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Brainzooming blog reader, Randall Rozin, Global Director, brand management and marketing communications at Dow Corning is back with a guest post on lead management system success. Randall’s exploration of the topic is a great reminder of the interconnected nature and vital need for follow-up throughout to achieve the results from the investment in a lead management system. Here’s Randall:

Randall-RozinLead Management System Success

Generating a lead and following it to closure is a pretty simple concept. You define your target audience, develop a compelling offer, communicate the offer to your target, they respond, you follow up, and Voilà: a sale happens.

5 Key Phases from Exposure to Closure

As you can imagine, in the real world of business to business marketing it quickly becomes more complex. Whether you choose to develop your own process or outsource it to others, you’ll need to consider these five key phases for lead management system success.

1. Exposure

The “exposure” in this model can be thought of as the stimulus that you’re putting out into your market in search of a given type of response. In this phase, your marketing and sales teams have predetermined what an ideal lead looks like based on attributes, buying readiness, position, and timing. You’ve designed your offer to attract maximum customer response and fulfillment pieces are in place to properly respond to inquiries generated. Marketing campaign information is loaded into your CRM system to assist with funnel management reporting and downstream marketing ROI calculations. Internal teams and channel partners are pre-informed of exposure campaign objectives, available collateral and sales aids, and the timing of promotions. Your digital properties are also on the ready to help reposit materials and to serve as additional messaging outlets and lead source

2. Capture

Leveraging a common pre-qualification form to help screen for ideal leads based on upfront criteria makes the capture process more efficient. This allows the most valuable leads to proceed on to sales while less qualified leads are closed out immediately or returned to a nurture stream for future marketing actions. It is important to have a well thought out capture mechanism to catalog inquires coming from multiple marketing exposure campaign tactics. Being organized upfront is important for quick fulfillment of customer inquiries, and in being able to track marketing effectiveness and ROI.

3. Make Sure

To ensure your lead is sales ready, based on your qualification criteria, scoring systems are helpful to quickly communicate the sales readiness of a given lead before passing it on to sales or returning it to the nurture stream. Automating your scoring system in your CRM tool is valuable as it allows you to process more leads at a much faster pace. A fully qualified lead should be converted to an active opportunity.

4. Nurture

In many business-to-business firms, it is less common for marketing to generate an immediate sale. Team procurement processes, need for testing, specification writing and many other factors make for long sales cycles in business-to-business. With longer sales cycles comes the real need to keep in contact with a targeted customer to cultivate your relationship, to provide additional reasons why your solution is differentiated, to make additional offers, or simply to remind the customer that you are still interested in their business. Thinking proactively about your nurture streams and content requirements helps you avoid ‘dead air’ in between exposure and closure phases and enables your interim communications to be more strategic, integrated, and driven to a specific, desired outcome.

5. Closure

In this final phase you will either convert your opportunity into a sale or you won’t. Either way you need to connect the dots in your CRM system, ensure feedback to marketing is in place to measure ROI and inform future campaign strategies. If the closure phase results in a ‘no sale’ capture the reasons why. If the closure phase results in a sale, well done! But your work is not complete as you still have the opening to include your customer in future nurture streams designed to cross-sell and up-sell additional offers.

Bottlenecks in lead and opportunity management processes involve not having the proper key performance indicators in place with clear roles and responsibilities for your sales and marketing organizations – including channel. Additionally, having multiple repositories for customer and campaign data is nearly as dilutive to your enterprise efforts as having no repository at all as it limits your real pipeline view and forces many manual processes to aggregate information for management review and investment decision making. A central CRM system (customer relationship management) is paramount to orchestrating your overall process and in delivering the visibility of your overall sales funnel and helping you connect marketing ROI back to specific lead generation activities.

With KPIs (key performance indicators) and CRM systems in hand, you’ll be on your way to having a more accurate sales funnel with increased sales effectiveness and higher quality sales leads. As a result, your sales force will be more motivated with the leads they receive and your marketing teams will have improved insight on marketing effectiveness and improved creative direction for ongoing marketing nurturing programs. – Randall Rozin

 

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Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Today, we have a second installment in our Brainzooming series on strategic thinking questions inspired by the Fast Company list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business 2013.

