How the Customer Experience Can Affect Hundreds

I have a friend who recently went to Lake Union SeaRay in Redmond, WA to sell his boat. Nothing fancy, just a nice weekend power boat. His plan, stay off the water for a couple of years while his very young kids became old enough to appreciate boating, then buy something big and powerful from the same dealer. Much to his surprise — and mine — he was given an unbelievable runaround.

First he was told what his boat was worth and “bring it in.” Then he was handed from person to person and finally told, “Oh your boat isn’t worth that, we’ll give you this instead.” But the most amazing part, and this gets to word of mouth marketing, was after the deal was closed the Sales Manager promised call after call, day after day, when this couple would get their check. But no check was ready at the dealership. His wife drove many miles to get there a few times and each time there was another excuse. Or he would say, “I left you a message” when he hadn’t.

Yesterday, they finally got their check but only after she put her foot down.

So what is the outcome of this? Lake Union SeaRay has lost future business from this couple. And this couple is now on a very aggressive campaign to tell as many people as they can about how poorly they were treated.

Remember—no matter how good your social media and word of mouth marketing efforts are, if you give customers a poor experience, you not only may lose them, you may lose many other potential customers. 


NEW: The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing Revealed!

Word of mouth as a marketing force still trumps social media according to a new study by 
Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.
New findings from the Dynamics of Cause Engagement study show that while Generation Y is significantly more likely than older counterparts to use social media to learn about causes, more than 4 in 10 Americans age 18-29 still get their information from family (48%), friends (46%) and TV (45%). 
Nearly two-thirds of Americans (62%) report that being told in person is the way they are typically informed of causes and social issues in which others want them to be involved. 

For more information, visit

Goodbye CRM, Hello Real-Time Customer Relations!

There, I said it! Goodbye CRM.

In today’s fast-paced world everything is happening in real time: Customers are researching products and services, they are buying, they are experiencing your brand, and most importantly—they are telling friends and family about their experiences with your brand and your people.

It’s no longer about who is in your database. It’s about your customer, at every touch point, and whether or not you are giving them a “remarkable” experience. If it’s remarkable, they will tell others to try you. If it’s not, you lose.

So what does this mean?
Don’t concentrate on databases. Concentrate on real people, real customers.
Give them remarkable experiences.
Forget traditional advertising. When is the last time you tracked an ad and said it converted to a sale?
But…..give one of your fans a remarkable experience and they WILL talk positively about you. It’s happening every day — word of mouth, on Twitter, on Facebook, on sites like Yelp, YouTube, etc.

Busy Moms Want Facebook Updates in Short Bursts!

USA Today is a quick, great read because the stories are short. You can cover a lot of news quickly. In today’s fast-paced world for moms, the same is true. Between working at home and out of the home, making meals, taking care of kids, time is at a premium. Recent surveys have shown that the key to engaging moms on Facebook is short updates that are relevant, interesting, and to the point. 

Think about it. How busy is your life? Do you have time to read lengthy articles? For men and women the answer is likely no. Take a cue from USA Today and some of the most successful Facebook business pages. Give consumers, especially moms, relevant, short, interesting news they can use—and they will keep coming back.

The Difference Between Women With and Without Kids!

Sarah Mahoney reports on that when it comes to online marketing there are some real differences between what women with and without kids are interested in receiving. It’s coming from a new study by Prospectiv. One example is that moms are more likely to say they want to hear from brands frequently.

When asked what type of information they are most like to receive by email, for example, 45% of the mothers in the survey say “anything that pertains to my lifestyle,” versus 30% of the women without kids. And only 25% of the moms say, “Don’t send me anything at all,” versus 35% of the non-moms.

Mothers are also far more likely to use product samples offered online (47% versus 38%) and use online coupons (40% versus 34%.) Women without kids are more likely to say that coupons and samples have less impact, and 27% of them say they buy products only when they need them, compared with just 20% of the mothers surveyed.

Women Are Connecting Online For Shopping Research!

According to the 2009 Women and Social Media Study from iVillage, BlogHer and Compass Partners, women are connecting like never before with online communities to do their shopping research and share information. (c)

  • 64% of the online women polled are posting product recommendations to message boards and articles online.
  • 79% of women in the iVillage Community are doing so.
  • 77% of women polled say these community recommendations impact their purchase decisions.