Competing On Service Is A Flawed Strategy (And Other Random Thoughts)

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Overheard (inside my head) on the train from NY to Boston:

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Competing on service is a flawed strategy. It’s like saying “We’re really good at fixing our mistakes.” If you didn’t screw up so much in the first place, you wouldn’t have to be so good at service.

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A raft of studies have come out showing the popularity of online user reviews. But few (if any) of them indicate if online reviews are most effective for helping consumers: 1) find products from providers that they didn’t know about before; 2) choose between a set of providers they had already decided on; 3) select between a set of products from a firm they’d already chosen; or 4) confirm a product decision they had already made. It’s probably some combination of the four, but marketers need to know if there are differences by product type or consumer segment.

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People talk WAY too loud on their cell phones on the train. I’m sitting in the quiet car from now on.

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A recent study asked consumers about the extent to which they trusted their financial providers. The survey scale went from 1 to 7, where one was “complete trust” and seven was “no trust”. But is “no trust” simply the absence of trust, or does it mean distrust? It’s not the same, you know. And what does it mean to “completely trust” your financial provider? Trust that they won’t lose your money? Trust that they provide advice that’s in the customer’s best interests? It’s a wonder that consumers can even provide responses to surveys these days with how not so goodly so many questions are worded.

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I don’t EVER want to get sick or into an accident in New York. Nobody moves over for ambulances. Half the people can’t, the other half won’t.

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Cisco and IBM announced new front office solutions that promise to “transform the retail banking experience by enhancing customer interaction and collaboration across all types of delivery channels”. Congrats to the two firms — they’re today’s winners of the Most Buzzwords In One Sentence Award. Seems like every year IBM comes out with a white paper heralding the “transformation” of the financial services industry. I’m not holding my breath.

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Would you have guessed that three of ten firms employ “click to call” as a digital marketing tool to support their online service offering? Or that nearly one in five have online chat with a service rep capabilities? Seems high to me. But that’s what McKinsey found in a survey of 410 marketing execs from around the world. I don’t think the execs they surveyed knew what they were talking about.

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All the cool kids on the train have a network card. I need to get me one. Hey boss, guess what I need you to pay for…

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Technorati Tags: Marketing, Cisco, IBM, McKinsey, Financial Services, Trust

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