Today’s strategic thinking questions focus on creativity, social media, and content marketing.

As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, these strategic thinking questions don’t appear in the Fast Company most creative people in business profiles. They were created by reviewing the profiles and asking ourselves what questions those profile may have asked themselves while working on their creative achievements.

The reason we’re emphatic this is because of what happened with Fast Company after publishing our post covering the 2012 list. We noticed late one morning the main Fast Company account shared our tweet about the blog post. Noting the hundreds of thousands of followers they have, I quickly inserted a Brainzooming ad in the post, and waited for the blog traffic explosion. Then, as a double check, I went to the Fast Company RT to see what it would be like to wind up at our blog from a Fast Company link.

Guess what?

Fast Company swapped out our link to Brainzooming in my original tweet, substituting one to the list on its website. If we’d ripped off their copy, I would completely understand. But our content is unique AND featured more than 100 links to the magazine’s website. That’s a social media foul, in my book, but what are you going to do?

Here are today’s UNIQUE strategic thinking questions. You can click to get to the underlying profiles, but don’t expect to find these creativity, social media, and content marketing questions there!

Creativity, Content Marketing, and Social Media Questions Inspired by the Fast Company 100 Most Creative People in Business 2013

Creativity Questions

How many scary and risky things do you say “Yes” to in the course of a year? How many do you say “No” to? What’s the impact of your answers on your creative output? (13. Connie Britton - ACTRESS, NASHVILLE)

What are new ways to expand your global influences without having to leave your office? (2. Dong-Hoon Chang - EVP, HEAD OF DESIGN STRATEGY, SAMSUNG)

What’s the longest your organization has ever brainstormed, and are you ready to brainstorm 10x longer at one stretch? (27. Maria Mujica - LATIN AMERICAN MARKETING DIRECTOR, GUMS AND CANDY, MONDELĒZ INTERNATIONAL)

How can you deliberately create more white space to experiment, try stuff, learn, change, and do it better? (32.Hosain Rahman - FOUNDER, CEO, JAWBONE)

Why would it be interesting to hear you vent about what’s gone wrong or has failed in your life? (34. Marc Maron - COMEDIAN, WTF WITH MARC MARON)

If you were required to triple the number of new creative ideas you generate on any given day, what would you do differently to boost your creative output? (37. Darrin Crescenzi - SENIOR DESIGNER, PROPHET)

What creative residue do you leave yourself at the end of the day to fuel a quick creative start tomorrow? (47. Simon Rich – WRITER)

How can you grow the number of self-described “creatives” you talk to weekly to boost your new ideas? (6. Max Levchin - CEO, AFFIRM; BOARD MEMBER, YAHOO)

How would it change your creative perspective if, as a TV show’s creator is called a “showrunner,” your title were whatever you produce + “runner”? (77-83. TV’S Head of the Class – A GROUP OF SIX TV SHOW CREATORS)

If you typically have a plan in place for your creativity, how would just starting and seeing what happens feel more refreshing and creative? (77-83. TV’S Head of the Class – A GROUP OF SIX TV SHOW CREATORS)

How can you bring together young, experienced people and older, inexperienced people to reverse the typical learning environment of the older teaching the young? (84. Michelle Rowley - FOUNDER, CODE SCOUTS)

What happens when you flip your typical creative process around completely? (90. Pendleton Ward – ANIMATOR)

What’s stopping you from asking for favors and help from people you have no business trying to talk to? (96. Ruzwana Bashir - COFOUNDER, CEO, PEEK)

Lots of risk can thwart addressing lots of societal need, unless someone is bold enough to do something – how bold are you? (98. Wendell Pierce - COFOUNDER, STERLING FARMS FRESH FOODS)

Content Marketing and Social Media Questions

How can you collect and share more real-life stories of people your company has helped in meaningful, personal ways? (10. Scott Harrison - FOUNDER, CHARITY: WATER)

What would happen if you tried to come up with and select a year’s worth of content marketing ideas before you published your first piece of content? (18. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele - COCREATORS AND STARS, KEY & PEELE)

