Beware- your customers do their own research ! Of doctors, AT&T and Blackberry

Everyone of us has customers whether internal or external to the organization and the easy research on the Internet  is something we need to factor in to our customer service and  customer retention efforts. Let's think about doctors,AT&T wireless and Blackberry.

Talk to doctors and they tell you how frustrating it is to deal with the patient who has researched everything on the Internet. In fact, one patient I know carried a whole paper file of his research and was pretty upset when the doctor did not spend time  (given the insurance billing squeeze) going through all the meticulous details he had gathered for his non-life threatening condition. Since the patient was a medical researcher with a PhD he threw in some medical journal article re-prints for good measure.

AT&T wireless has an innocent looking number which is their voice-mail number in our area. For some reason this is the number where calls are forwarded when the phone is unanswered, or is busy and the number shows on some phones. If you Google this number – you get spooked as all sorts of mysterious reasons for this number appearing on your phone are mentioned . So now you call AT&T and AT&T must have  so far spent  (hundreds of?)  thousands of dollars in call center costs- explaining that your phone has not been hacked.

Finally there is the Blackberry outage and the tremendous publicity it has attracted. You can be sure that anyone looking to get a new smart phone will be exposed to the latest barrage of information on the Internet  and might not consider a Blackberry as the next phone given that Blackberry has dropped to 3rd place after Android and  iPhone and- and the information is out there for prospective Blackberry customers to look at.

Strangely, the Internet and the readiness of customers to search makes it even more more important to put yourself in the customers shoes   or rather search shoes ! Some retailers are doing this by allowing their floor computers access to the Internet so that customers and the salesperson can search the retailer website together. Explicitly considering what searches customers do  is good marketing strategy.Contact StratoServe.

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