shredded paper is gibberish

Customer Communication? Stop Talking Gibberish

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Business, Communications, Customer Service, Marketing, Sales, Social Media 2 Comments

In case you weren’t aware, a communication revolution has been going on. To quote Clay Shirky, “A revolution doesn’t happen when a society adopts new tools. It happens when society adopts new behaviors…” And that’s exactly what’s happening. Consumer behavior has changed. The way that people buy things has evolved. Today, your customers already know who you are and what you do. What’s more, they know more about your competition than you do. Customers today are more demanding than ever before. They’re smarter than ever before. Because they have more knowledge – and therefore more POWER, than they have ever had. So why should they buy from you, as opposed to the company down the street, or the next town – or half way across the world? Word Of Mouse What’s key today is word of mouth – or, as I prefer to call it: WORD OF MOUSE. And it’s not just personal recommendations, but impersonal ones too. I don’t know about you, but today when I want to buy something – a computer, a washing machine, a car, whatever – I look on the internet for reviews. I am influenced as much by “official reviewers” as I am by …

"Enchantment" business book by Guy Kawasaki

Review: “Enchantment” by Guy Kawasaki

Gee Ranasinha Business, Communications, Customer Service, Marketing, Social Media 3 Comments

Spend any time on the web looking into business, marketing, leadership or sales and ten will get you five that you’ll run into Guy Kawasaki. Most people associate Guy with his time as Chief Evangelist at Apple. However, Guy’s time there was more than 20 years ago, when Apple was a very different company to the behemoth that it is today. Nowadays, Guy’s involved in a variety of projects such as founding a venture capital fund and the Alltop content aggregation site. In between all of that Guy speaks at various events, blogs and writes books. It’s a wonder how the man finds time to sleep. Today, most industries – and many companies – have become commoditized in the minds of their clientele. To build mindshare – and market share – organizations need to find honest and genuine ways to delight, seduce, to enchant their customer base to gain recognition, reputation and (above all) TRUST. This is the premise of Guy’s latest book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, a preview copy of which I received not so long ago. The premise of the book is a ‘how-to’ guide on increasing your company’s influence on new and …

keeping your social media fans happy

Keeping Your Fans Happy With New Content

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Communications, Customer Service, Marketing, PR, Social Media 0 Comments

So, you blog regularly. Maybe you tweet as well. Perhaps you have a company Facebook fan page too. Good for you. Well done. By now you may have seen tangible results from your efforts. More and more people are reading your content. Maybe you’ve converted interest into leads, and into sales. Hopefully you’ve taken my advice and have a content strategy in place that helps you and your colleagues keep that social media ship on course. You’ve got followers, fans and evangelists and they like what you do. They’re on your side. But there’s a problem. Your most devout followers have been reading your stuff all of these months and, by now, they pretty much have a handle on what you’re saying. The problem is, that you’re saying the same thing again and again. Your most loyal of followers are being done a disservice since they feel that they’re reading the same message – even if it is being regurgitated and rewritten 101 different ways. They’re not being pushed, challenged, educated or informed any more. You’ve made your point to them – and they’ve got it. The only question now is how long they’ll continue to hang around reading your stuff …

bell push

Start With “Employee Service” and “Customer Service” Will Follow

Gee Ranasinha Customer Service, Marketing, Sales 0 Comments

There’s an interesting article on The Harvard Business Review about how management at Ritz-Carlton hotels look at their employees. We all expect a certain level of customer service when staying at all but the most modest of hotels. As a result, you would think that it would be difficult to excel at service if you’re in an industry that’s all about customer experience. Time after time, year after year, Ritz Carlton are one of the few companies that “get it.” Just about any company you care to mention will talk about how much they value the importance of customer service. However, there are precious few that talk about how they value their employees in the same way. Here’s just one example: “Every employee of every Ritz hotel has the right to spend up to $2,000 a day per guest to resolve any problem that arises. It’s a powerful expression of trust in employees, as well as a gift of empowerment and autonomy. It’s also vastly better for guests. How many times have you been told over the years, “I’ll have to go to my manager about that”? For too long and for too often businesses have underestimated their most valuable …

Vitra design museum

Designs On Commerce

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Customer Service, Marketing 0 Comments

How important is “Design” in your business? Design is much more than simply another way to imagine a lemon squeezer, personal music player, or a vacuum cleaner. But I’m not talking about the design of your product, or the look of your website. I’m talking about the design of your actual business, not what it makes. I’m talking about the flow, the presentation and the content order of the training seminar that you’re about to deliver. The choice of words that are used on a customer invoice. The way you describe what you do – i.e. your job title – to a customer. How an email enquiry is followed-up by your sales people. Design is in the multitude of business processes that we create. It’s the conversations that we have with our colleagues, suppliers, partners and customers. Good design invokes a positive and emotional response. Perhaps it’s how the switchgear ‘feels’ in a BMW automobile, or how the airline upgraded you to Business Class when they overbooked the flight. We have all been at the receiving end of bad design: Trying to reset the clock on the microwave oven, or talking with a salesperson who has no idea why this …

chip on a mug

Your Company Isn’t Perfect

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Customer Service 0 Comments

Regardless of how many – or how few – individuals make up your organization, your company is not a faceless automaton. It’s not a perfect machine. Which means that, every now and again, something goes wrong. Take your pick – airlines, home appliances, cars, computers – just about everyone has their own personal horror story about how they put their faith in a product or service, and how the company behind it let them down. Since we all know that bad news travels faster than good news, a company’s reputation can be hit pretty hard in a short space of time – especially with today’s far-reaching communication tools such as social media, blogs and so on. No organization is perfect. There’s a human component, which means (now and again) your company makes mistakes. And that’s OK. Because, as I see it, it’s not about the fact that your company, your representatives, your employees (hey – even you) have made a mistake. It’s a fact of life – we all screw-up now and again. What’s important is what happens next. Passengers need to be told why there’s a delay, and what’s being done about it. If there’s a hiccup in production …

fountain pen

Taking The Initiative

Gee Ranasinha Business, Communications, Customer Service 0 Comments

Here’s an old joke for you. An employee is having an annual salary review discussion with his boss. Unfortunately, the boss is not so pleased with the employee’s performance over the past twelve months. ” I was hoping for better things from you,” the boss explains. “What, exactly, should I have been doing?” answers the employee. “I would have hoped that you would have shown more initiative,” answers the boss. “Well,” replies the employee, “I would have – if only you had told me.” I was talking to senior executive from a local advertising agency this week, and was asking him about what his company was doing about educating clients about the changes in marketing and advertising – social media, content strategy and so on. His answer was that the company has been doing nothing – since his clients haven’t been asking him for that sort of information. Many organizations prefer to be reactive rather than proactive. Let someone else blaze the trail and get the bumps and bruises. Wait until your customers ask for something before putting things in place in order to provide it to them. But just because your customers aren’t asking you about something, doesn’t mean …

appointing the correct person

The Right Person For The Job

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Communications, Customer Service, Marketing, Presentations, Social Media, Website 0 Comments

A graphic designer is not a marketing person. A communications person is not a marketing person. A marketing person is a marketing person. Graphic design, marketing, and communications are three totally different disciplines. However, far too often the job descriptions are exchanged and intermixed. If you want your collateral presented in a way that’s appealing to your target audience, employ a graphic designer. If you want well-written prose, research, client liaison, perhaps some project management, then take on a communications person. If you’re looking for help articulating your organization’s strategy and business value; looking for the most appropriate ways to deliver your message, develop content strategies, brand differentiation, social media, advertising and/or PR campaigns… Well, you get the idea. Image courtesy of KEXINO