If you covered only one topic, how would the narrow topic free you for incredible diversity in how you deliver content on the topic? (20. Lara Setrakian- FOUNDER, SYRIA DEEPLY)

What are all the ways you are and aren’t making it easy for your fans to create and share content about their experiences with your brand? (40. Kate Phelan and Justin Cooke - CREATIVE DIRECTOR, TOPSHOP; CMO, TOPSHOP)

How are you getting ready to have your brand catch and do something with the content your audience throws back at you? (21. Jaime Robinson - VP, EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, PEREIRA & O’DELL)

If you’re giving new content away, what and when will you get paid for it? (28. Diplo - DJ, FOUNDER, MAD DECENT)

What are new ways to serve up your best content and not just your most recent content to readers? (45. Kate Lee - DIRECTOR OF CONTENT, MEDIUM)

What will it take for your brand to process external inputs and do / say something about them in real-time via social media? (7. Jill Applebaum and Megan Sheehan - CREATIVE DIRECTOR, JWT; ART DIRECTOR AND DESIGNER)

Would a prank via social media potentially help draw attention to a cause you care about deeply? (76. Rebecca Nagle and Hannah Brancato - FEMINIST ACTIVISTS)

When it comes to content, what more could you do with your content to create attention for your brand or another brand that needs attention? (88. Sscott Borchetta - CEO, BIG MACHINE RECORDS)

How can you create a place for smart, opinionated, and even snarky customers to hang out and share their knowledge about what they love (which might not be your brand)? (91. Mahbod Moghadam - COFOUNDER, RAP GENIUS)

What will it take to create as clear a group of dissenters for your content as you have created fans? (92. Leandra Medine - FOUNDER, MANREPELLER.COM)

If you provided 3 weeks of training to the content creators in your organization, how would you best use the time? (97. Stephanie Horbaczewski - PRESIDENT, CEO, STYLEHAUL) 

Mike Brown

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The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Alex-Knapp-LunchIf you follow the @Brainzooming account on Twitter when I’m live tweeting a luncheon with someone incredibly tweetable, don’t be surprised to be inundated with forty or fifty tweets (sorry!).

That’s exactly what happened when Alex Knapp, Social Media Editor and staff writer at Forbes, headlined this month’s Social Media Club of Kansas City lunch talking about the intersection of publishing and social media strategy.

For those who don’t follow @Brainzooming on Twitter, here via reformatted tweets and paraquotes, are just a few of the social media strategy insights Alex Knapp shared.

Mistakes Publishers (and others) Make with Social Media Strategy

According to Knapp, the biggest mistake publishers make is thinking there is something new in social media. Publishing changes based on the platform, and the only thing that changes over time is the type of content you put on each one. The challenge (and opportunity) with social media is that it is communicating, engagement, and marketing all at once.

Social Media Talents

Social media requires multiple abilities from someone in a short time in a small space. Many publishers (and other types of companies) make the mistake of picking people with only one talent who then struggle. Among the many skills needed to be great at social media, headline writing is THE social media skill.

Alex Knapp proposed a thought experiment: You have two people, one of whom you can hire to do social media for a publication. Do you pick someone who is early in a business career and all over Twitter or someone more senior with lots of work experience and no clue about Twitter? Knapp advises picking the more experienced person since it’s possible to train someone on Twitter in an hour. Training someone who understands social media to write well, think better, and market more effectively? Well, that takes considerably longer than an hour.

Not Every Social Network Should Have Identical Content

When it comes to taking the best advantage of varied content across channels, Knapp pointed out a great example from the world of publishing to illustrate his point: The New York Times wouldn’t run an arts story on the sports page unless it had a very specific sports angle. Given that, why would an organization run the exact same story at the exact same time on very different social media platforms?

Similar to how we covered Mall of America featuring different content by social network, Knapp shared that at Forbes, Google+ is for tech news, LinkedIn is for startup news, and there are twelve different topic-oriented Twitter feeds, some of which have come and gone over time based on what’s working. Ultimately the goal for each platform (which may have much larger readership than a publication’s paid subscriber base) shapes how a brand approaches it.

