Mohini Puranik

Social Media Strategist, Poet, Blogger

Category: Strategy (Page 1 of 5)

4 Customer Service Mistakes That Damage Your Brand

The frustration due to poor customer service is a common experience for all of us. We daily use a lot of applications, products, and services. While choosing products and services, apart from the quality and brand reputation, customer service plays a crucial role in final customer judgment about the brand.

Poor customer service can damage brand image.

Failing to address customer issues is the most common problem by customer care services.

Image: 4 Customer Service Mistakes That Damage Your Brand


Relationship between Brand Image and Customer Service:

Brand image isn’t only the brand’s logo, name, and celebrity endorsement. They may attract customers to reach your brand, but further customer engagement with the brand and creating loyal customer relationships is dependent on 
  • The quality of the service or product
  • User experience
  • The customer service
Recently, I had to report an issue to a service-based website. I had ended using their services long time back, still my inbox was getting flooded with annoying e-mail alerts associated with the closed account.
 
I thought to confirm the deactivation of my account. I didn’t have any complaint and the issue was very basic. I tried to file an error report where I had to attempt it several times due to failed captcha. Simple options to prevent spam are avaialble, still annoying captcha isn’t gone yet. I could see a blank error message by which I ‘guessed’ that perhaps my concern wasn’t being sent by the contact form. So, I called the customer care number. It was in the auto response mode, but didn’t have options to convey any issue further or to directly talk with the customer care officer.
 
I checked the website again and tried online chat option. Finally, this option worked, received the email address where I could directly send my issue. I had to waste almost a lot of time, still I didn’t get the solution.
 
This issue wasn’t limited to the functioning of the website. It was the ideal example of poor customer service in different aspects. You might have faced loads of similar experiences almost every day.
 

1. Active and simple communication channel(s) for customers:

Customers have queries, suggestions, and complaints, sometimes they need help regarding usage of the service or tool. The first thing customers need is the easy channel to communicate with the brand. 
 
Using online tools, devices, phone, internet, banks, we face technical issues frequently. When it becomes difficult to contact the customer cell further possibility of developing good customer relations gets broken at the beginning. The customer may end using the service and never return again. 

2. Failure in addressing customer issues:

Another experience of poor customer service is that many employees fail to understand different customer issues correctly. As they don’t understand, obviously they can’t address the issue well. They don’t know other employees who can better understand and find solution. This experience is much seen digital products. Employees don’t know technical details of the their own product by their organization. The Result will be losing customers again.
 
 

3. Disrespectful behavior with customers:

If your employees vent their workload stress and frustration, on customers and employee behavior results in disrespectful customer service, the message customer gets is that employees aren’t happy with their work or the treatment they receive from the organization. Also, they can’t express their concerns, so finally it turns into disrespectful behavior with the customers.  If employees aren’t happy with their own organization – the organization they are working with – then how would customers get satisfied?
 
Secondly, no user would want to repeat the bad experience by contacting the organization again.  
 
Customers are the life for any organization; hence, it’s not reasonable to expect customers to be considerate about the disrespectful and frustrating experience they had. Users have thousands of options; it will take them only some milliseconds to switch to your competitor. 
 

4. Lack of measures to resolve customer issues:

When first three mistakes take place regularly, the clear message customers receive that the organization isn’t interested in knowing the customer experiences and aren’t willing to take corrective measures for better service or product improvement.

 

Consequences of Poor Customer Service on Brand Image:

  • Users may not remember effective marketing campaigns and celebrity endorsements, but they will never forget the experience they received and their experience will create a new – positive or negative – but firm image of the brand (at least for themselves).
  • The obvious consequence can be the customer will stop using the product or service.
  • It’s more possible that they will vent the negative experience about the brand which will harm the brand reputation. Social media, these days, has become a place where people share their product usage experiences.
  • Third possibility will be they will choose your competitor.
  • The worst possible outcome for you might be, they will spread the word about your competitor. In other words, your rude behavior or poor customer service may become an indirect reason for better brand image of your competitor.

