Archive for March, 2010

Yelp, a web site, where consumers post positive or negative reviews of local businesses can be a boon to customer satisfaction, sales and new customer acquisition or it can be a real headache for a local business. The power of consumers is very evident in this new review site which boasts 30 Million users a month, and 10 Million reviews, mostly in the US, but also in Canada, UK and Ireland. This article describes Why Yelp is important, what Yelp is, how local business owners can use Yelp and what do to next if you are just getting started.

Nestle is undergoing criticism from Greenpeace for its use of Palm Oil in its products on the grounds that it damages the environment. It has tried to publicize its position and action plans. Nestle has used a Facebook Fan Page with over 92,000 fans as one of its vehicles of communication but the handling of the issue by the community manager on Facebook has become a Facebook Storm with customers and non customers. The dialogue from customers, fans and non fans has taken on a life of its own.

A video from 2006 is still circulating the web about an HP printer in Iraq that wasn’t working for the US Military in Iraq and that HP refused to fix without being paid. The soldier admonishes HP and then proceeds to use the printer as target practice with his rifle. Complaints have a life of their own. But is HP really to blame? See the video then ask if the US Military might be at fault here for failure to provide support for equipment used by their soldiers in Iraq; or failing to communicate that how support was available?

Everyone once in a while a person or organization makes a big mistake. Customer satisfaction takes a hit and the problem goes viral in the press and on the internet (blogs, social media, websites, etc). Why this is important and what to do about it (how to recover) is covered. Three examples are reviewed: Tiger Woods Infidelity scandal, Toyota Recall and Safety issues and the Roman Catholic Pope and the child sex abuse scandal. Videos of apologies and action plans are included in the article.

Is Big Brother watching you? Remember George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eigthy Four? Well Big Brother isn’t watching you but everyone else is. Almost everyone with a cell phone has a camera in it that can take pictures and movies. These pictures or movies can be posted to Web 2.0 sites like Facebook, or Youtube and be very embarrassing. Lately this has become very visible in the media as well. Recent newspaper articles about Transit workers and Local Politicians highlight how cell phones cameras are changing the visibility of employees working with or out in the public. Customer satisfaction can be impacted by negativity that is now very visible.

Most Organizations measure customer satisfaction with surveys. They can be tracked, and measured and compared year over year, month over month, quarter over quarter. But what techniques are available to raise early warning flags? Three types of measurements can help: Predictor Metrics, Prevention Programs and Social media / Blogs / Complaint Sites.

Better Business Bureau has recently released its list of the Top 10 Industries with the most customer complaints. One measure of customer satisfaction is the number of complaints received. Normally a complaint is a measure of the failure of a service call or multiple calls. The Better Business Bureau measured both the number of complaints and the number of complaints that are resolved within 30 days. Two charts ranked by volume of complaints and percent of complaints resolved in 30 days show very different results.

Customer Relations at Toyota Failing?

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Customer Satisfaction processes call for addressing issues with customers squarely and fairly. So far, Toyota has not done this well. Embarrassing evidence keeps surfacing and public relations efforts have limited success. Lawmakers blast Toyota Chief despite his apology.Toyota caught bragging about savings from limiting recalls.Toyota is forced to provide US recall customers with additional services. Allegations surface that Toyota withheld key data in Crash Lawsuits. Toyota Crisis may clear a man jailed in fatal crash. Toyota apologizes in China. In Nigeria, Toyota blames accelerator pedal problem on the cold. Whoever is managing Toyota’s customer satisfaction and customer relations appears to be failing.

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