Is Customer Service Building or Destroying Your Brand?

Singapore Airlines First Class (747) by Richard MorossAfter losing his own seat to an irate fellow passenger, Barry Kirk was pleased to be bumped up to first class. That is, until he overheard a flight attendant complain to a colleague about just how much he detested serving first class fliers . . . When so much of customer loyalty depends upon the service experience, can any business afford to overlook the critical role of customer service on brand value?

Kirk is solution vice president of consumer loyalty with Maritz Research, a marketing research company whose data on customer behavior shapes the business strategies of market leaders worldwide.

Among the key findings of the company’s research on the impact of consumer experience, says Kirk:

  • 43% of customers who defect from a brand do it because of a service interaction.
  • Of those defectors, 77% blame employee attitude for the poor experience.
  • More importantly, the large majority, 83%, of customers who defect because of poor service tell someone else about it.

“A company can do many things right with a customer, only to have it all unravel in one bad experience with a brand ambassador,” wrote Kirk for Promo Magazine.

Whether you’re the owner of a local hardware store or the director of a national electronics chain, these are numbers and insights to take to heart.

Read more from Kirk in “First Class to no Class: Learning Loyalty from a Flight Attendant” — Promo Magazine, May 17, 2011. Image credit: Richard Moross (Flickr).

By |2014-02-14T17:47:36+01:00June 6, 2011|Blog, Customer Service|0 Comments

Boost Your Brand

How to find the perfect pitch person to get your message out

Inventor Michael Boehm’s instincts told him the concept he had been shopping to various manufacturers—-a portable contact grill that cooks food items faster and more healthfully-—had great promise. So why couldn’t he find a corporate partner to help take the product to market?

It was 1993, and Boehm had spent a year fruitlessly searching for someone to buy into his idea. Rather than back-burner the grill, he decided what the concept needed–not only to land corporate backing but to resonate with consumers–was some star power.

The rest, as they say, is history. Boehm targeted boxer George Foreman to be the spokesperson for the concept. “I knew he ate two burgers before every fight and that he and his sons were all burger freaks,” he says. “To me, he was a perfect fit to represent the product.”

After checking out a prototype of the grill, the Foreman camp agreed it was a good match, and the heavyweight signed on to represent the product. Soon thereafter, with Foreman’s muscle behind the grill, Boehm found a company, Salton, to take it to market. Now, 14 years after Salton rolled out the George Foreman Grill, it has sold a whopping 100 million units.

The Foreman grill has become a textbook example of how enduringly valuable a high-profile spokesperson can be when that person is carefully selected and wisely deployed in the scheme of a marketing strategy. …more at Boost Your Brand –, published 2 April 2009.

Flickr photo credit: pdicko

By |2012-01-05T06:58:54+01:00April 6, 2009|Blog, Marketing|0 Comments

Getting It Wrong

In 2008, entrepreneurs Chris DiMambro and Keith Dupuis sought to upscale their Main Street Grill, a sports bar and family style restaurant in Weymouth, Massachusetts. Their $48,000 risk–in seemingly positive changes that included an expanded menu, flowers on the table, linen napkins, and even new salt and pepper shakers–so angered their regular customers that, after 9 months, the pair had to acknowlege a flop. Disheartened by the empty seats, angry customer letters, and a 15 percent drop in revenue, the two look back in this MSNBC video to what went wrong and the lessons learned. Says MSNBC in summary, “to keep the customers you have, you need to be in touch with what they’re looking for.”

See the video below and a related, more positive piece from the Boston Business Journal, 3 February 2009.

Flickr photo credit: gregs stuff

By |2012-01-05T06:58:54+01:00March 26, 2009|Blog, Marketing|0 Comments
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