The lifetime value of your customers is not disclosed by a one-time purchase. The
ultimate value of customers is in the profit made on all of their purchases over time
less the cost of acquiring and maintaining that relationship. The key word here is
relationship. Loyalty marketing, one-to-one marketing, data mining, and a
whole host of other terms, are all centered around creating a relationship with a certain
kind of customer who was interested enough in your product to buy it once. The key is to
solidify that relationship to entice the customer to buy again. That is where the
money is made. And that is how your business will succeed.
Delight Your Customer
Once youve identified your customers and offered them a superior product for a
reasonable price, you need to continue to delight them. This can be done by maintaining
communications that will convey a deep respect for the customer, retaining a keen sense of
the appropriate Continued from page 4 market and motivating employees to produce high
quality and value for them. What am I talking about here? Customer service, of course.
Since a companys sales come only from new and repeat business, and since it costs
more to attract new customers than it does to retain current customers, it stands to
reason that customer retention becomes more critical than customer attraction. The key to
customer retention is customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer is one who:
- Buys again,
- Talks favorably to others about the company,
- Pays less attention to competing brands and advertising, and
- Buys other products from the same company.
Creating satisfied customers is the hardest part of the whole game. If you can do this
right, you are well on your way to outstanding success. One way to facilitate customer
satisfaction is to make it easy for the customer to complain. Not only will you find out
what facet of your business may need to be doctored, but youll give yourself an
opportunity to shine by letting your customers know you are always willing to improve.
Expose your customers to your topnotch customer service agents. Let them see how
friendly and eager to help they are. Give your agents the tools and training necessary to
resolve customer complaints quickly. Youll find that customers will not only respond
favorably, but theyll probably be much more loyal than they would have been had they
not had some kind of problem. Dont see customer complaints as obstacles view
them as golden opportunities to convert one-time buyers into lifetime purchasing partners.
Attracting Your Perfect Mate
No, you havent strayed into the pages of Elle or Vogue. Since your product
cant be everything to everyone, be sure your message is hitting the appropriate
audience. Be original in marketing and advertising your offerings. Every form of media
generated by your company or its proxies should continually and eloquently emphasize why
your product is the one of choice. All of your marketing efforts must demonstrate that
your product: cannot be easily copied by competitors, delivers a highly valued benefit to
a sufficient number of buyers, is communicable and visible to buyers, either isnt
offered by others or is offered in a more distinctive way by your company, the buyer can
afford to pay for the difference, is superior to other ways to obtain the same benefit,
and the company will find it profitable to introduce the difference.
I once heard a great radio advertisement, which Id like to relate, that
succinctly illustrates the principle. It said, to the best of my recollection, In
the next 60 seconds youll hear something that will change your business life. We
suggest you open the Yellow Pages and look at your ad versus your competitions ad.
Ask yourself the $64 question: Is there anything in my ad that would make me, as a
prospective buyer, buy that product? If the answer is no, change your ad.
Effective messages should attract attention, hold interest, arouse desire and elicit
action. Does a list of product features entice anyone into taking a second look? How about
a brochure with too much copy? Or an ugly direct mail piece? Or a bland Web page or one
that takes too long loading? Who has the time to be curious about something that
doesnt spark interest from the get go? If youre as busy as I am, I doubt you
The best ads are simple, to the point and sell the heck out of the products
theyre promoting. Be bold and go against the grain dont offend people,
but get them hooked.
Use State-Of-The-Art Technology Strategically
Technology, deployed correctly, should always be implemented for a business reason, not
because its new and glitzy. It should be fully integrated with all your business
processes and should add value to the customer interaction. If your customers are showing
a desire to e-mail questions to you, youd better figure out a way to respond quickly
and efficiently. If they want to try to solve their own technical problems via a knowledge
base on the Internet, put one in place, but also give them hassle-free access to a live
Your call centers should be fully cognizant of all these issues in order to be
successful marketing plans are worthless if theyre not being implemented by
your operational people. If your internal communications structure isnt sound, your
customer communications will suffer as well. As with anything, information is key to
representing your company well to the outside. Intranet knowledge bases accessible by your
employees, not only in the call center, but anywhere in the company, are one way to ensure
a sound internal communication system.