Effective communication with customers for positive brand image: 

Customer retention is the biggest challenge nowadays. However, if you give great customer service, loyal customer relationships will be built. Technology may change, but the emotional attachment does not change. 
 
Be unambiguous, detailed and authentic while communicating with your customers. Be extremely careful about the message you give to your customers, even your tone matters.
 
Giant brands generally don’t bother, losing customers. However, no organization can afford a negative brand image.
 
Before the organizational pressures on employees reach to your customers, remember, your customers also work somewhere, they also have pressures, and stresses. They don’t to be kind and understanding towards customer care officers. 
 

Bottom-Line: 

If you make them regret for contacting you, why should they use your products?
 
Failing to deliver promised services and quality may harm the brand image but effective and friendly communication can control the damage. 
 

More Strategic Guides:

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4 Reasons Why Marketing Campaigns Fail Despite Effective Strategic Planning

Last month, I went on a day trip for a short break to enjoy alone time. I traveled by public transport bus. We had to wait almost an hour for the journey to begin. In the meantime, some sellers entered the bus, promoting and selling, their products. Although, I was there in the bus to leave behind everyday stresses, brain can’t really stop thinking about work. I learned some crucial marketing lessons and the reasons of marketing campaigns’ failure from the small duration bus marketing campaign.
 
Various sellers marketed their products by brief yet trained presentations. Afterward, they showed their products to every traveler. The items were artificial jewelry, books for primary school students, and pain balm.
 
This idea to reach travelers in public transport buses sounds nice at a first glance. However, people didn’t seem to show much interest in knowing the products; forget about buying them.
 
 
Text Image: Four Reasons Why Marketing Campaigns Fail Despite Effective Strategic Planning
 
 

Why did people ignore all the marketing tactics?

 
Despite creating a perfect campaign plan, sometimes some missteps get ignored in the implementation, which may result in complete failure of the campaign.
 

1. The marketing campaign was targeted to the wrong group of people.

 
Men and women of all ages, from various educational backgrounds and professions sounds like an ideal comprehensive market for any product. However, a rule in simple words is, everything isn’t needed by everybody. Jewelry could be appealing to women, but due to safety reasons, nobody was interested in using it. Primary school students’ books could be useful for a particular age group of people. Therefore, only a few percentages of people in each bus would count the potential group. Considering daily marketing in most of the buses, overall people just interested in buying would be almost one per cent or lesser. In addition, parents generally prefer to buy all the required books for their kids from school books and stationary shops. State transport bus wasn’t the right place to sell books for primary school students.
 
Let’s compare the above scenario with social media marketing. Various social media channels are available for free and promoted marketing campaigns. You can start your own business pages and gain followers and engagement. Nevertheless, not every social networking site can be effective for every product or service. (Same rule again.) Depending on interaction styles, hashtag usage, image and links’ influence, and most importantly, the active users’ age group, impact of various social sites changes. Careful research to meet the goals is needed before launching the promotional drive.
  

2. Marketing the products without branding.

 
The products mentioned weren’t well-known brands. People had never seen or heard about them from someone they know. For small businesses, it can be quite difficult to get a celebrity brand ambassador or show celebrity endorsements via ads. People love to buy the products from the brands, they have heard somewhere from someone they trust. By presenting the books to educational bookstalls or pain balm to chemists, actual sales could be increased.  This correction would help the promoters reaching right targeted audience with endorsement from trusted shops.
 
In online marketing referral links and social media sharing can be functional to spread a word about the product instead of pouring a lot of money on adverts only. In addition, in the era of social media marketing, we trust likes, shares and retweets from our network.Focusing on real social media sharing and communication surely helps in branding.  
 

3. Ineffective advert or presentation:

 
The presentation seemed ineffective because it was not lively. The sellers didnt have eye-contact with the people in the bus while speaking. It was clearly noticeable that the promoters were repeating some memorized words. The effect of liveliness just not limited to offline life but while marketing  online by blogs or social media it’s greatly positive to connect with your readers and followers by natural communication. A simple smile and smiley icon can win hearts.
 
