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Managing a Messaging Channel

08/03/20 Comments Leave your thoughts

The coronavirus pandemic has changed how businesses interact and communicate with customers. Limited or no contact mandates have pushed businesses to find other ways to personally communicate with customers. One strategy some businesses have turned to is a messaging channel. In fact, during the first few months of the pandemic, the use of a messaging channel to interact with customers increased by 26%. At the same time, businesses are still learning to manage a messaging channel. Our company provides a 2-way messaging channel for businesses to interact with their customers. Two-way messaging is different from SMS messaging. SMS messages are...

How Personalization Helped me Find my Sneaker Family

06/18/20 Comments Leave your thoughts

No matter what platform customers use to engage with your business, they increasingly prefer to receive a personalized experience when they do engage with you. In fact, 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences.  I’m a fanatic about customer experience—a personalized customer experience. I also happen to like trendy, comfortable sneakers. I recently discovered a new sneaker brand called CARIUMA and ordered a pair of their fun sneakers. I was disappointed when they didn’t fit me comfortably, and I had to send them back. Even though the sneakers...

Time to Revamp Your Crisis Communication Plan

06/08/20 Comments Leave your thoughts

COVID-19 presented a new kind of crisis that few businesses could anticipate in their crisis communication plan. As businesses suddenly shut down, they scrambled to figure out what to communicate and how. Soon, customers were flooded with emails from all kinds of businesses about how they were handling the pandemic.  These heartfelt emails were well-intended but quickly became annoying. As businesses begin to reopen, they are challenged with providing consistent, relevant communications. They need to address customers’ current concerns as well as plan for longer-term impacts that aren’t yet known. Many of the communications sent over the last few months...

A Tale of Two Salons

03/20/20 Comments Leave your thoughts

As businesses close and life as we know it comes to a halt due to COVID-19, many of us are beginning to realize just how much we depend on various services we use including restaurants, dry cleaners, and gyms. Along with the uncertainty and fears of COVID-19, our inability to access these services can create anxiety. Many businesses that provide services are thinking creatively to offer alternatives for their customers. Gyms are coming out with home workouts and other tips for staying healthy during this time. Dry cleaners are offering free pickup and delivery. Restaurants that have not typically offered...

This takes too much (customer) effort

02/26/20 Comments Leave your thoughts

In 2010, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) published a now-famous article titled “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers.” In that article, HBR conducted a study on customer satisfaction and introduced us to the concept of customer effort. Customer Effort Score (CES) measures customer perceptions on how difficult (or easy) it is to do business with a company. How can companies use CES? Companies can measure CES in a few different ways. The most common way is a simple survey question asking customers to rate the ease of solving their issue on a scale of very difficult to very easy, like...

Deliver Personalized Experiences

01/19/20 Comments Leave your thoughts

The need for businesses to provide personalized customer experiences is growing, with customer experience professionals citing it as the number one changing customer expectation. Emarsys defines personalization as the implementation of a strategy by which companies deliver individualized content to recipients through data collection, analysis, and the use of automation technology. In simpler terms, it is a marketing strategy that focuses on making content suited for an individual customer based on what they know about the customer through data collection. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used more and more to personalize customer experiences. AI is able to perform human-like tasks...

Messaging to Improve Student Retention

12/30/19 Comments Leave your thoughts

Student retention is one of the major issues in higher education with the undergraduate graduation rate hovering around 60% (NCES). Freshmen arrive on campus excited and ready for a great experience. Once the welcome week is over and classes begin reality sets in. Communication is the key to success in any relationship including the relationship between a university and its students. With class schedules in full swing, communicating students can be more challenging. When students start to struggle, support resources available to them are forgotten and difficult to find. A strong communication strategy that keeps students engaged will have a positive...

Mad Enough to Write a Song

11/01/19 Comments Leave your thoughts

Musician Dave Carroll watched as his expensive Taylor guitar was carelessly tossed by baggage handlers at O’Hare airport. His complaints to United Airlines flight attendants and ground crew were ignored so he was not surprised when he arrived at his destination to discover the guitar was damaged beyond repair. Over the next few months he sent countless emails and letters and spent hours on hold and in conversations with United employees spouting company policy. A songwriter, he channeled his frustration into a song and a light-hearted music video. He never imagined what would happen as the song entitled “United Breaks...

Full-Size Service

10/30/19 Comments Leave your thoughts

As a kid, I knew the best houses to stop at while trick or treating. The ones with friendly people, houses that were fun and welcoming, and especially the ones who gave full-size candy bars! When we ran into our friends while we were trick or treating, we told them what houses to be sure to go to and what ones to skip. We even remembered our experiences the following year! Customers are looking for full-size service. Customers act much the same way as trick or treaters. They look for friendly, welcoming businesses that provide a full-size equivalent of products...