Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Is this customer service, really?

In this economy, doesn't it make sense to take care of your customers even more so that they might become raving fans?

That's what I thought too until our recent dealings with Sears.

You see back on October 14th, my wife placed an online order with Sears to take advantage of a mattresss sale they were having. Good offer (as I often write about), time limitation (the sale ended on a pre-determined day), and the call to action was to click and buy.

We did and that's where the good part of the story ends.

Two delivery dates came and went and we had heard nothing from Sears. The third delivery day came and the box springs came but no mattress. The customer service representative even had the gall to tell my wife that she was looking at a mattresss because that's what her computer said despite the fact that my wife and the Sears delivery guy was looking at two box springs.

A promise was made from Sears to bring the mattress the following week. We said ok. Another week came and went and still nothing from Sears.

Now Sears has charged our credit card and is expecting payment for merchandise we have never received.

Tell me, with the economy is such doldrums, doesn't it make good business sense to take extra special care of the customers you have.

This brings me to another point about word of mouth advertising which I will write about in a future blog.

Let me encourage you to take care of your customers because if you don't you will lose them. And right now is NOT the time to be losing new business.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More Logical Reasons Why You Should Not Stop Advertising Now

I feel like I'm beating the same drum over and over but it's like we say in the radio business -- frequency is energy.

Here are ten tips for you who are still doing business in a tough economy as it relates to advertising from another advertising expert:

(1) Your advertising voice is multiplied. As some will no doubt cut back, your voice is amplified.

(2) The closing of scores of national retailers makes it easier for the local retailer's voice to be heard

(3) Cutting advertising is like amputating in order to get rid of an itch or like saying you're going to quit selling because they'll probably say no anyhow. When the # of incoming customers decreases, this isn't the right time to stop inviting them back.

(4) Don't cut your air supply. Advertising helped you get where you are right now -- don't stop now. The reason you have customers is that someone heard your message. And you're going to abandon that?

(5) When you stop advertising, your best customers become someone else's prospects. People go where they are invited. Your competitors are inviting your customers.

(6) Your customers will have more confidence that you are THERE. We have confidence in the post office and the fire department because t they are there.

(7) Consumers don't stop buying; they're just more choosey and looking for value.

(8) You know what consumers are looking or. Super sizing, good value works better than ever now. Give them a reason to come see you.

(9) Look at adding online tools to your campaign to give you an extra touch. Offer coupons or other incentives

(10) Think of what advertising says to your employees -- confidence.

Emperical evidence, again, points to every single case where advertisers either maintained or increased their advertising during a recession not only profited from that decision short term but also grew market share in the long term.

What do you want to do? Your decisions will affect your business now and down the road.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't Give Up

Marketing News writer Nicole Granese says whatever you do don't give up on marketing during a recession.

She says, "When you cut marketing during a recession, you stop the conversation with your consumer. You are out of sight and ultimately out of mind, putting your brand at risk."

Rethink your strategy.

Understand your target better.

Granese says, "A recession can be a great opportunity to gain market share and position your brand for the future. So don't just weather a recession -- seize the opportunity to thrive."

And remember from our last time together, that the scarcer your resources, the narrower your advertising focus should be.

We just had a report of a research study who advertised with us last week. They generated 41 calls and secured 15 appointments.

Business is still being done.

Do you want some of it?