The mistake many of us get tempted to follow in online world is sending automated replies and direct messages. Automated posts don’t help as people are used to ignoring them. 

4. Touch the emotions and Match the needs.

 
Remember the incidents getting emotional after watching emotional ads? The products  couldn’t relate with the audience and their emotions and couldn’t match with their needs. I emphasize, in marketing, emotions first and then needs, this is how people feel about the advert. During designing a product or planning a service to offer, prime importance is of course to provide a solution to people’s problems.
 

Winning Tactic despite Campaign Failure.

 
Despite all the rejections, the marketers didn’t feel sad or rejected and moved on to the next bus for the search of new customers with hope. Rejections shouldn’t be taken personally. Reasons of rejection could be any of the above-explained ones. None of the reasons is about the person who was selling. It was perhaps a strategic mistake in training the workforce, as we all are told to follow rules strictly.
 
Never take any rejection personally, instead, be optimistic and identify and eliminate the mistakes.

Final Thoughts:

 
Marketing campaigns are worth the investment at the places/channels where your buyers are present, where they need your product or service, where they value the quality that your product provides and are willing to pay for it.
 
The success of marketing campaigns is dependent on accurate planning and implementation of the strategies.
 
From my personal experiences, I have followed the rules and also loved to break or tweak them to move ahead. Remember, no rule is final.  
 
 
Recommended Articles on Branding and Strategic Planning:
 
 
You can join me on Twitter @mohinipuranik .

Know How Negative Content Marketing Can Affect Your Sales Negatively

Content marketing plays a key role in the marketing cycle from attracting traffic to your website, lead generation to the decision and action by your buyer to buy your services or products. It is being accepted that negative and aggressive tone in your posts or social media updates can drive more leads in the modern online marketing world. Know how negative content marketing can affect your sales negatively in this article.


Many social media consultants/Gurus/experts are emerging every day. Some are independently working or working for a social media firm. Just like any other business niche, the competition in the social media field is not about growing own business, but it’s more turning about how to crush the competitors. 

With this trend I stumble upon articles on SMM experts quite often, explaining many social media Gurus aren’t a real experts. Okay. That’s not a complete lie.  Some articles give valid and insightful reasons to choose the right social media expert for your business. 

If you search about buying followers on social media, you’ll find many firms running this business of openly selling followers without even taking a note about terms of services of the social networking site, they sell followers for. Obviously, buying social media services from the agencies that do not follow careless about legal terms can put the buyer in trouble and harm their reputation. Therefore, the eye-opening articles about the truth of social media experts should be thanked, no doubt. 

Negative content marketing:


I find aggressive criticism of the competitors without raising valid points as a negative content marketing tactic. When you read the truth revealing articles and feel to thank the writer, you just notice that the writer also sells social media services. How would you feel then?

Positive approach in content marketing:


  • Can’t it a better and positive approach to display our own achievements or expertise?
  • Isn’t this positive approach better that we have an insightful strategic discussion with the prospects, directly or through blogs? 


In short, how I note positive and negative tones in content marketing.

Positive Tone: 

  • Why should you hire me? 
  • Why should you buy my services? 
  • The readiness to address the queries of the readers/customers.


Negative Tone: 

Why shouldn’t you hire the so-called social media experts? 

(Silent Tone: I also sell social media services, please buy them.)

Effects of positive and negative content tones on the minds of the readers:


Positive tone creates an excitement and curiosity, 

What does this person offer for my business?

Are their services right to grow my business?

‘How would they handle my project’ 
and finally

Should I buy their services?

Negative tone creates a negative thought process in the minds of the readers, 

‘Thank God I came to know about the frauds in this field. Thanks to this writer.’ 

‘Oh! They also sell social media services. So that’s why they wrote this article. Should I  trust them completely?’ 

