Pictures are worth a thousand words they say and that’s exactly what Shigetaka Kurita believed way back in 1999. He founded what lost it’s way in the Y2K and now has permanently parked it’s place in the Oxford dictionary: Emoji. It’s picture letter in Japanese. It first appeared on the Japanese phone network, DoCoMo and then eventually became a big hit with the iOS users in 2011. In 2013, it received a red carpet entry into the English lexicon. What’s interesting is that, after the smartphone makers added this feature, it has been observed that people prefer using emoji than typing out the words. We don’t argue with that, emoji usage saves a tonne of time and sometimes it speaks louder than words.
Chances are today that if a brand doesn’t have an online presence, people question it’s authenticity. The e-commerce scenario at present is a mind blowing affair. With startups springing up like flowers in the spring, the scenario looks colorful. Bringing up the brick and mortar stores to life in the virtual world has made life easier and efficient. It is told many a times that US markets and China markets consider the Indian market as a potential competitor in spite of the continuous foreign entries.
The use of internet subscribers has grown three-fold with increasing traffic from Smartphones. In many surveys, it has been found that people use the Cash on Delivery option more than any other mode and currently the market is growing by the minute.
So are you a small/mid sized shop owner wanting to take the e-plunge?
If so, you’ll just need a few guidelines as to how to start up online because there’s no turning back on the past.
The first question that pesters a local shop owner is that will he be able to sell like the giants? Giants meaning Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon.
The answer is, years ago even these people started small to reach where they are today. So the resounding answer here is yes. Go for it.
The second question is undoubtedly about how online can yield returns?
At first, the returns are almost negligible, but as you establish your market, the amount of money you can make is quite astonishing. You need a brand that will sell itself, first and foremost. The second point here is creating a market. Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus etc serve the purpose better for a small timer. Getting noticed is the key in this aspect.
Another question that pops ups in the process is how to chalk out a plan for the brand promotion online.
Underlining the importance on the customer, Walmart’s founder was once quoted saying, “There is only one boss. The Customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from chairman on down simply by spending his money somewhere else” Times have changes, so have people, but this quote is relevant in these modern times too.
Customer Relationship Management or simply known as CRM is the glue that holds sales and company together. CRM is focused on giving the customer the ultimate experience of being served with a product or service a company may represent.
As per the marketing and advertising genius, Philip Kotler, “CRM is concerned with managing detailed information about individual customers and all customer “touch points” to maximize customer loyalty. It can also be defined as, ‘an alignment of strategy, processes and technology to manage customers, and all customer-facing departments and partners.” In lay man’s language, the effort put by a company to keep it’s customer satisfied so that it can earn some goodwill is the process of CRM.
In these days wherein competition is fierce, it was noted in a study that very few ever stick to a product after a bad experience. They simply and silently move to your rival’s product. The most crucial part in this whole process is about the retention of customers and not about building the customer base. Retention is the toughest part of the job for a company.
Here are a few ways to keep your customers satisfied and build a great framework for CRM
From rags to riches, motivational speaker and author, Jim Rohn wasn’t joking when he said, “One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” Dealing with customers is a tricky and tiring business that requires truckloads of patience and empathy on your part as an entrepreneur or a departmental head. In a report published by Bain & Co, a 10% increase in customer retention level results in a 30% value accretion of the company. Wonder how? Check this out.
In an episode of Brain Games, Jason, the host revealed the relationship between a customer’s honesty and the customer service. The scene is a coffee shop, Jason has placed an actress behind the cash counter who is instructed to return back more change for every purchase to check people’s honesty. The catch here is for the first few guests, she’s instructed to be a good hostess and for the next few guests, she’s going to act rude.
The score: when she was a good hostess, almost every customer returned back the extra change they received, but when she was a terrible hostess, it was noted that many people almost never wanted to return back the extra change (although they did for a clear conscience)
The real life experiment really goes to show, how a buying experience can cut in through our value system and for the business owner it’s definitely a scary ride to go through a day dealing with unhappy customers.
Estonia is a Northern European country that has suffered more than its fair share of occupation. Centuries ago, Estonia had to deal with rule by the Danish, then the Swedish, and—more recently—the Soviet Union. However, despite these challenges, Estonia has thrived and came into its own as an independent, democratic country. The most extraordinary thing about Estonia is its grasp of technology. When it comes to Internet access, Estonia is one of the most connected countries in the world, and its education is also top-notch.
When we were kids, just about all of us probably used a swing-set at some point. They are at found in most public parks and are a pretty ubiquitous part of everyone’s childhood. However, in Estonia, swinging is much more than just something children do to pass the time. As children, we probably all tried to swing over the bars at some point, and found it was pretty much impossible, due to the design of our swing-sets. We would compromise by simply getting really high and then seeing how far we could leap out. (more…)