Posts tagged ‘Customer Service’
While it discusses museums in this instance, it is entirely applicable to, and no less appropriate for, entertainment venues as well.
Colleen addresses the Field of Dreams that is online ticketing
“… while you may think that you’re making life easier for your potential visitors by selling tickets online, many organizations actually make the act of purchasing a ticket a more expensive and/or more cumbersome process for their would-be visitors“.
She makes four very salient points and expands upon them in the post:
- It is impossible (or exceedingly difficult) to purchase tickets via mobile platforms
- Purchasing tickets online is time consuming, and perhaps more cumbersome than applying for a mortgage
- It costs more to buy tickets online than at the gate
- Your museum has likely trained people to buy tickets at the door
She has nailed it with these four common barriers. Number three particularly frustrates me. Why do we penalise people for doing the work for us via self-service online? No other industry does that.
Know Your Own Bone is “a resource for creatove engagement in museums and cultural centers“.
An interesting comparison of the reasons why customers vs donors abandon your organsation (in this case a charity) which carries relevance for other noprofits such as arts oganisations. A scarey statistic is highlighted in Mr and Mrs … Kiss Of Death on the blog The Agitator
“53% of donors leave due to the charity’s lack of communication.“
I suspect the issue may be larger than just lack of communication. Loyalty is also compromised by communication that is: impersonal, unpersonalised (that is more than just mail merged <Title> <Surname>), untargeted, untimely, incorrect, irrelevant, and even (as a contradiction) … too frequent.
Stalker award to Cellarmasters Wine Club😦
“Almost 60% of customers prefer to interact with customer service over email.”
The call centre is no longer the first line of service for an organisation, but it still has a role, particularly for some tasks and certain audience groups. Flavio Martins makes some other equally interesting observations in his article Customer Service Online Matters.
Offensive Customer Service
Most marketers presume that customers want more “engagement” — interacting as much as possible with them and building relationships. BRW explodes three myths commonly espoused by marketers with research into 7,000 consumers:
MYTH #1: MOST CONSUMERS WANT TO HAVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR BRAND.
Not everyone wants a relationship with a brand they suggest that, in fact, 77% save that honour for friends and family.
MYTH #2: INTERACTIONS BUILD RELATIONSHIPS.
Nope, shared values build relationships and that is built by clear communication of purpose that smacks of authenticity, not hype.
MYTH #3: THE MORE INTERACTION THE BETTER.
‘Fraid not, there is no demonstrable correlation between interactions and propensity to repurchase.
It makes an interesting wake up call.
The notion of treating the customer journey as an ongoing cycle resonates for me in Why Experience is Key to Customer Loyalty. The cycle puts wheels (oops sorry) on the notion of maintaining and building ongoing loyalty. The more times successfully around the journey cycle imbues a momentum of loyalty and that great human trait of habit can take hold. (By the way, I am not sure what Lego has to do with it.)
I have touched on the journey idea before in Mapping The Customer Journey.
It is interesting the concept of ‘fairness’ that is introduced by Valeria which is put in context in her linked post re: Lufthansa as “transparency”. This reminds me of an article Tim Baker of Baker Richards and The Pricing Institute recommended written by yet another Tim, Tim Hartford The Undercover Economist, Enough Whingeing About Price Gouging. Tim discussed the concept of dynamic pricing which is the darling of many an airline’s Revenue Management strategies. After mooting dynamic pricing as a way of better managing the finite supply of Easter Eggs to less garden watering bans to the need for a lottery to allocate Olympics tickets, one of the comments by a reader raised a very interesting extension of dynamic pricing that highlights the question of fairness. We are used to passengers paying very different prices for an airline seat depending when it was bought in response to demand and the finite supply. Just imagine the extension of dynamic pricing to the equally scarce commodity of storage for hand luggage, yes you can take on that hatbox madam, but it will cost you $100 extra. Whoohoo, that would cause some air rage (well ground rage ) and accusations of price gouging, before they got airborne. BUT it would help solve the problem of luggage locker hogs on planes and provide space for the rest.
Another poster, Joanna mentioned an application of dynamic pricing that was new to me, street parking in San Francisco. At peak times around special events parking charges on meters are raised in response to the increased demand and finite supply. The result is that if you want a car park you can find one … but you will pay a premium for the privilege. That reminds me of the car park outside a tax office somewhere in Scandinavia (I think) that wanted to ensure that the bays were only used for dropping off tax returns, not parking. Rather than higher charges and fines, they used the Nudge: you could park as long as you liked as long as your car lights were left on, otherwise you would be towed away. Guess what problem solved.
No I don’t necessarily think so, but to keep mixin’ up the metaphors it is not unlike Field of Dreams with the oft-used mantra “build it and they will come“. Just because you build or buy a CRM at great expense and turn it on does not mean that “… they will come”, let alone continue to come again, more often, with increasing loyalty across the various constituent lifecycles.
As many others suggest CRM is but infomation enabled Relationship Marketing that requires equal investments in strategy, people AND technology.
The reason for my initial question is a recent blog post from Lisa Baxter of The Experience Business Customer Relationship Management: Pulling the wool over our own eyes.
Lisa, I suspect you and I are singing from the same hymnsheet (oops analogy three and counting), but I worry about your vilification of CRM at the start or am I getting the wrong end of the stick (oh oh four).
I think an essential element of a CRM in assisting Audience Development is initiating and then building an ongoing relationship, but an important part of that is trust. Trust is based on mutual respect and organisational actions and tactics must align with that as part of a sustainable long term strategy. The tactics that you mention may be useful components, but as you suggest, on their own with out the coordinated organisational committment that builds trust each and every contact, they are just cheap tricks (and are perceived as such).
CRM like marketing is about managing an exchange of value and that means providing value for both sides, the customer and the vendor. Lisa, the examples you give do seem to be framed to sound “predatory”, but the language does not include the value that such actions may have for the customer (whether prospective, first time, recent or frequent, lapsed or refused and so-on)
Maybe our perspectives are very similar, I agree with you that maybe it is the people and strategy components at fault. A selling orientation is increasingly out of place in this day and age and push marketing is limited by its short term perspective.
I don’t disagree with your ‘platitudes’ that Relationship Marketing may deliver via a CRM: gratitude, helpfulness & empathy, inform, delight, connect and value. In fact, they sound like worthwhile values to aspire to in any initiative.
Yes, retention is the way forward. Retention in all its guises from return attendance to frequency recency and monetary value to upselling, cross-selling and value adds and so-on. But it is a two-way exchange of value that ensures longer term success.
Oh pullease … my ass
Add on fees for “convenience” et al are just that .. convenient ways to squeeze more out of the consumer.
Here is a good comparison of airlines and concert tickets. They are both interested in yield management and revenue maximisation, but responsible behaviour comes down to one thing: … TRANSPARENCY