• A different kind of gift.

    Quick poll – are you more likely to redeem a coupon received from a brand randomly or one that comes personalized from a friend who has effectively vetted that brand’s product or service? No prizes for getting that one right! Most would agree that a gift from a friend is way more likely to be accepted and redeemed than one from a faceless corporation or brand. How can brands take advantage of this? And what benefits could they accrue? Research with customers suggests the following: Inviting a current, satisfied customer to send a gift is more effective than asking people […]

  • I’m no Steve Jobs…and you shouldn’t try to be one either.

    Not a blinding moment of self-awareness, but a recognition of what most of us are capable of and what separates us from one of the true visionaries of our times – aka Steve Jobs. I’m referring specifically to Steve’s legendary ability to predict or intuit what customers would like. I’d go one step farther – I’d say that Steve was one of the few people who could actually shape and sway the opinion and likes of hundreds of millions of consumers around the globe. No easy feat at a time when tastes are unpredictable and notoriously fickle. Unfortunately for the […]

  • Feedback is only the beginning….

    And if it doesn’t lead somewhere, it’s pretty much a waste of time and resources. Heresy? Especially coming from the founder of a feedback-related company (www.knownact.com) it may seem like it. But I opine carefully – I’m obviously not advocating that you shouldn’t capture customer feedback. I am suggesting however, that don’t treat it as a “check box” item that you need to get done. Feedback needs to lead somewhere and in our opinion it needs to lead to actions in real-time, right there and right then. This action can take several forms – but the end goal is to […]

  • How easy are you?

    To elaborate, how easy do you make it for your customers to tell you exactly what they think about your product or service? Businesses have attempted to capture insights from their customers’ experiences for decades with mixed results. The volume of engagement is typically a function of a couple of factors: Why should the customer care? i.e. “what’s in it for me?” How easy is it to engage? Do you adequately tell them what you want them to do and do you make the process the lowest friction possible? The first is a function of what the business is willing […]

  • When is customer feedback enough?

    Well, truth be told, almost all the time. While this might seem heretical, coming from someone who runs a customer engagement system company, let me explain. Most popular systems out there that organizations are using today to capture customer feedback do a good job of collecting customer feedback through different mechanisms. They also do a fair job of analyzing that feedback to provide insights that are useful in the aggregate and as a trailing indicator of how your operation is doing. They can even provide useful abilities to address specific issues at a location perhaps, which can contribute to better […]

  • The ‘non-feedback’ feedback.

    We work with a lot of very progressive and customer oriented companies from around the world including powerhouses such as Microsoft, Amazon, McDonalds, Volkswagen and several others. They are universally focused on understanding their customers’ experiences and use several methods to capture that insight. A common challenge they face is enticing their customers to actually take the 30 secs or 5 mins to share feedback. Several methods can help improve this process including incentives, better awareness and the right context. However, a good majority of customers simply can’t be bothered to participate in a ‘survey’. What’s the marketer to do? […]

  • How to be anti-social

    Every restaurateur or retailer we talk with tells us how much they hate Yelp! Hoteliers aren’t particularly fond of TripAdvisor either and businesses in general are still struggling to deal with the consequences of ubiquity, universal publishing capability and viral natures of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and others.  Businesses big and small complain about being dis-intermediated from their customers by these social networks where customers are reaching out to the networks first to post their grouses and the business is relegated to working in damage control mode. There IS a better way. Where the business can establish and […]

  • Real-time information and associated power

    everal tomes have been written about the power of getting instant information, which empowers organizations to act upon the insight gained. What is not often mentioned is that enabling the capture of that insight and generating the appropriate response is a non-trivial exercise (and often expensive) in a distributed physical environment where the input needs to come in from people who are using the relevant products or services that may be facing issues. We at know’N’act of course believe that we have changed that forever and for the better with our proprietary system that lets you capture and address issues […]

  • The power of good service.

    Those who know me well know that I’m a huge fan of the value of good customer service. The lack of which is becoming painfully obvious at many businesses today, with economic pressures not allowing for requisite training of staff and low motivation levels. The result is a slew of unhappy and dissatisfied customers who are ready to switch. Just a couple of days ago, I had to go pick up a bunch of pizzas from a local Seattle chain. Unfortunately, when I got there a little after the appointed time, I was told that they hadn’t even started making […]

  • Airlines can do better

    I returned from an overseas trip a few weeks ago on Delta Airlines. The service was surprisingly (and pleasantly) better than my family and I expected and we were especially pleased with some of the flight attendants’ attention to detail and demeanor. There were some issues with the airplane itself that needed attention which I wanted to point out to someone. The inside cover of the inflight magazine had a full page ad from Delta inviting my feedback through a URL. Purportedly, they wanted me to go home after a 10 hour journey, remember the URL, then take the time […]

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