Consumer Retention

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How To Be a CEO for the Information Age

Increasingly, information technology isn’t just for supporting the strategy, it is the strategy. Unfortunately, many CEOs send their managers negative signals about IT’s role. Only the “believer CEO,” who demonstrates through daily actions a belief in the strategic value of IT, can help others manage effectively in the Information Age. The authors offer examples of such CEOs and give some techniques for addressing blind spots to improve an organization’s competitiveness.

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Understanding Customer Delight and Outrage

Delivering quality to customers in a competitive marketplace dictates the need to continually enhance a customer’s experience and satisfaction. However, evidence indicates that satisfying customers is not enough to retain them because even satisfied customers defect at a high rate in many industries.

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A Dynamic View of Strategy

Strategic failure usually comes from an inability to make clear choices on which customers to target, what products to offer, and how to improve efficiency. Incumbents routinely bow to upstarts that innovate in those areas. The author shows established companies how to prepare for and counter such disruption with a dynamic process of continual strategic renewal.

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Recovering and Learning from Service Failure

Effective service recovery is vital to maintaining customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty, which contribute significantly to a company’s revenues and profitability. Yet most customers are dissatisfied with the way companies resolve their complaints, and most companies do not take advantage of the learning opportunities afforded by service failures. The authors provide a research-based approach for helping managers develop a comprehensive service recovery system.

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Strategic Channel Design

Three forces are changing the customary rules of distribution channel management: proliferating customer needs, shifts in the balance of power in channels and changing strategic priorities. The authors propose a strategic approach to planning for future channel configurations, control of the channel and resource commitment.

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Do Customer Loyalty Programs Really Work?

The contention that loyal customers are always more profitable is a gross simplification, according to the authors. They posit that such schemes do not fundamentally alter market structure and, instead, increase market expenditures without really creating any extra brand loyalty. Dowling and Uncles suggest ways to design an effective program.

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The Decline and Rise of IBM

IBM is making a comeback. Although many observers had counted the company out — “It’s a dinosaur, an implosion, a wreck,” various commentators said — its revival was probable, even predictable, because cycles of decline and revitalization have been the company’s pattern through many decades.P

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Use Strategic Market Models to Predict Customer Behavior

Positioning products in a complex market is one of a company’s hardest decisions. In determining whether to combine or maintain separate product lines, Hewlett-Packard used strategic market modeling (SMM) to design “what if” scenarios and run simulations forecasting market behavior. SMM combines demographics, user needs and competitive-perception data into a database for testing alternative positioning strategies. The author describes SMM’s development and the lessons learned.

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