When faced with too many social media options and not enough time to go around, Knapp recommends to start where a brand has its biggest audience and focus there. He also advises against the common idea of not putting resources toward social media because it’s free. He asked why a brand WOULDN’T want to put resources toward something that was free and worked vs. paying money for marketing efforts that cost a lot and are difficult to track.

Social Media Strategy Fundamentals

  • Social media is the industrialization of word of mouth, so it’s vital to make sure social content is easily shared.
  • If you have great content that’s working, run it again, adding variety to how you feature it. He suggested pulling out a quote (because people love quotes), trying an alternative headline, or featuring a specific item from a longer list.
  • Invite and reward engagement with personalities, content, and readers themselves (i.e., readers whose content and comments are featured will turn around and share it with others). It’s vital to show you are listening to social media exchanges and are able to engage your audience.
  • Data from multiple sources helps determine the effectiveness of social media efforts. Social data sources may disagree, so you have to compare and contrast them. Knapp points out that Google Analytics doesn’t provide accurate information on Facebook traffic.
  • Run analyses as often as possible (or as makes sense), measuring to the extent the results will drive change in what you are doing. While you’re measuring, look beyond the top clicks and shares. If you avoid going deeper or looking at alternative views, you’ll miss other valuable insights.
  • Don’t get caught up in your own preferences. If readers love something you do, even if you hate it, keep doing it anyway.

Social Media at Forbes

There is a 3-person core social media team at Forbes. Their efforts are complemented by many, many freelance bloggers who are paid (very well according to Alex) based on the hits on their blog posts. (Hey, Alex, where do I apply?)  - Mike Brown

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If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Words-You-UseA radio ad I used to hear all the time said, “The words you use matter.”

That is true for people, and it is especially true when you are figuring out how to brand a company. The brand language you strategically choose to describe what you do and how you do it sets the stage for both employees’ and customers’ expectations and satisfaction with your brand.

What types of brand language should you be using as you brand a company?

Seven Types of Brand Language You Should Use

As you develop (or refine) the brand language you are using, be on the lookout for each of these seven types of brand language to make sure you use words that are:

1. Simple

These are the easy to understand words that everyone knows and readily uses in your marketplace.

2. Emotional

The brand language that creates strong impact by tapping into an appropriate range of experience-based emotions.

3. Aspirational

Words that convey the hopes and dreams of employees, customers, and other stakeholders interacting with your company.

4. Unusual

Distinctive words whose less frequent use makes them stick out and become more memorable.

5. Connectable

These types of words readily pair up with other words, word parts, or phrases to create new and distinctive brand language.

6. Open

Brand language that brings depth to the brand because it can mean multiple things or apply in a variety of situations.

7. Twistable

Words you can use in varied ways and forms.

Pay Attention to Brand Language when Deciding How to Brand a Company

When devising your strategy for how to brand a company, don’t overlook the brand language. You can leave the selection of brand language to chance, accident, or time. Making solid brand strategy decisions on brand language, however, helps make sure the words you use not only matter, but also work as hard to benefit your brand as possible. - Mike Brown

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The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Event-MarketingEvent marketing can be part of the brand building strategy for an organization of any size. While the size and scale of an event will vary based your organization’s objectives, if you’re investing in event marketing, you want it to support your strategy and work as hard for you as possible.

12 Articles on Event Marketing and Developing Memorable Audience Experiences

These twelve event marketing articles from the Brainzooming blog archive provide a strong starting point for moving an idea for an event marketing effort into a solid brand building strategy.

Creating Memorable Audience Experiences

A three part formula for designing and creating memorable audience experiences through event marketing.

Making Every Occasion an Event

An approach to making every gathering an event to maximize the impact with your audience. Whenever multiple people come together, take the time to make it special.

A Checklist for Integrated Program Planning Success

While not specifically event-related, the steps you’ll want to take to integrate your event with other activities in your organization are all here.

Sponsorship Strategy – Attention, Strong ROI, and a Non-Traditional Strategy

An overview of the strategy The Brainzooming Group used to create and roll-out a non-traditional sponsorship strategy related to the Google Fiber implementation in Kansas City. It’s a formula other organizations can use successfully for event marketing .

