Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The difference between good customers and loyal customers

I am reading Ben McConnell's and Jackie Huba's "Creating Customer Evangelists" at the moment.

They talk about creating customers who are passionate about your product. This is more than just loyalty. Because loyalty can be for a number of reasons, not necessarily that the customer likes your product.

For example, here in the UK I have subscribed to a well known cable TV provider. I didn't want to go with them but unfortunately I couldn't get the satellite service because there are trees in the way and they are not on the property.

The reason I didn't want to go with the cable TV provider was because of the stories of poor customer service. And it has come true for me. I went through four set top boxes in the first month. Recently, without warning, the company did an upgrade on their equipment in my suburb. Resulting technical problems caused me to be with TV service for almost four days.

I haven't received an kind of apology. I can request a credit for the days that they didn't service me, but it wont make much of a difference to the service (but that another story altogether). I am stuck with them as they are the only provider for my area - unless I want to go to another provider with an even worse reputation for customer service.

So yes, I am a loyal customer, but no, I am not a good customer. I tell friends to stay away from this company, lest they suffer the same poor service.

Friday, January 27, 2006

We need giant bulleseyes and homing beacons!

Earlier this month Seth Godin produced a very accurate piece on marketers being like hunters. Instead of 'farming' and then 'harvesting' leads we are blundering about with rocks trying to find the well hidden prospects.

Why can't good prospects walk around with giant bulleyes painted on their chest? That would make things easier. or maybe homing beacons, so we could just dial up a webpage type in a search for the kind of prospect we are after and voila! A pretty map with prospects! Whoa! What an idea!

But seriously, Seth's comments have more to them than first meets the eye. We need to look at ways to develop relations (nurture and grow) and then harvet the prospects for our sales teams when they are ripe for the picking. That's great marketing and it happens every day. But not everywhere and certainly by not enough people.