issue that’s been brought to the public’s attention via social media, the bigger the fiasco it becomes. He uses this formula to illustrate his point:

small error + slow response time = colossal PR disaster

2. Lie back and think of England: digital arguments with customers are an exponentially losing proposition

The same rule applies in any customer service scenario: arguing with the customer never works. But it’s even worse when it’s done online, because the whole world (or at least the whole Twitterverse) can see you looking like a jerk.

Update on Dell’s Customer Advisory Panel

So when I attended DellCAP (that’s its Customer Advisory Panel, FYI) a few months ago, I said I believed they were listening to what we told them. One of my contacts from the event sent us an update today, which shows that they are indeed listening and working toward change. Iwanted to share it with you. Here’s what they sent:

Support

We heard: Offended by up sell while trying to get support.

Dell: We’reincreasing audits of support agents and call monitoring to ensure agents are following guidelines for the initiative.

We heard: I would consider paying a premium for better built in support.

Dell: Your Tech Team (YTT) is a support option available.   YTT plans increased marketing to make support option advantages more widely known to customers.

On Mashable: Why Complaining Customers Can Be Good For Your Business

Companies love positive feedback. They share it on Twitter, post it on their website and use it as marketing fodder. But what about when feedback is, well, less than pleasant? What can you do with a handful (or more) of irate customers? Do you ignore them? Bury them out back? Not in today's social atmosphere.

How to Define Your Brand by Customer Service

Having just written my post about attending Dell’s Customer Advisory Panel, customer service is still on my brain, so let me put together what I want to share with Dell. As I said in that post, I’m so happy they’re…

Marketing That Works: The Follow Up

While at first glance, customer service may not appear to be part of marketing, it is. Everything your company does to promote itself falls under marketing. Following up is one of the key pieces in good customer service. Whether it's after a sale, after meeting for the first time, or even after a complaint has been filed, followup is important, and yet often overlooked. Here are a few companies that have impressed me with their followup.
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