Free Speech? Try a “Fair Trade” Speech Strategy Instead

Speakers can be a big cost item in event marketing programs. It’s smart to invest in speakers who can deliver compelling content to create memorable audience experiences. If the budget it tight, however, here are ways to create real value to help attract strong speakers with fewer dollars.

Project Management Techniques – 6 Project Manager Mistakes to Not Repeat

Again, this isn’t exclusive to events, but many of the situations behind these project management lessons were born out of producing big corporate event programs.

Fireworks Displays-10 Event Secrets for Fourth of July Excitement

You can take a variety of event planning cues from a fireworks display to apply to your event.

An Innovative Business Conference Audience Experience – 7 Vital Elements

If you’re going to promote your conference as innovative, you had better incorporate these seven elements.

Capturing Big Ideas and Strategic Connections: Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference

This is a great companion to the previous article on creating an innovative business conference. The Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference was the height of a new type of event.

Create Lasting Memories in Online Events – 10 Ways to Do It

Ten specific ideas for creating memorability specific to online events.

Customize a Customer Brand Experience Very Simply

Customizing a customer brand experience doesn’t have to high tech. You can do it by knowing your audience along with a piece of paper.

Kansas City Marketing Communications and Social Media Panel Take-Aways

When you’re doing event marketing, build your strategy around how to make peoples’ dreams come true through a unique event. - Mike Brown

 

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Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic new ideas! For an organizational creativity boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these innovation benefits for you.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Photo by: Bastografie | Source: Photocase.com

There is value in increased web traffic and brand reputation from being more frequent and consistent with business blogging. But achieving a multiple times per week business blogging schedule can be a challenge when an organization does not have enough people to handle everything it needs to get done.

In those cases, it is beneficial to consider easy ways to enhance your social media productivity by taking advantage of normal business activities to create one more easy post weekly.

Seven Ways to Enhance Your Business Blogging and Social Media Productivity

A key to improving your social media productivity with business blogging is to tie the extra weekly blog posts to typical weekly business activities you (or your organization) are doing any way. Here are seven ways to take advantage of your:

  1. Online Reading – Create a compilation blog post featuring links to valuable articles you read in the past week.
  2. Tweeting – Put together a post with ten of your most pithy tweets (or use Facebook or Google+ status updates instead).
  3. Customer Service Calls – Feature a customer service question of the week along with the answer.
  4. Email Inbox – Summarize the most intriguing upcoming webinars and conferences related to your industry that you’ve been invited to this week.
  5. Web Analytics – Create a compilation post listing previous blog posts receiving the most recent visits related to specific keywords of interest.
  6. Sales Calls – By using a three- or five-question set of guest blog interview questions, feature a written or video interview with a client or business partner of interest to your readers.
  7. Business Conversations – Share insights and industry commentary from discussions you’ve had with business associates and clients.

Through these ideas, it is possible to create an easy one or two additional blog posts weekly. If you’re better with video or images than writing, there are even more possibilities. This boost to your social media productivity can move our business blogging from one post weekly to a consistent multiple times per week blogging frequency. - Mike Brown

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming email updates.

 

If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

Mike Brown

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Today’s Brainzooming blog guest post comes via @FlyingSpatula, a former Brainzooming guest blogger. He direct messaged me over the weekend to let me know about a blog post his uncle, Sheldon Rozansky, founder of Les Specialistes HCS Montreal, wrote about how big box brands can be indifferent to and even downright contemptuous of customers. While this sucks for customers, he uses shortcomings at big box brands to create a competitive advantage when price competition isn’t an option. Here’s his take on crappy customer service at big box brands and how smaller competitors can fight back for themselves and their customers:

Big Box Brands and Crappy Customer Service by Sheldon Rozansky

One of my clients, Mike, purchased a laptop from a Big Box Brand Chain Store. They also sold him the extended warranty for which he shelled out over $200.  I am not a big fan of the extended warranty, but I wasn’t with him when he purchased the laptop or the extended warranty, so I couldn’t advise against it.

Six months later Mike called me because the new laptop had stopped working.  I visited him and after looking at the laptop for about 5 minutes, told him the hard drive was dead.  He asked if there was anything I could do to recover the data. I told him, “No.”  It was a hard drive failure, and it needed to be replaced.  He mentioned the extended warranty and how Big Box Brand Chain Store’s “HELP SQUAD” would fix everything.  I told him the manufacturer’s warranty would replace the hard drive anyway in the first year, but since he paid for the warranty, he might as well get it checked.

