Chris Stiehl

Does Higher Customer Satisfaction Always Mean More Sales?

In brief, the answer is "No!" – You must do more than merely drive customer satisfaction scores up. As an illustration, consider the Cadillac Brougham of the 1980s. The design of this automobile had virtually no changes from 1978 through 1992. During most of...

Egypt, the Battleship Maine and Market Research – A Question of Ethics?

The Battleship Maine was sunk in Havana harbor 113 years ago today, sparking the US public to get behind the Spanish-American war. Was US public opinion galvanized by the "yellow press" over an accident in a coal bin? We all watched in wonder as the...

The ART of CONVERSATION

As a marketer and market researcher, I often wonder about the effectiveness of various communications techniques. Obviously, the marketing and advertising world is going through very rapid changes these days. Many of us are struggling with measuring the effectiveness of social media advertising, finding...

Do You Come from the Land Down Under?

It is nice to be quoted. I was alerted today that someone in Australia has published one of my articles for Australian business people to read. It shares some thoughts that were first expressed at CustomerThink.com. (Be sure to check out that website. You...

Take Time to STOP … and Listen!

You may have read about this. Joshua Bell, the world renowned violinist, played incognito as a "street musician" for an hour in the DC subway as an experiment for the Washington Post. He played six challenging Bach pieces, as passersby hurried on their way to...

Is it lack of jobs or lack of skills? + social networking question

Is there a lack of jobs out there, or a lack of skills and training to fill the jobs that are available? A new book co-written by my friend and co-author, Henry DeVries, claims there are plenty of jobs, if you have the right...

Are You Being Served? Are You Free?

Many of you may recognize the phrases in the title from the hilarious British sitcom about Grace Brothers Department Store in London in the 1970s and 1980s. When a customer came onto the floor needing attention, Captain Peacock would ask the customer, "Are you...

My Business Card is a Book?

I know this sounds like an expensive business card idea, but it works. Think of how easy it is to throw away a business card, but people never want to throw away a book. For some reason, we think books are valuable, to be...

Is Survey Data Always Relevant or Good?

Obviously, if you are fielding a customer satisfaction survey, you want to have good questions. However, some companies have stopped fielding surveys. They are flying blind. Why? Management claimed that they were spending a lot of money to find out that the numbers never...

What Does “Service” Mean in Customer Service?

It seems that many companies are investigating their interactions with customers these days. They may be focussing on the wrong issues, however! One of my clients asked me to check out some improvements they had made to their customer service activities. When I called the...

Are You Stuck?

Organizations tend to be entities that are difficult to move, to change directions or to make significant leaps...much like a cow! This image was inspired by a friend who helps people who are "stuck" address their problems and move on (www.LivBig.com). He was a recent...

Are You Tired of Selling Features Yet? Shut Up & Listen!

I keep being amazed by how few salespeople know to just listen, listen to what the customer's problems are (their "pains"). I have recently conducted research for a client that included finding out how well their salespeople performed. I know it is a tough economy...

Are You Insane?

You know the old addage: "If you always do what you have always done..." ...but people do! I recently worked with a team to answer an RFP. I asked if the potential client wanted to research the reasons why people in their target market were...

The BEST Executives…LISTEN!

The key to the success of any executive is the ability to listen and translate what he or she hears into action. People are in pain. Both your customers and your employees hope that you will hear them and understand their pain. Listening is...

Can We Trust Internet Ratings?

Have you noticed how inflated Internet ratings are? It may be that the people who rate things are those who are interested in them, so they rate them high. For example, people who rate romance novels are probably those who read a lot of them....

Don’t Pin Your Salespeople to Traditional Metrics–and Unprofitable Deals

I witnessed a sales call involving a customer who was not happy. The company had had to call for service frequently, causing irritation and lost revenue. The supplier wasn't happy, either because those numerous customer service calls eroded its profits. The salesman was able to...

How Do You Keep “Dead” Customers Alive?

Have you ever had a dead customer? That is one who has not bought from you in some time. Perhaps they have even stopped returning calls. What do you do? I recently completed a sales training seminar where the homework was to call such customers...

Are Customers As Loyal As Puppies? Then Why Do They Often Follow the Salesperson...

I have always been intrigued by company loyalty programs. I have noticed that even in my own behavior, loyalty programs do influence where I go and what I will buy, even to the point of the credit card I use. Somehow, it seems almost too...

What If the Person Building Your Product Met the Customer Who Would Be Buying...

When Cadillac was audited by examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1990, the examiners picked an employee at random from 7,000 employees at our Hamtramck, Michigan, plant. The man was putting in windshields. The examiners approached the worker and asked him...

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