Technology is an enabler, something that makes life easier. Use it in your business to
facilitate serving your customers, but do it on a need basis a word processing
program is of little use to our graphic design team, just as Adobe Photoshop is of little
use to the editors here at the magazine. Implement what you need and what will make your
employees more effective in their job function. Making them more effective will make their
interactions with your companys customers more effective, which will generate the
return on investment and profits you were hoping for when you installed the equipment in
the first place.
Think. Analyze. Innovate. Act. Cookie-cutter formulas for instant marketing success are
available to all commonality, so to speak. Common plans often produce equally bland
results. You and your knowledge of your business coupled with thoughtful marketing
programs can and will bring you success, if you make it happen.
I welcome your input. Please email me at email@example.com.
Publisher and Editor-inChief
|Announcing CTI EXPO,
Featuring the Call Center Solutions Conference and Pavilion
looking at the call center industry can see that advanced technology is truly enhancing
overall business productivity and customer interaction with an eye on not only improving
quality of service, but also on reducing cost and protecting market share.
To reflect the growing convergence of Internet and computertelephony integration (CTI)
technology in the call center, Technology Marketing Corporation has announced a new show, CTI EXPO. The objective of this new show is
threefold: to bring the buyers and sellers of computer-telephony products and services
together; to provide the most comprehensive, in-depth and non-commercial conference
program; and to provide a forum to enrich ones knowledge of the latest technologies,
like voice and video over IP or PCbased PBXs. This will be done via Technology Learning
Centers, gathering places in the exhibit hall where exhibitors and buyers will congregate
to discuss the features and benefits of CTI products and services.
The CTI EXPO exhibit hall will feature vendors in such fields as: industrial
computers, CTI software, development tools, call center products and services,
telecommunications products and services, Internet telephony, fax and video, voice and
data integration, unified messaging, conferencing, directory services and many more.
The conference program is developed by the editors of CTI magazine. They use the
same high standards of objectivity and integrity in devising the conference program as
they do in selecting editorial. Some of the sessions cover: Principles Of Telephony;
Voice, Video & Data Convergence; Internet Telephony; Application Development &
Programming; Reseller, Integrator & Developer Opportunities. The conference program
also features a number of tracks on call center management, like: Human Resources &
Management; The Synergy of CTI & The Internet In Your Call Center; and Performance
Measurements For Call Center Agents.
Serious buyers need serious education. Dont miss this incredible opportunity to
gain the most cutting-edge knowledge of CTI!
The Call Center Solutions Conference & Pavilion
The worlds most comprehensive and advanced call center event of the year,
CTI EXPO, will also feature The Call Center Solutions Conference & Pavilion,
formerly known as TCCS , the original and innovative call center event. Recognizing
that the call center and CTI technology are converging, it is only natural to include The
Call Center Conference Solutions & Pavilion within the overall umbrella of CTI
EXPO, so that you can avail yourself of the opportunity to learn about the benefits of CTI
for your call center as well as other critical call center issues.
As the publisher of the industrys number one publications, Telemarketing &
Call Center Solutions magazine and CTI magazine, Technology Marketing
Corporation has accumulated vast call center knowledge during the last 16 years of
industry leadership. Through CTI EXPO, we are proud to once again bring you a
comprehensive examination of technology applications, human resources and management
solutions for inbound/outbound sales, customer service and help desk call centers.
I look forward to seeing you at CTI EXPO Spring 1998 in Baltimore,
Maryland, May 19 - 22, 1998; and in San Jose, California, December 1-4, 1998, for
CTI EXPO Fall 1998.