Archive for January, 2010

More Toyota Customer Satisfaction Woes

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Toyota’s customer satisfaction woes continue to mount with recalls in Europe (estimated at 1.8 Million), China (it’s fifth recall in a year), Resale value drops to effectively zero as major wholesalers and used car dealers stop selling affected Toyotas. More car rental companies stop renting them. Some Ford models in China are affected too. US Congress has launched an investigation into how fast Toyota responded to known problems. Toyota has a reputation management problem!

Toyota Customer Satisfaction – an Oxymoron?

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Has the term Toyota Customer Satisfaction become an Oxymoron? Toyota’s recent quality problems on stuck gas pedals has now forced the company to halt car production AND SALES in North America of the affected models. The US government forced Toyota into this action. Car rental agencies, Toyota biggest customers, have pulled the affected Toyota models of out of service. The entire ecosystem, customers, leasing companies, insurance companies, shareholders are all negatively affected. There are recalls now in China and Europe. Should the affected Toyotas be allowed on the nation’s streets and highways? Can Toyota’s reputation ever recover?

If you want to monitor what is happening on the web with your brand, your organization, your executives or your name, the challenge is enormous. Some excellent data exists in a blog post called Internet 2009 in Numbers on a site called Pingdom. These numbers are staggering and surprising and highlights the need for monitoring.

1. 126 Million Blogs
2. More internet users in China and in Europe than in North America
3. 350 Million people on Facebook
4. 27.3 Million Tweets per Day in Nov 2009

Another Toyota recall announced on Jan 22, 2010, of 2.3 Million Toyota vehicles has further damaged Toyota’s Quality reputation. Toyota does not refer to an investigation that is ongoing in Southlake, Texas where 4 people died in a Toyota Avalon. The pedal acceleration problem could have been the cause. Sadly, one of the people who died was a business associate of mine at IBM. This article covers that investigation. It also contains a link to a video on the Tundra rust problem.

Haiti Relief Effort and New uses of Social Media

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

A volunteer network is trying to satisfy their customers (those in need in Haiti) by coordinating the movement of water and other supplies around Haiti using Twitter and a relatively new mapping software called Ushahidi, which allows text messages to be mapped by time and location. When buildings are destroyed and street signs are gone, volunteers don’t know where they are or how to get to the place they are supposed to deliver the supplies. Rachelle Houde from Montreal is part of a massive volunteer effort over coming that challenge. Read her story!

In a recent article by Inc titled 30 Tips for using Social Media in Your Business, there were seven were directly related to customer satisfaction processes and techniques.

Radian6, social media monitoring platform for marketing, communications, and customer support professionals, is sponsoring Twebinars (hour long audio interviews) to share how companies are using Social Media on a regular basis. The most recent Twebinar covered how Xbox is using Twitter to augment their customer service. This article covers some highlights of how Microsoft Xbox support team called the ‘Elite Tweet Fleet’ is using Twitter, how they are organized, what they measure, and how they are managed.

Coca- Cola is launching new Social Media Guidelines which include how to handle situations dealing with customer satisfaction issues. In addition to guidelines, they have create two types of associates: those who will represent Coca-Cola on Social Media (spokespeople) and those who will add their eyes and ears to ensure management are aware of the sentiment surrounding the Coke Brand.

“The only way to put out a social media fire is with social media water,” says Ramon DeLeon, managing owner of 7 Chicago area pizza stores. A Domino Pizza Franchise owner uses an apology video to respond to a negative customer tweet. He also uses other interesting techniques to ensure his customers keep coming back.

An article I wrote, called Customer Satisfaction Management – Launch the New Year the Right Way, was recently published on eZine @rticles. Year End / Year Beginning actions that send the right message to employees need to be taking by various levels of management, from senior executive through middle management to first line management. This article covers why customer satisfaction advocacy is so important at year beginning, what customer satisfaction results to report, how to get maximum benefit from customer satisfaction results and what to do first.

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