There is nowhereto hide.Information is the new addiction. People can’t getenough of it. Research by Nielsen and Edelman, amongst others, has shown that the combination of Web 2.0 and the recent financial crisis has sent trust in brandsAnd it just keeps on coming. southward in a radical way.In the next 12 months, we can expect to see It is no longer good enough for companies to tellreview sites set for even more spectacular growth. customers what they do. They need to walk theComparison sites will get much more sophisticated. talk, or they’ll get found out.And the inner workings of companies will be laidbare to beady eyes in all manner of new ways. The dark art of spin is shriveling fast under the glare of a billion luminescent screens.
pays outInsurance company especially when customers don’t claim.We’re always seeking out new ways to engage Involving customers ascustomers. So we were particularly intrigued by what virtual stakeholders in athis Dutch insurance company came up with. brand is a very bold move. But it’s the transparency“Netherlands-based online insurance company of InShared that reallyInShared allows the money that has been reserved stands out. Are there anyfor settling claims – but which has not been used – niggles, frustrations orto flow back to its customers. areas of doubt that youThe unused amount is paid to customers who have can front-up and explainnot made any claims, encouraging people to work to your own customers?actively to prevent damage. Honesty can be tremendously captivating.Customers always know how they’re doing. InSharedmakes its ‘insurance fee to damage payments ratio’public on a quarterly basis.”Source: Trendwatching.com.
One of our maxims is, “Don’t tell me you’re funny. Make me laugh.” In other words, do what you say instead of saying what you do. How can you best ‘walk the talk’ of your brand principles? Where can you engage your prospects most credibly?Telling theMcTruth. Authenticity is the real deal. Using it to disprove a deep-set customer belief is something to be applauded. Ronald McDonald we salute you… “As part of their sponsorship programme for the London 2012 Olympic Games, McDonalds has launched an initiative called ‘Open Farms’ in the UK. The public, as well as athletes, can see the ingredients McDonalds uses and meet some of the 17,500 British and Irish farmers who supply their food.” Source: Trendwatching.com.
TWELP ME!I’m drowning in technology.This Cannes winner shows how a brand can tapinto the knowledge of its staff and use that as thecentral resource for always-on customer service.“Best Buy’s ‘Twelpforce’ is a Twitter-based customerservice platform. Anyone can tweet a question, like“What’s the difference between LED and LCD TVtechnology?” and Best Buy’s 2000-strong retailteam will race each other to answer it. Twelpforcenow receives hundreds of tweets every day and BestBuy claim to have reduced complaints by 20%. Notonly does it mean happier customers, it’s alsofantastically empowering and motivating for staff.”Source: Trendwatching.com. Companies such as Dell and Aviva have also grabbed the nettle and opened themselves up to the Ethernet. It’s a smart way to balance open-season consumer commentary with carefully controlled corporate strategy. Is there a case for re-training some of your call-centre staff and empowering them to help customers pro-actively?
feedback Instant takes off at Singapore airport.Giving and getting instant feedback shows good intentions that will leave people feeling like you really careabout their concerns.Singapore’s award-winning Changi Airport launched its Customer-Centric Initiative with the aim of makingairport transit a more pleasant experience. Passengers can provide real-time feedback through touch-pointslocated in the terminals and staff are able to respond immediately to any issues raised.Source: Trendwatching.com. Many brands have no opportunity for face-to-face interaction. But there are alternative ways to offer real-time feedback (Twitter being one of them). The question is: Is it better to leave comments and negative PR festering unresolved? Or is it better to head off concerns quickly, ‘one-to-one’? Numerous brands – notably Dell – have embraced the challenge.
Geronimo takes Direct Line tothe movies.Showing your customers and prospects how a Perhaps more important than anythingclaim is processed might sound as dull as actuarial else was the medium we used: Film.dishwater. But not if you want re-assurance on A minute of video is worth 1.8 millionwhat happens when you need an insurer to spring words according to James McQuivey,into action. Forrester Research. And, according to recent comScore analysis, the useIn fact those who downloaded our ‘Anatomy of a of video online can uplift enquiries andClaim’ videos at some point in their buying journey sales by up to 40%. What content dowere twice as likely to purchase as those that didn’t. you have on your website that’s worthThe secret? We brought a human face to an converting to video? It doesn’t have to beintangible product. Customers are more likely to an expensive feature-length production.trust what a member of staff says than any other Short bursts are the name of the game.form of brand communication.Source: 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer
United Airlines hits theWRONg the charts. and slips down kEy If there’s one thing we’ve learned in improving customer This example sings out because it shows what can go touchpoints, it’s that complainers can become advocates wrong if you ignore the influence of customers and at the drop of a hat if handled well. How are your own staff the distribution power of the internet. geared up to handle negativity? How do you track and “A representative of US-based United Airlines was respond to reviews online? forced to apologise to Canadian songwriter Dave Carroll after baggage handlers broke his guitar. But only after Carroll had unsuccessfully tried for nine months to reclaim the repair costs from United. In a big-brotherly corporate gaffe, they claimed he had initially followed incorrect complaint procedure. So he wrote a song called ‘United Breaks Guitars’. It was a YouTube sensation – viewed millions of times, with over 14,000 comments and contributing to a 10% dip in United’s share price. Ouch.” Source: Trendwatching.com.