Tag Archives: marketing

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AI Change

Will AI Change The Customer Journey

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Is AI (artificial intelligence) going to change the customer journey? AI change is happening now. Nearly everything is being influenced and driven by data. Data means automation, and automation means AI.

It has been happening for years. In the past decade it has been accelerating. Are you moving towards AI? Probably, whether you recognize it or not.

Front runners in AI will change the definition and behaviors of the customer journey. Businesses who have not adapted will appear to be offering an inferior experience.

Data Driven

We once went to the bank on Friday to cash a paycheck. Then direct deposit became popular, first as an option, eventually as the norm. People are also using less cash and doing more debit or credit card purchases.

This isn’t news, but what does it mean? It means data. Data means automation, and automation means AI.

Now imagine interfacing this data capture with other data to enhance the customer experience. Imagine knowing when, how, and what your next move will likely be, or perhaps, should be.

Imagine every Friday I go to a local ATM and withdraw fifty dollars in cash. Next imagine that every holiday weekend in the summer I spend at a family home two hours from my residence.

What is the AI application here? Will AI change something?

AI Change

On the Friday of the holiday weekend the ATM asks me one additional question. “It is a holiday weekend, you’ll likely be out of town, would you like to withdraw additional cash?”

Of course, some would quickly identify that the ATM could be programmed to do this without knowing my usual travel plans.

What if I started out of town on Friday of a holiday weekend and my smart phone reminded me that I had not yet visited the ATM?

Imagine if I also normally visited the dry cleaner, stopped at a convenience store, and checked the weather through an on-line app.

Now imagine I’m running late and I get a (smart phone) reminder that the dry cleaner is about to close, the convenience store is nearly out of ice for my cooler, and a thunder storm is about to break out in the area.

Better yet, it reminds me that I’m now traveling away from my home and with the coming storm I’ve left two windows open.

Wouldn’t it be great? It is coming. In fact, most pieces of this are already emerging.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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pleasing everyone

When Pleasing Everyone Pleases No One

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You have probably said it, “You can’t please everyone.” If you haven’t said it, you’ve certainly heard it. Are you pleasing everyone, or just creating an atmosphere of average?

Many people like to operate in the averages. They have some willingness to cooperate, to compromise, and they try to just get along.

We see this with room temperatures, the audio volume in the movie theater, and often on the highway as we keep the pace of traffic.

Stand Out

Yet, most people, most products or services provided by organizations are looking to stand out. They aren’t necessarily looking to blend in, to make everyone happy, or to keep operating within the averages. Or, are they?

The dive bar just outside of town may have the best wings, they are different from the franchise operation downtown. They aren’t average, they are exceptional as proclaimed by some. Yet there may be those who find them too hot or the atmosphere inappropriate for kids.

Anthony Robbins, who some admire very much, doesn’t have an average presentation style. It is part of his strategy. It appeals to some, but not necessarily to all.

At the carnival you don’t really remember much about the ring toss, the ping-pong ball throw, or the hot dogs. You remember the biggest, scariest ride that some wouldn’t even think about trying. You did, or maybe you didn’t, but you remember.

How should you position yourself or your organization? Do some things make sense existing in averages.

Pleasing Everyone

At a table in the restaurant our coffee probably comes in a ceramic mug or cup. A fountain soda from the fast food chain often comes in a paper-based cup with a plastic lid and a straw. Most smart phones are close in size and are available in black.

The challenge in all of this is that pleasing everyone is not memorable. That is why the restaurant needs to set itself apart. It is why the dive bar has the best wings, and perhaps precisely why Anthony Robbins is well known.

Comfort and averages keep people locked in to something that is just okay. There isn’t really any risk and so the reward is average.

Yet the business or person who risks giving more, doing more, and being a little different can become memorable. Memorable is probably not based in the average.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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attraction matters

Attraction Matters For Your Success

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There are people who don’t like baseball, apple pie, and certain automobile manufacturers. Who do you appeal to, who is in your crowd, your network, or your tribe? Do you believe attraction matters?

To some extent we all sell, we all market, and we all deliver a customer service promise. We do it in business, and we do it person to person without a formal business model or plan. Wouldn’t it be great to connect with lots of people who share in the same or similar aspirations for life, community, or career?

Much of this may depend on your market reach, where you spend your time, and what your formal philosophy on life is all about.

