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Insurance Industry News from ProgramBusiness.comOracle of Truth
Aside from serving as Editor of ProgramBusinessNews, Jack Burke is also an internationally-known author on customer service and communications. His first book Creating Customer Connections http://www.soundmarketing.com/CCCbook.htm remains a popular work on the basics of developing a culture of service within your organization.
His last book, Relationship Aspect Marketing http://www.soundmarketing.com/relationbook.htm, goes into depth on managing client relationships and the utilization of the Internet. The following is an excerpt from Relationship Aspect Marketing, courtesy of ProgramBusinessNews:
An Oracle of Truth
"If you serve them, they’ll serve you."
It has become abundantly clear that merely surrounding good product with quality service at competitive rates is not enough for businesses to survive. The consumer of today requires excellent products, superb service in every facet of an operation, and anything beyond competitive low price doesn’t even get to enter the race. And all that still isn’t enough! You must bring added value to the equation in the form of knowledge, expertise, and resources.
Oracle recently spent a lot of money to help their clients and prospects to become more successful in their business. It began with a nice direct mail invitation to participate in a strategic teleseminar for sales and marketing executives that was being offered on two separate days. The teleseminar featured a live, interactive interview with Patricia Seybold, author of Customers.com: How to Create a Profitable Strategy for the Internet and Beyond. After sending in my RSVP, I received two phone calls and one e-mail from Oracle with information relating to the teleseminar and reminding me of the day and time I had selected.
On the appointed day, I dialed the 800 access number and spent the next ninety minutes listening to an enlightening discussion of e-commerce. I kept waiting, particularly during interactive response to questions about the program, for Oracle’s commercial. It never came!
During the audience Q&A, I asked the interviewer -- who was an Oracle representative -- why they were going to this expense. His response was that by helping to increase the knowledge and expertise of the business public, everyone would win -- including Oracle.
I am not an Oracle customer, but I was impressed with their commitment to developing and enhancing present and future relationships. From the direct mail invitation to the calls, e-mail, and teleseminar itself, there was no blatant advertising. In fact, the role of Oracle was dramatically downplayed. That made it even more effective for top-of-mind positioning. By the way, every participant was given a free copy of Seybold’s book as a thank you.
You may be wondering what a big-budget software company’s campaign has to do with your business. Creative business owners and management might realize that they can do the same thing for their clients and prospects.
For instance, any company could schedule a teleseminar using their local phone company or AT&T Alliance Conference Calling. Invite your top ten clients to hear an interview or presentation by an expert within your industry (your commercial insurance agent might be able to provide some suggestions). After the presentation, open it up for questions and answers. Maybe some of your clients will put the call on a box and ask other key employees to sit in on the call. On a do-it-yourself basis, the phone line charges for an hour might equal about $30 per client -- about the same as a lunch and less than a round of golf. For a little more you could arrange professional hosting and even record it for additional distribution.Click for the whole story...