Articles Tagged Customer Care

May 20, 2012
The bigger you are, the more you seem to forget your customers

Picture yourself at one of our many fruit-and-vegetable markets. If you frequent these places, I have no doubt that you have a favourite vendor that you habitually buy from. Why is that, when there are usually dozens of stalls before you, all offering very similar products at very similar prices? What makes you choose one […]

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Apr 23, 2012
Your business is centered on customers? I don’t believe you…

“I’ve been living in the Thank You Economy since a day sometime around 1995, when a customer came into my dad’s liquor store and said, “I just bought a bottle of Lindemans Chardonnay for $5.99, but I got your $4.99 coupon (later) in the mail. Can you honor it? I’ve got the receipt.” The store […]

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Mar 06, 2012
#TwitterBigStick and #TwitterThumbsUp: where to from here?

The 2 hashtags, #TwitterBigStick and #TwitterThumbsUp were never intended to be finished products in any sense. As I have said from the outset, they were simply a demo of what focused tweeting can do. They play on very human needs: to express frustration when good service or value for money is not provided; and to […]

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Feb 06, 2012
Yes, CEOs: you WILL need to understand and engage with social media

“As I jogged down Wall Street in New York in October through the barricades, police horses, and thousands of activists, something became clear. The masses had self-organized and social media had added yet another social movement to its résumé. At the same time, something else became clear to me. Much higher than street level, in […]

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Jan 30, 2012
What #TwitterBigStick is, and which organizations have responded

#TwitterBigStick is a hashtag that escalates bad service and bad behaviour by organizations. Thousands have used it to give instant feedback on poor experiences and neglect. It give ordinary people a voice and an instantaneous way of channelling feedback constructively. Ignoring #TwitterBigStick can lead to a severe reputation battering, often in a few hours of […]

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Jan 22, 2012
Organizations: prepare for online firestorms in 2012

A few weeks ago I predicted that 2012 would be the year of the “Twitter Big Stick” in Kenya: a time when both politicians and large organizations feel the force of feedback from social media. I pointed out that the reason for this is that the little people – customers, users, voters – now have […]

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Nov 07, 2011
Consumers, not corporates, are now driving tech innovation

“The rise of tablets and smartphones also reflects a big shift in the world of technology itself. For years many of the most exciting advances in personal computing have come from the armed forces, large research centres or big businesses that focused mainly on corporate customers. Sometimes these breakthroughs found their way to consumers after […]

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Oct 10, 2011
Thinking like a customer could have saved Kodak

“In the mid-1990s I paid several visits to Kodak’s headquarters in Rochester, New York, and the cultural mindset was – with hindsight – on full display. Various executives told me how wonderful silver halide was. Professional photographers could not do without it, nor could Hollywood. Digital was for amateurs. And even they would always want […]

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Sep 26, 2011
Steve Jobs’ real secret? He was Customer Number 1

“Steve Jobs is above all an Apple customer. He and Steve Wozniak built devices that both of them wanted to use themselves. Wozniak brought exceptional engineering chops. Even more important, Jobs (who can’t program) brought the perspective of a passionate and non-technical customer into the design, the look and feel, and the excitement of Apple […]

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Aug 15, 2011
Why are some industries so persistently bad with customers?

“Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group, says, “The overall story was not very good. Nearly half of the companies received ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ ratings. The bottom of the list was dominated by health plans, TV service providers and Internet service providers. In these industries, it appears as if bad customer experience is contagious. […]

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Jun 05, 2011
What should we do with our bad customers?

I often speak before the leadership teams of top firms, and one of my favourite subjects is the customer experience these companies offer. An observation: I am nearly always asked the same question during the interactive part of the presentation, no matter where I am and which company I am addressing. Here’s the question: “What […]

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Mar 20, 2011
Still taking customers for granted? Look out…

I wrote here last week that so many of our businesses seem hell-bent on sacrificing long-term strategic gain at the altar of ‘shrewdness’ – the mistaken belief that you must get the best possible deal for yourself in every transaction. That article seemed to touch a nerve: I was deluged with tweets and comments from […]

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Mar 14, 2011
Do your customers have a life without you?

“Do you have customers who can’t live without you? 
Because if they can, they probably will. The researchers at Gallup have identified a hierarchy of connections between companies and their customers, from confidence to integrity to pride to passion. To test for passion, Gallup asks a simple question of the customers they query on behalf […]

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Mar 13, 2011
Businesses remain stuck in short-sighted “shrewd” practices

If you spend time with businesspeople, you soon pick up that they value something called “shrewdness” over most other things – if you aren’t sharp and quick-witted, with an instinctively predatory commercial instinct, you shouldn’t really be in business. By this they mean that the ability to sniff out and design a great deal is […]

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Jan 03, 2011
Who is at the centre of your business – you, or your customer?

