Solar Sales: Phone Calls Ring In Lower Customer Acquisition Costs

Solar Sales: Phone Calls Ring In Lower Customer Acquisition Costs

This article originally appeared on GreentechMedia.

It costs a lot to acquire a new residential solar customer - as much as $3000 for an average home.

Marketers have little control over regulatory, structural and other exogenous issues that drive up costs. What they can control are the types programs and technologies they use to find and convert ideal solar prospects. They also have control over how they optimize conversion at each stage of their sales funnels.

Read More

Social Media Customer Care: Whose Job Is It Anyway?

Social Media Customer Care: Whose Job Is It Anyway?

In my last post, I described some of the most common reasons that brands often fail to respond to customer questions and complaints on social media. One of the main reasons is confusion over whose responsibility it is to respond.

Historically, responsibility for social media has fallen to marketing, PR or corporate communications. That made good sense because social was used primarily as way to build brand awareness and encourage word-of-mouth marketing.

However, brands have realized that social media is not just a promotional tool, but also a channel for customer care. It has become crucial to ensure that the right department (or person) can respond accurately and effectively. In many cases, that’s not a marketer, but rather someone in sales, billing, tech support or customer service.

Read More

Why Brands Don’t Respond on Social Media

Why Brands Don’t Respond on Social Media

(This article was originally posted on Social Times)

If you’ve ever used social media to ask a question, look for information or vent your frustration about a product or service, you may have wondered why your post was met with silence. Maybe another consumer responded with a suggestion, but where was the brand that was the subject of your ire? Why didn’t they reach out to help solve your problem? Given that so many people now use social media to discuss products and services, why aren’t brands tripping over themselves to offer help?

Read More

Why Brands Struggle to Care for the Connected Consumer [SLIDESHARE]

Consumers are now more connected and more demanding than ever before.

As highlighted in the presentation below, 86% of surveyed consumers reported that they would be more satisfied if offered their channel of preference and half would move to a competitor that did offer their preferred channel.

Meanwhile, brands increasingly realize the importance of engaging with consumers not only through 800 numbers but also through social, mobile, email, chat and self-service channels.

However, the increasing complexity of dealing with so many customers across so many channels has presented brands with a wide variety of new obstacles.

Please take a look at the presentation below to learn more about the survey findings in addition to key challenges organizations face when attempting offer multichannel customer care.

Richard Dumas

I have led marketing and product management initiatives for leading technology, media and software companies including Nuance Communications, Sun Micro, Apple Computer and DNN Corp. I received an M.B.A. from M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management and a B.A. in Cognitive Science from Wesleyan University. I am currently the Director of Product and Solution Marketing at Five9, the leading provider of cloud contact center software .

My Favorite (and Least Favorite) Tech Ads of the Holiday Season

My Favorite (and Least Favorite) Tech Ads of the Holiday Season

Apple's "Misunderstood' vs Samsung's "Are You Geared Up"

Tech companies roll out a lot of advertisements during the holidays, hoping to cash in some of our joyful year-end spending. A couple of ads really caught my attention this year. One was fabulous while the other was either the worst tech ad of the year or a very clever parody of a tech ad trying to be bad to get us to talk about how incredibly bad it was.

Read More

Does WordPress Understand the Future of Work?

Does WordPress Understand the Future of Work?

A Review of The Year Without Pants

The Year Without Pants by Scott Berkun is fascinating. Berkun, a former Microsoft program manager, does an incredible job of documenting the strengths and weaknesses of WordPress.com’s culture and organizational model. He also describes his team’s creative journey as they build social media features for bloggers and the popular “Jetpack” extension. It's not a guide for how to how to implement a work from home program. Rather, it describes from an insider’s perspective how WordPress.com has managed to build one of the most popular and highly trafficked web properties by pushing control into the hands of those who make the product. It’s also a book about the concept of work itself, demonstrating how work can be something of deep meaning and value rather than a source of dread and frustration.

Read More

Customer Care in a World Filled with Mobile Apps and 50 Billion Connected Devices

Customer Care in a World Filled with Mobile Apps and 50 Billion Connected Devices

Day Two at Dreamforce

Today, Salesforce launched their new platform, Salesforce1, which unifies Force.com, Heroku and ExactTarget while providing new developer APIs and services designed to make building and selling mobile apps easier.  In his keynote, CEO, Marc Benioff, described a world that was not just about thousands of new devices but about a future with 50 billion connected things, a world where everything from plane engines to toothbrushes are connected devices, all reporting data into your CRM.  It’s an impressive vision, one that Salesforce is betting heavily on.

Whether you share a vision of an “Internet of Things” or not, there is no denying that we live in an increasing mobile world where consumers spend more and more of their time engaging with your business through mobile devices.

And that has to make you wonder, how the heck are you are going to support customers who are using all of those devices and apps?

Read More