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Do’s and Don’ts of Brand Interactions with Customers

By Reid Neubert, March 29, 2012
Categories: Branding, Marketing, Online branding, Online Marketing, Websites

This is a reprint of a press release from Pitney Bowes, dated February 16, 2012 that I found very interesting. Great information for marketers.

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According to a new report from Pitney Bowes Inc. , consumers surveyed in France, Germany, the UK and the US have indicated which marketing activities draw them closer to a brand, and which act as a repellent.

Consumers are clear about what they want from their business interactions and many of the techniques and initiatives being deployed are simply not having the intended effect. Worse, inappropriate communications often diminish a brand’s pool of available prospects and customers as targets opt out of the brand conversation altogether.

Customer satisfaction surveys are perceived as perfectly acceptable for 75 percent of those surveyed. This presents a real opportunity for brands to get to know their customers. With the insight learned, brands may then create a personalized or custom experience based on each consumer’s preferences, a very acceptable practice for the majority of consumers surveyed. By more accurately identifying a customer’s desires and concerns, marketers greatly reduce the number of off-target communications and also save substantial marketing dollars.

The growing trend of personalizing messaging is working for brands. On websites, 59 percent of consumers surveyed say they appreciate personalization such as “Welcome, Jane.” For transactional sites, especially where purchases are being made, it can be reassuring for Jane to know that the site recognizes her account details and has a record of her interactions.

Conversely, consumers clearly point to many annoying brand actions. These outreach efforts are meant to be inviting, yet are irritating to most consumers instead. For example, among the negatives are asking customers to support a brand’s charity or ethical concerns (84%); sending offers from third-parties (83%); encouraging interaction with other consumers via an online community (81%).

Do’s and Don’ts of Brand Interactions with Customers Personalization

Do  Amp up the level of personalization on the Web (59% positive)
Don’t  Let your call center reps get too chummy on the phone (70% negative)

Asking the customer for action

Do  Conduct customer feedback surveys regularly (75% positive)
Don’t  Invite consumers to create their own homepage (69% negative)

Frequency

Do Send a special offer in the mail each month (74% positive)
Don’t Send weekly emails (89% negative)

Invitation to a brand’s cause

Do  Keep customer forums with the customer service efforts, not marketing (81% positive)
Don’t  Ask the customer to support the brand’s charity (84% negative)

“This survey confirms that brands should listen to consumers before they send out their communications,” said Dan Kohn, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Pitney Bowes, Inc.

“Every interaction must honor the interests of the customer first, only then is a relevant offer or call to action acceptable to consumers. Each conversation between a brand and a customer is an opportunity to delight or disappoint. We’re all learning how to do more of the former and less of the latter.”





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