Habits Create Culture

I’ve tried to convince some coaching clients to read more. I’ve even presented them with the idea that they may read more than they realize, why not do it more constructively? It matters for some, but for others they just never indulge.

Podcasts are popular in some circles, but everyone wants to know the best of the best first, without really shopping around. These are limits, limited beliefs, values, and ways of doing things.

Values and traditions, they of course build what we call culture. Is the culture where you work strained? Is it because everyone is like minded or is it because of different values, beliefs, and traditions? Are those differences managed constructively or destructively?

Attraction Matters

Do you believe attraction matters? Whatever you do for your business, what you do for your customers, or what you do to grow your career, will always matter most to those who are interested.

People who don’t get involved with social media, they don’t really care about social media. People who don’t like football, NASCAR, or reality TV won’t tune in and they won’t see your masterful thirty second commercial.

When people don’t like to read, they probably won’t. When they don’t like social media they probably won’t join. An organization that doesn’t see a bigger future probably won’t care much about your career.

Everything that you do or want to accomplish will only happen in an atmosphere that embraces what you are selling.

It is true for advancing your career, for selling your product, or for building an effective team.

People who don’t connect with it will probably never buy it.

Attraction matters.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect,Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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trusted relationships

Trusted Relationships and Other Marketing Fails

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Everyone seems to agree that trust is important for business relationships. Do you have trusted relationships or are marketing efforts slowly eroding them?

Recently I received a call on my cell phone that I wasn’t sure I should take. I didn’t recognize the number and largely I don’t openly distribute my cellular number, but it also isn’t a secret.

When I answered the call, a female voice seemed somewhat robotic, but honestly, I couldn’t tell for sure. Was this a digitized voice, an advanced form of telemarketing? I was thinking, “Siri is that you? Cortana, Alexa, is it you?”

I interrupted, asked a question, and still I was stumped. Was a real person on the other end or a computer? I stopped listening and starting trying to think of ways to trip up the caller. Finally, after I quit interacting the caller hung up. I’m still not sure.

Marketing Fails

My email inbox gets some interesting messages. First, if you want to build a business relationship with me, my name is Dennis, not Denise. This is not the same as Denny or Dennis. Denise is not my name.

Occasionally, I will get the popular, “I wanted to reach out to you personally” email, yet the content is a complete duplication of an unknown volume of email messages that many others have also received. I guess I am somehow missing the feeling of personal.

Certainly, we cannot ignore the database merge email. Do they spark anyone into action? They start off friendly because if they have the correct name in the database, and a little bit of data about you or your company, at first glance they appear sincere and trusted.

They may start off with, “Dennis, will you be at Expo 2.X in September?” or they may try to be more friendly, “Dennis, we’ve missed you.”

In a moment you feel violated. You thought they were addressing you personally. You are really just another number.

Trusted Relationships

Many people will give you the benefit of trust. You don’t always have to earn it, at least not the first time around. As we all know trust can be destroyed in a moment. Rebuilds are difficult and costly.

If you are seeking new opportunities, building a sales funnel, or otherwise trying to grow a business that you believe depends on trusted relationships, be careful how you market.

Trusted relationships take time and sincere effort. Do your efforts feel sincere?

Easy for you, may mean easy off for your target.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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reviews matter

In Marketing Do Reviews Matter?

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Product or service providers plea, “Please go on Google, Yelp, or Amazon and leave a review.” Do reviews matter? Why is this so important?

For the marketer, the restaurant owner, or the car dealership, and anyone providing a service or product today, they want your comment online. Of course, they love it the most if it is a favorable comment and they want you to abide by your mother’s rule of don’t say (write) it if it isn’t nice.

Providing Opinions

Many of the consumers are not in a hurry to provide this. They don’t understand why they should invest their time or energy to help. Yet they are often looking for the reviews, testimonials, or other data before they buy.

People want to be certain and confident in their choice. As a bonus, when the decision is based on another person’s advice, they have a scapegoat.

In an uncertain World, what people often seek is certainty, or maybe someone else to blame.

People need the facts, not really opinions, yet many decisions are made based on opinions. Every day we encounter words like fake news, under oath, or perjury. In spite of, or because of, many people are compelled to action based on what others say.

Best of the Best

We live in a funny World. Throughout the year, magazines, newspapers, and many other forms of media, proclaim to provide lists of the best. There is the Top 100 Future Stars, the 50 Best Restaurants, and the 40 Most Influential Under 40. Does anyone ask about this research? The answer is, very few.

