Seven Reasons Businesses Lose Customers

A May 2014 onliSeven Reasons Businesses Lose Customersne survey conducted by Harris Poll points out seven reasons businesses lose customers.

Poor customer service is costing American consumers 30.8 work hours which translate into $108 billions a year in missed work time and productivity

Poor customer service costs a lot more to businesses and brands when you take into account that 35% cancelled their service or stopped using the brand or business and factor in a customer’s long term value (LTV), lost referrals or worse, since 13% have taken to social media

What frustrated them the most?

  • 44% waiting for a service rep
  • 43% being put on hold
  • 38% feeling that service representatives didn’t know how to fix problems.
  • 35% service rep did not understand their problems
  • 32% having to call back because the problem wasn’t fixed
  • 21% billing issues
  • 12% trying to schedule an appointment

“These service frustrations are significantly impacting service businesses today because consumers are becoming more and more likely to demand not just a great price but a great service experience,” Timms said. “Companies that offer the best experience in all parts of the service process will be the ones that retain their customers, grow, and succeed.”

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4 Reasons Industrial Marketers Should Adopt Social Media

industrial marketersEven if studies have shown that, so far, industrial professionals have been a relatively passive social media audience, their presence and social media usage is far from negligible.

In a recent study, “2014 Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector,”  IHS GlobalSpec found that 44% of technical professionals spend more than an hour per week on social media for work-related activities.

The study indicates that technical professionals maintain social media profiles on LinkedIn (74%), Facebook (61%) and Twitter (17%).

In addition, 47% of them spend time on LinkedIn reading product or industry news while 26% research suppliers.

69% of technical professionals with a Facebook profile follow businesses or groups within their industry and 38% research or read work-related content.

These statistics are far from negligible and show that industrial marketers need to take a serious look and consider integrating social media in their marketing mix.

The return may not be immediate and as high as their other more traditional marketing initiative but the potential is there for those who get early on on the bandwagon.

  1. At a time when traditional marketing vectors are crowded and customers/prospects are bombarded with messages and ads, social media is still a relatively virgin territory in industrial markets
  2. Social media allows them to find, identify, reach influencers like industry analysts, consultants and other industry thought-leaders
  3. Through social media they can connect and build relationships with influencers
  4. Social media is the medium of choice of the new generations, reaching them is key to future growth

Mothers With Children Under 5 Most Active on Social Media

moms with young children are often more active on social mediaA new analysis from Experian Marketing Services found that moms with children under the age of 5, are often more active on social media, more likely to shop using mobile devices and more open to engage with brands across digital touch-points than consumers at large.

Moms with young kids represent a highly active and digitally sophisticated segment of consumers who are eager to connect with brands and share their experiences through multiple platforms Continue reading

Google Plus Social Media Relevance

Google + is an interesting beast and as a platform, the question remains, what is Google Plus social media relevance?

As more and more data comes out, the question is still up in the air.  It’s not that Google is not trying, they have been shoving Google + down our throats by integrating (very poorly)successful social media properties like Blogger, Picasa, Google Places and You Tube into one platform:  Google +

In doing so Google + has shown impressive growth in terms of registered users but when it comes to social media, growing your base is only one part of the business model.  Most social media platform do so by providing a platform where users want to spend time and and share content with their friends increasing relevancy of the platform and creating an incentive for users’ friends to join.

Google failed at that part and fell back on the second option; using properties users love to use and forcing them into Google +.  It could have worked if Google had not made it more difficult to use the already successful properties and tried to make it as difficult as possible to share them in platforms other than Google +.

The result?  A recent study from Shareaholic shows that high user growth is not translating in higher use, engagement and sharing. Continue reading

How Consumers Find Websites

With the on going debate on SEO vs SEM vs Social, a recent study by Forrester Research released in July 2013 sheds some very interesting light on how consumers find websites  The study was conducted in 2012 and show the fast rise of social search

  • 54% of consumers find websites through natural search results, up from 50% in 2011 but still 7% less than in 2010
  • Social networks are the second-most preferred discovery resource, with 32% using them in 2012, up from 25% in 2011 and 18% in 2010.
  • 50% of 18-24 year old and 43% of 24 to 32 year old are using social media as their main internet discovery resource
  • Links are the third important means of website discovery, with 28% saying they found websites from links on other sites, down from 31% last year.
  • Just 18% of those surveyed said that they use ads for website discovery, an improvement from 2011, when paid search was the least popular form of website discovery, with only 8%
  • One-third of Americans are using Facebook and Twitter for discovery.

How consumers find websites

Physician Reviews: Patient Experience Trumps Skills

physician reviewsHow important are physician reviews

In healthcare, branding sometimes is reduced to its most basic component and it’s not what most physicians would thing about first.

Unless a patient is victim of malpractice, it’s very difficult for them to evaluate a physician medical skills.

On the other hand, patients have expectations in terms of experience and oftentimes, that experience will drive their perception of the physician or the healthcare facility.

According to a recent study of physician review websites released in April 2013 by Vanguard Communications, poor customer service and bedside manners are the biggest complaints on online medical review sites, trumping by far poor medical skills

  • 43.1 percent of the negative reviews complained about doctor indifference and bedside manner
  • 35.3 percent were about poor customer service including staff rudeness, erroneous billing, unprofessional dress and facilities not being hygienic.
  • 21.5 percent highlighted a lack of physician skills

To stand out of the crowd, just like any business, healthcare professionals need to start thinking about their brand holistically, in term of patient experience from beginning to end.

What does that mean?  That means evaluating and improving each point of contact with the patient, from the website, social media, printed material, telephone demeanor, front office staff,  assistants, nurses, bedside manners, parking lot, waiting room … to improve patient and caregivers’ experience

Think in term of great experience and patients and caregivers will flock to review sites and sing your praise.

What’s in it for you? Increasingly patients are going online for healthcare information and  to choose healthcare professionals based on peer reviews and referrals.

In addition, positive reviews improve your website organic search rankings which in turn, means better visibility and more patients and referrals.

There is no downside

Social Media For Business Mainly a Brand Builder

Social media for business study

Social media plays a significant role in small and medium-sized businesses’ (SMBs) marketing efforts, providing both free and paid exposure to a wide-ranging—and often receptive—audience.

Most important social media platforms for business

According to a January 2013 survey from online magazine Social Media Examiner, Facebook continues to be the most important social network for most business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers worldwide, given its enormous user base. However, for business-to-business (B2B) marketers, there is a healthy competition among other

platforms. Among these marketers, LinkedIn tied with Facebook as the most important social network, while blogging followed 10 percentage points behind.

Interestingly, while YouTube was only the most important social platform for 4% of SMBs total, it is where the greatest percentage of businesses planned to make future investments. Nearly seven out of 10 marketers said they planned to increase their use of YouTube this year.

Benefits of social media marketing

The greatest benefits of social media:

  • 89% increased exposure
  • 75% increased traffic
  • 43% increased sales.

This points to social’s role as a brand builder, first and foremost.

And even as social media may seem like old hat to many marketers by now, quite a few are relatively new to the platforms. About one-quarter of marketers said they had been working with social media for a year or less. And another 30% were 1 to 2 years into their social media marketing tenure. But SMBs have quickly caught on to how important social is as a marketing tool: 79% said they had already incorporated social media into their traditional marketing activities.

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