Digital Revenue Generation Guide - (Page 15)

SMART MARKETING BY SCOTT HORNSTEIN I am spam For far too many companies, customer service is DOA t the beginning of each year, we conduct our annual e-mail responsiveness survey. Our survey is based in the notion that every customer, at one time, sends an e-mail to a corporation with a customer service question. Theoretically, the corporation should get back to the customer with an answer within 24 hours. After all, isn’t that the way you’d like to be treated? We conduct the survey because this is where the wheels of CRM hit the road. Corporations can sing all day long about the tons of money spent and the customer-centricity of their organization, but if they can’t get it together to answer my one stupid question, it doesn’t amount to (with a nod to Bogie) a hill of beans. So we send out a one-sentence e-mail. The subject: “Customer Service.” The text of the message: “What is SCOTT HORNSTEIN IS THE CO-AUTHOR OF OPT-IN MARKETING AND PRESIDENT OF HORNSTEIN ASSOCIATES IN REDDING, CONN. HE CAN BE REACHED AT EDIT@SALESANDMARKETING.COM. A your corporate policy regarding the turnaround time for e-mails addressed to customer service?” We send it, one by one, to a database that consists of the Financial Times’ World’s Most Respected Companies and Fortune’s Most Admired Companies. These include Microsoft, GE, Toyota, Coca-Cola, IBM, Wal-Mart, P&G, Apple, Starbucks, Costco, FedEx, Home Depot, Southwest Airlines, Berkshire Hathaway and more. The goal is not a response—it’s an answer. This year, 31% of these companies answered us within 24 hours. (Full disclosure: One of the e-mails wound up on the desk of a colleague). It’s down from a high of 63% in 2002, and the slide has been uninterrupted. Some 51% of companies answered us regardless of timeframe. It’s the same as last year, but down from 2002’s high of 86%. Of the companies that answered, 12 SALES &MARKETING MANAGEMENT MARCH/APRIL 2008 42% said they either have a policy of a 24-hour turnaround, or they try their best. Of these companies, 27% took longer than 24 hours to answer us. Other interesting observations from the answers: I One respondent said they did not know. I Two told us the information is proprietary and cannot be shared with the public (I love this). I Three asked if our query was prompted by a problem. Good for them! And from those that responded without managing to answer the question: I Two companies e-mailed back, asking us to call them and discuss the matter further. I One asked what department we were looking for. I Two told us to go to their Web site and find it ourselves. I One sent an annual report. While responsiveness and commitment are what we’re measuring here, quality of the answers is also a concern. Of the e-mails received, about 25% had a typo or grammatical error, misspelled my name or did not identify the corporation (I had to figure out who sent it by the return address). This is no joke. The outcome is abysmal by anyone’s standards. Do the companies who answered the question deserve praise? I don’t think so. Answering a customer’s question only brings you up to zero. These results, and the overall downward trend, are disturbing and confusing. No one can maintain a “customer relationship” if they can’t muster up the courtesy to treat a customer with respect. The stiff arm does not engender trust or loyalty. What’s the dealio? Why would half of these companies not answer at all? It wasn’t a hard question. There were no tricks. Did our e-mail get lost? Was it because I wasn’t buying anything? Or, was it human failure? Did the strategies, processes and quality control suddenly and cooperatively fail? Or, perhaps, the emperor is not wearing any clothes. I kicked this around with my wise friend, Dean, and he summed it up perfectly: “Scott, you’re spam.” IF YOU HAVE SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT HAS WORKED FOR YOU IN LEVERAGING YOUR MARKETING DOLLARS, GO TO YOUR IDEAS AND EXPERIENCES. AND SHARE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Digital Revenue Generation Guide

Digital Revenue Generation Guide
Sponsorship Positions
Flash Belly-Band
Gate Fold
Flash Survey
Blow-in Card
Flash Animation
Flash Animation: Automotive Ad
Flash 360
Scroll Bar

Digital Revenue Generation Guide