And That’s why they wrote all this. 

They are so aggressive and negative.’ 

‘How will my deal and my experience go with them?

‘I need to think before buying their services.’

The second point is that by negative tone we show ourselves so desperate to sell our services. I think,  this tactic harms sales. 

Content with a negative tone can also negative affect traffic as it harms productivity.

By highlighting our expertise we give a positive and firm message to the readers. The message that we are here in the market, yes, we are in the competition, but we are here because, we believe that we deliver the best, and we deliver what you need. 

I believe clearly discussing what I can offer and equally important point, what I can’t offer/ I don’t offer is the positive and hence better approach in the content marketing.

Final thoughts: Instead of killing the competitor, unity, cooperation and constructive criticism in any field including social media marketing is the positively strong approach to build leadership in the market.  

4 Strategies to Build Twitter Presence for Successful Hashtag Campaigns

Marketing and promotions on social media have taken equally vital place in the budget and strategies as mainstream media advertising. Traditional print, television and radio marketing are now incorporated with social media marketing. For twitter marketing tactics, hashtag campaigns play a significant role. 

Business giants and small start-ups are ready to pour a large amount of their budget on social media campaigns by hashtags. 

Let’s discuss some winning strategies for hashtag campaigns.

1. Create an Active Presence on Twitter Months before Campaigns.


    • Before running a hashtag campaign plan your theme for it. Work on Long-term strategies.
    • Plan your campaigns at least 4-5 months before the event.
    • Maintain active presence on twitter.
    • Start-ups may feel it alluring to create a theme based hashtag campaign on Twitter to get a big fan following with the beginning of their twitter presence. However, it is difficult to get instant virality. Even if campaign may get an initial success by promoted campaigns or contests, how longer will it last? Chances are less! 
    • If people forget your handle/brand once the campaign is over, campaign can not be counted as a complete success. That doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be any campaign at the opening of twitter handle. However, over- evaluation of expectations of fame should be avoided. 

    2. Consider these 10 questions to set the purpose, style, and tone of your twitter handle.

    • What do you offer, a product or service?
    • What do you want to tweet?
    • Do you want to help your target audience?
    • Do you give tips on a particular topic?
    • Do you give links to your website/blog?
    • What is your tone?
    • Do you reply to queries?
    • Are you an open networker?
    • Why should people follow you?
    • What will be the call to actions?



    Let people know first what your handle is for.

    3. Give time and efforts to grow real followers!


    When real followers grow, your presence naturally reaches to their followers. When your followers and real people retweet or favorite your tweets, they get authentic engagement and more and more tweeters know about your handle and your brand. 
    This is a bit slow process and it needs patience. 

    Creating and posting quality content is the key here.

    4. Track real growth vs. fake following

    • Return on investment is measured in different metrics like reach, retweets, engagement, and clicks to links shared.

    • Retweets by real people go viral, fake retweets are easily recognized and spam is obviously ignored.

    • You have to reach to real people for real marketing. Showing huge fan following on social media by buying followers is the easiest way to create brand popularity. Nevertheless, if you create an account and get 10000 people immediately to follow you, people can effortlessly guess the fake followers’ growth.There are many tools available online which lets anybody check fake following of any handle. For active tweeters it is very easy to find the difference between real and fake following.
    • Measure engagement metrics regularly, weekly tracking is good.
    • Fake following and fake engagement with your tweet content harms reputation.
    • Your posts shouldn’t be robotic, or too much automated.

    The Bottom line is that whether the engagement with tweets is real or fake will be the decisive factor that makes any campaign a success or a failure or just an illusion of success.  




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    6 Marketing Strategies we can Learn from Vegetable Vendors

    Vegetable vendors and street hawkers are the best marketers. They sell very low priced products, but they have to put all the creativity in their salesmanship for success. Every marketer whether he sells products or services, whether they are for big brands or start-ups, they need to be ingenious. There are some strategies we all can learn from Indian vegetable vendors.