“If you pull out your smartphone and click the button that says “locate me” on your mapping application, you will see a small dot appear in the middle of your screen. That’s you. If you start walking down the street in any direction, the whole screen will move right along with you, no matter where […]

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Nov 28, 2010
Since when is misleading customers a winning strategy?

Suppose you go into a shop to buy a drink. You notice that instead of saying “1 litre” on the carton, it says “up to 1 litre” instead. You buy the drink, go home and empty out the contents and measure them. You find there was only half a litre in the box. How do […]

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May 17, 2010
Why does your company try to annoy its customers?

“I was reflecting the other day on the near infinite number of ways in which companies annoy their customers. A few that make me go “grrrrrr:” – Being forced to rifle through a two-foot pile of garments in order to find my size – Having to search through lines of nano-sized text at the bottom […]

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Nov 30, 2009
Do you have a relationship with your customers – or do you just transact?

“One of the most common and ambiguous terms in business today is “client-centricity” or “client focus.” Many businesses claim to have it. But if the essence of a relationship is a willingness to earn and deserve what you want by first focusing on the other party in the relationship, few companies are really client-centric. Many […]

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Jul 20, 2009
Your brand may be way less effective than you think

“Every marketer is up against this new reality: The world is overflowing with brands, and consumers are having a hard time assessing the differences among them. In 2006, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued 196,400 trademarks, almost 100,000 more than it had in 1990. The average supermarket today holds 30,000 different brands, up threefold […]

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Discussing Crown Your Customer on KTN

I will be on KTN’s Enterprise Kenya programme on Tuesday 21 July at 7.35 pm, discussing my book, Crown Your Customer. The programme is repeated on Saturday 25 July at 4.00 pm.

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Jul 12, 2009
Many big companies take their customers for granted

The customer is king, customer first, customer focused, customer centred, customer this, customer that. You would be hard pressed to find a big company these days that doesn’t chant the customer mantras. In all CEOs’ speeches, in annual reports, in investor presentations, in awards ceremonies, the message is emphatic and repeated: they REALLY care about […]

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Oct 10, 2008
Stop lying to your customers

“To remain competitive, businesses require access to capital and the STRATEGIC ADVICE to use it wisely. So, who are they going to turn to?” Merrill Lynch advertisment, The Economist, September 20th, 2008 “Quality and safety are the foundations of social harmony.” Posters for China’s Sanlu Group, quoted in The Economist, September 20th, 2008 I came […]

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Oct 03, 2008
Are you building loyal customers, or just bribing them?

“Now I want to rant about how the word “loyalty” has been kidnapped. Loyalty has been dislocated from its true meaning and is now used to describe programs and promotions, usually supported by sophisticated software, that encourage customers to buy from a company multiple times. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with multiple purchases, but return visits […]

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Sep 14, 2008
Still abusing customers? Time to close down

Someone I know recently told me a story about a well-established restaurant in Nairobi’s Westlands. He was there with his family, and ordered a fish dish. Upon tasting it, he found that the fish tasted stale and unpleasant. He complained to a waiter, who immediately replaced the fish, no questions asked. So far, so good, […]

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Jul 14, 2008
Crown Your Customer – Storymoja Business Club, Tuesday 15 July 2008

I will be in attendance at the inaugural meeting of the Storymoja Business Club, Books First, Nakumatt Lifestyle, Monrovia Street, Nairobi, 6.00 to 8.00 pm. The Storymoja Business Club is a new forum for managers and students of business to discuss business books in a convivial gathering of peers. Members meet once a month to […]

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Jun 27, 2008
The Edge: Connecting with Customers – out now

The Edge is a quarterly management knowledge series, jointly produced by the Business Daily and Strathmore Business School. I am the Consultant Editor. The current issue is out today, free with the Business Daily and on sale all weekend. This issue’s theme is Connecting with Customers: why we have forgotten the primacy of the customer, […]

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Feb 29, 2008
When the CEO loses touch with customers, trouble follows

“Although many companies like to use scientific research methods like surveys and focus groups to try to understand consumer needs, the best CEOs don’t rely on clinical data alone. They know that if they become removed from the action, they may miss important changes and opportunities in the marketplace. Many of them make special efforts […]

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Feb 22, 2008
Be afraid of your customers – not your competitors

“Yes, you should wake up every morning terrified with your sheets drenched in sweat, but not because you’re afraid of our competitors. Be afraid of our customers, because those are the folks who have the money. Our competitors are never going to send us money.” Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon.com (Interviewed in Harvard Business Review, October […]

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