Rogers, a Canadian communications company providing services like Cellular phone coverage, internet, Cable TV and Land line phones experienced an outage recently on two of its services, Cellular and Internet. Communication was poorly handled and the company was perceived to be ‘missing in action’.

Customer satisfaction is the balance between customer expectations and how a business performs. It’s a simple formula. Or is it? Customers who buy from you or join your cause, have certain expectations as they work with you. Some of those expectations are set by your business, as part of your sales presentation, and / or packaging, advertising, and other publicity. Other expectations are set by the industry, the government and what competitors are doing. Technology is the wild card here.

Luna Park, a theme park in Sydney, Australia, has implemented an application that integrates smart phones, bar code readers, photo taking devices, Facebook and email to provide a real time feed of what users are doing at the theme park to their Facebook friends plus a summary of the day. It’s called My Experience. During the day, there are posts to your friends on what rides you are taking and a picture of you on a ride and a score on how ‘daring’ you are. What is this? It’s a testimonial for the theme park. Indirectly, the act of posting a stream of actions taken by users is providing their friends word of mouth feedback using Facebook that they are having fun and after the fact, that they had fun, at Luna Park. Or they can send an email to their friends with a summary. Great word of mouth!

A testimonial or referral from a customer is one of the best forms of marketing. It is not uncommon for businesses to want to post customer testimonials everywhere they can to encourage others to buy: advertising, store signage, press releases, websites. Watch a video on this new technology and technique adopted by Diesel Jeans. As most Facebook users have more than 100 friends on average, this technique provides word of mouth reference spread to over 100 friends in seconds with just a few pushes of a button from a smart phone or using a service like SnapmyInfo for regular cell phones with a camera. Do you know anyone that doesn’t leave home with their mobile phone? Consumers have the ability to easily provide referrals for your product, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Customer Centricity: An IBM Video

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Customer Centricity is a new term to capture the thought that customers are central to everything an organization does, including product development, sales, service, marketing and even through its suppliers and channels. IBM has an excellent video called “How it Works: Smarter Commerce” that covers the concept well. Watch the video and review the key points in this blog post.

A recent CNN Video describes about how Smart phones are starting to be used as payment devices. As this offering becomes more widely spread, customers will start to expect this feature at retail outlets, restaurants, bars, etc. Starbucks is highlighted in the video. Those organizations who fail to keep up with popular offerings by their competitors will find their business and customer satisfaction impacted.

In a recent Toronto Star automotive article titled Phone Apps connect Customers, Dealerships, highlighted an example of how a smart phone application can do away with the need for a customer to call for a car service appointment, thereby eliminating the customer service representative on the other end of the phone. When the customer arrives at the dealership, the service staff is waiting avoiding line ups and paperwork. At the end of the repair, the customer can use a smartphone to pay.

Of the key trends in 2011 will be mobile and mobile applications. Mobile is a fast growing marketing and customer satisfaction force. When an early adopter in an industry starts to use Texting, mobile applications and mobile QR, 2D or Stickybits code, it raises the bar for competitors. The table stakes get raised and customers EXPECT all businesses in the same industry to offer the same or better or a much lower price!

Mobile applications are starting to grow exponentially and allowing users to view complaints or compliments of businesses or products in new ways. Sitckybits allows users to scan a barcode or QR code and attach digital content (like complimentary reviews or complaints) to the code that can be viewed by others who scan the same code. Learn more about Stickybits.

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