    1.  Offer and Price should be Precise.


    Vegetable vendors sell the vegetables for 5 or 10 bucks. Thus, the price they set is easy to remember and eye catching. Customers can easily decide what they are getting for the price and so they can take a quick decision whether to buy or not. When we keep the price like  USD 499, it looks apparently as 400s but customers may think for some time and round it to 500, then believe the price as more expensive than they actually thought, it gives an impression of dishonesty or trick.

    2. Offer shouldn’t be too complicated for the customer to assess.


    Vegetable sellers keep already created bundles or a bunch of the quantity of vegetable they are going to sell for the set price. This saves the time of both the customer and the vendor during even rush hour. There is not any need of scales. This easy method double or triple the sales.
    .
    This strategy is very functional for online service providers. We can break our services for different price ranges and create packages of services for big projects. Prospects don’t need much time take the decision of buying right service they need and the price they can afford.

    3. Keep the communication channel absolutely simple and easy.


    A crowded big marketplace generally turns noisy with quarrels over bargaining, change, and cheating in measuring quantities. Such quarrels result in decreased sales due to wastage of time leaving negative impression on customers. No bargaining means more sales in lesser time. What vendors have to think is to give satisfactory quantity of the product in the given price.
    If you have services and price set up conversion rate is going to increase.

    4. Simple offers sale more.


    People can easily buy in the multiples of five, usually 10, 20, so they find it handy to buy more bundles of vegetables.
     Just keep it simple, easy to understand for different levels of customers with different ranges of needs and budgets.

    5. Don’t raise the price frequently.

    Vegetable prices keep changing almost weekly, they keep the rate same by changing quantity. Psychologically speaking customers are ok with a bit lesser quantity while buying on the same rate. If rates are increased then customers think more before buying.

    6. Define ‘Your’ Style to define your brand!  


    Vegetable vendors shout with their own style, that’s the simplest and best branding I have ever seen. They also create their own communication style with customers. In addition, they organize their vegetables attractively; some charge more for high quality vegetables and do not compromise with the price. They can do so confidently because they know their target customers are going to buy from them only.
     
    This ‘Keep it Simple’ attitude attracts more buyers with less chaos.

    The next most important step after lead generation, communication style 
    which does branding for you. The experience your communication gives to the customers brings them back to you.
    Marketing is an art not just to sell but for creating more and more ‘Happy Sales’.

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    Group Pins Edit Feature on Pinterest

    Text Image: Pinterest Group Pin Edit Feature


    We the pinners love to create boards for different topics keep pinning a lot of posts. When we have done pinning of 100s of posts and feel the need to make our board with new arrangement of pins, or we wish to do some clean up it becomes a boring and tedious task. If you are planning to redesign your Pinterest profile, don’t just worry now! Pinterest has started a new feature which allows you to copy, delete and move group pins. 

    I have tried this  feature. Let’s have a quick  look at Pinterest’s gift for businesses. 

    Screenshot: Edit options for a Group of Pins on Pinterest Board



    # Group editing of pins allows you to


    1. Copy group pins

    2. Move them.

    and

    3. Delete a group if you no longer want them on your profile.

    # It’s very easy to edit a group of pins. 


    1. Just go to the a board.

    2. Click on Move Pins. It appears as a ‘New’ option on your board.

    3. Select the pins to move. 

    4.  Choose move, copy or delete option. 

    # Points to note before you move group pins:


    1. You can select up to 50 Pins.

    2. All these changes will not appear in the home feed of your followers. 

    3. Only new pins appear in the home feed. 

    # Best Option for Pinterest Visibility:


    You can keep same pins on multiple boards as sometimes some posts can have two or more categories. Now you can arrange your pins with smart strategies to increase the visibility of your pins  

    So, now with this new feature you can plan new year Pinterest strategy with more flexibility.

    Time to get busy with pins and boards. Enjoy pinning!

    I share my favorite Social media posts on my social media strategy board. Follow my board for best strategies, tips and Infographics shared on the web. 

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