In marketing, reviews matter. They matter because we often want someone to tell us who is the best, what to buy and who to buy it from.

Top 10 Places to Visit

Most Popular on Netflix

Number One News Channel

Amazon Best Seller

Rated Safest and Most Reliable Car

This of course gets more confusing by with language like Award Winning, Voted Favorite, and All Time. Is any of this validated? What is in the fine print? Does anyone really care?

Reviews Matter

Chances are good that many consumers or even B2B decisions are emotionally based on what someone else says or writes. They want the other person to be on the hook, decisions are too hard, and they don’t want to be responsible for a point of view that may be judged by others as wrong.

It is not just people, but also technology. Our data is filtered. It is filtered by search engines, algorithms, and by our social network.

Reviews matter and choice may be one of the best problems to have.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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undecided customers

More Options and Undecided Customers

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One concept is that people aren’t buying because they lack the option that they need or want. Whether it is buying an idea, a product, or picking the best apple from the bushel. Counting options can create undecided customers.

It is an easy trap and one that businesses often fall into. If people are not buying, what we are selling it must mean we aren’t selling the right stuff. Of course, that could be the case, but what should you do?

More Options

Many businesses and marketers will expand the menu. They are convinced that what they are already offering is important, valid, and desired, otherwise it wouldn’t be on the menu, so their solution is add more options.

To the novice marketer lots of options seems like the right path. If we don’t have it, we’ll create it, or offer it as an option. Options cost, but it feels better than losing the sale.

However, more options often doesn’t close the sale. It makes the buying decision even harder. In some cases, it makes it so much more challenging that the customer walks away, still thinking, but cannot decide.

Most consumers pride themselves on making good choices. Given more options, the safest choice is sometimes no choice right now. They will wait, studying the options, they will think about it more.

Undecided Customers

Choosing our Netflix movie, hiring the right candidate, or picking the wonton soup from the Chinese menu all occurs after we’ve filtered. More options doesn’t make the choice easier, it makes it harder. It is the greatest way to delay a choice, make the customer work harder, or just not buy at all.

Having something for everyone seems appealing, until no one can decide.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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customer experience mathematics

Customer Experience Mathematics

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People often suggest you’ll find greater understanding when you do the math. Does the budget fit or will the return on investment be enough? Someone may suggest that you should do the math. Will customer experience mathematics work?

In some cases, people are just trying to make a point through rhetoric. In other cases instead of telling someone to do the math, we may suggest, “We have done the math.”

Right Answers

What we really mean is that we know the right answer. We understand both the problem and the solution. So much so that now that it is apparent, it feels silly that we were once on the wrong path.

Doing the math is interesting though because there really is only one correct answer. In a field of infinite answers, the probability of a wrong answer is much more likely.

Many Possibilities

When seeking correct answers for how to do the marketing program, the advertising campaign, or close the sale, doing the math is more difficult. Sure, you can apply some math but there may not be only one single answer.

When you want innovation, a new direction, or to capture a new audience for your product or service doing the math may be a detriment, it closes options.

Although sometimes it becomes clear that we have the wrong answer. It still doesn’t mean that there is only one correct solution.

Customer Experience Mathematics

It seems that when we are trying to make an impact, be innovative, and creative, we have to know the difference between right answers, wrong answers, and the possibilities in between.

If you are planning to deliver the absolute best, customer experience mathematics may not matter so much.

The objective should be to avoid the wrong answers, but finding the right one may not happen by doing the math.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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business reputation appreciative strategies

What Is Important For Your Business Reputation?

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Businesses spend billions of dollars each year on marketing and advertising. Much of this effort is to build their brand. What is important for your business reputation?

Today we have a service economy unlike any other time in modern history. Media and connections often form our first impressions. What matters most?

Shape Reputation

Most businesses believe that they shape and control their reputation. They believe they do it from clever and impactful marketing and advertising campaigns, and ultimately what their product or service delivers. All of this is important, but it isn’t the whole picture.

Clients, customers, and your market will always enter the scene with bias from past experiences or what they saw in their social feed. In a sense, most businesses, like books, are often judged by their cover.

This is true for individuals, as well as businesses. It is true for sales and marketing professionals, the front line, and the C Suite.

What Happens First

First impressions are powerful, and many experts talk about the moments you have, measuring them in the number of seconds.