He asked, “How much do I owe you Sheldon?”

“Nothing. I didn’t fix anything. All I did as tell you the bad news.”

He thanked me, and away I went.

A week passed, and he told me about bringing the laptop to the Big Box Brand Chain Store.  “Yeah, Sheldon, they said they are going to charge me if they are able to recover the data. It’s about $260, but if they can’t recover the data, they are only going to charge me $59.”

I replied, “I have the same software they use to recover data. If I were able to do it, I would have. It is a physical issue with the drive. They can easily tell whether they can recover the data by testing the drive – which they should do to see if the drive is the issue for the warranty.  The only way you are getting your data back is through a data recovery specialist, and they charge much more than $260.  If these guys are using specialty equipment to recover your data then $260 is a bargain; otherwise they are just ripping you off.”

A few weeks more passed and Mike called. The Big Box Brand Chain Store couldn’t recover his data (surprise, surprise), but the hard drive had been replaced. “It will only cost $59.”

I asked, “Why is it costing you anything?????? You bought a stupid extended warranty. Please call me when you get there.”

Hand Him the Phone

I always loved the old advertising line, “You have a friend in the diamond business,” because I have always felt, “I am your friend in the computer business.”  When my customers – my friends – are about to get screwed by the Big Box Brand Chain Store, I fight for them. I do this because it is the right and honest thing, not because I get paid for it.

Mike called from the store to say he was being charged $59.  I told him to pass the phone to the computer guy.  He later told me the guy had no idea why the phone was passed to him.

“I have a question for you,” I told the Big Box Brand Chain Store guy. “Why is Mike being charged $59 for work covered by his extended warranty? Oh, and by the way, I should tell you that I am a computer technician.”

“He’s being charged because of the time we spent recovering data. We worked on the hard drive for 2 days with special software,” he replied.

“Don’t lie to me. I know how recovery works. You didn’t recover any data. In fact if you had examined the hard drive you would have seen it was DEAD and needed to be replaced under the manufacturer’s warranty. You would have had to look at the hard drive anyway to send it to the manufacturer. If it took you 2 days to find out it was dead, you guys are the most incompetent people I have ever seen.”

“Umm, yes sir you’re right. We were able to see the drive was dead, and it was covered by the manufacturer’s warranty”

“So why did you lie to me?”

“I didn’t lie to you.”

“You told me you were working on it for 48 hours, and you are charging my friend for all those unnecessary hours.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Then why are you charging him $59?”

“No, I am not. He was mistaken. Since we didn’t recover anything and he has an extended warranty, we weren’t going to charge him anything.”

The phone was passed back to Mike, and I told him, “The guy says he wasn’t going to charge you for any of this.”

“He’s lying,” Mike said.

“Well, you’re getting back all your money for this non-job,” I replied.

Mike didn’t have to pay. He later told me, “These guys weren’t going to give back a dime if they didn’t speak to you.”

Competing Against Crappy Customer Service at Big Box Brands

What bothers me most about this is the dishonesty. Mike was sold an extended warranty. That is a contract between customer and vendor that if the product becomes defective, the vendor will honor the agreement to maintain the product. It shows the vendor is willing to stand behind its products.

I run my computer business by giving clients the best personalized service possible. Knowledge, skill set, and honesty are my advantage. I am honored when someone has faith and trust in the business I have built to understand I ALWAYS try to do the right thing. I have accepted that the Big Box Brand Chain Store can beat me to submission on price, but never on service.

The Big Box Brand Chain Store should realize an extended warranty is a sign the customer honors your beliefs, and you will do the right thing.  It is not an agreement that “the client was an idiot the first time when we sold him this useless extended warranty and now we know we can charge him for ANYTHING!!!!!” – Sheldon Rozansky

Guest Author

The Brainzooming blog has a wonderful group of guest authors who regularly contribute their perspectives on strategy, creativity, and innovation. You can view guest author posts by clicking on the link below.

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