Ultimately, your reputation may be influenced in not only those first few seconds, but also what you become known for.

The person with the muscle car speeding through the parking lot is a motor head. A person in professional business attire is a corporate executive, not a well-respected (brick layer) mason. The college math professor giving a presentation about social media is not a professor, but a social media expert.

The 5-star restaurant that caters the upscale wedding runs the risk of becoming known as a caterer, not the best dinner spot in town.

True for individuals, true for businesses, we should know by now that perception is reality.

Your Business Reputation

You can try to buy your brand and your reputation through a marketing budget, but conflicting with every dollar spent is what lies under the surface.

The business who says they have exceptional customer service but doesn’t deliver will eventually be found out.

Perhaps the best way to build your business reputation is to become it. It isn’t an image you buy. Authenticity matters more than dollars spent.

What you do first may be what you become known for, all the while remembering that bias, stereotypes, and media influence will help your target market decide.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Brand promise appreciative strategies

How To Keep Your Brand Promise

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What is your brand promise? People, stakeholders, employees, or owners; how often are you reflecting on your brand promise? The most important work you do every day should be connected with keeping your brand promise.

What is in the quality of your product? What is important and valuable about the service you provide?

Exceed Expectations

Many organizations put plenty of effort into exceeding customer expectations. It is common to see it written in the mission statement, be included in value statements, or contained in guiding principles. Can you always exceed expectations?

People often talk about touch points or moments-of-truth and they are part of understanding the service process. However, one of the most important aspects of exceptional customer service is what you do that makes the service moment memorable.

Can you do it every time? Each and every transaction? It is unlikely. Even when you can do it often, every time may be unrealistic. Besides, every time may also imply average and so it starts all over again.

Keep Your Brand Promise

When your brand promise includes delivering excellence, keeping that promise may not require exceeding it. What makes you memorable is often being better than average, it may not always be a surprise.

Memorable moments are, well, priceless. When you are consciously committed to the habit of making the moment memorable you’ll likely have more success at achieving excellence.

The magical part about memorable moments may be that they are often random. An opportunity is there, and taken. When the culture seeks priceless memorable moments a whole lot more of them will occur, but they’ll never occur every time.

Average is Easy

Consistently trying to achieve the higher mark is a behavioral habit that separates exceptional results from the average. At some point, average becomes too easy.

Performing at the level of delivering just of enough service is not the same as delivering just in time. People might be delighted with just in time, but just enough sets the bar for average.

If your brand promise includes delivering at the highest level, remember that it is a moving target. You’ll need to keep showing up and you’ll need work outside of the averages.

Make it memorable. Keep your promise.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Customer service marketing

Is Customer Service Marketing?

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There are many ways you can bring your idea, product, or service to market. In fact, there are more media opportunities than ever before. What is the best? Is customer service marketing, or really just an operational tactic?

Many businesses hope that their post will go viral. The singer, songwriter, and band all hope for a YouTube or Hulu sensation. Media opportunities have changed. Brand awareness is critical for success.

World of Mouth

Today more ways than ever before exist to build your brand, what should you do? With so many options for visibility, consumers often don’t know who to trust. Talk about marketing long enough and many people will mention the power of word of mouth.

Is it true that word of mouth has become world of mouth? Endless opportunities exist but how are they effectively tapped?

Media Opportunities

You can buy a Super Bowl spot, local television time, or boost a post on social media. You can also sponsor an event, print t-shirts, and offer coupons.

Most will advise you to have a good website, strong social presence, and get more involved with video.

All of those things are likely important, but when it comes to trust it really boils down to your organizational performance and demonstrated commitment to your brand promise.

Perhaps all of the big success stories, all of the things that cause disruption, create chatter, and grow sales happen because someone will choose to talk about it.

Customer Service Marketing

What is a hot topic? Customer service is a very hot topic. As the nature of relationships change, face-to-face experiences become different, and word of mouth develops a completely new meaning, the result of your customer service is the difference.

Video is hot because when done well, it captures the emotion. Every buying decision has an emotional component. There is often a difference between what people want and what people need. It is true for business-to-business transactions and it is true for business-to-consumer.

When marketing shakes down to the most simplistic level, it is still all about word of mouth. Except, the rules have changed, the opportunities have exploded, and trust has become more critical.

Your best (or worst) marketing tool may still be what people decide to share with other people.

Is customer service marketing? Ask yourself this, “What are people saying?”

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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