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According to innovation expert Eric von Hippel, users are often the first source of new products — and that has important implications for businesses.
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Many think that the way to capture value through relationship marketing is to focus on the “good” customers and get rid of the “bad” ones. But there is more to best practice relationship management than maximizing revenues on individual customers and minimizing costs to serve. This article provides guidelines for companies that want to improve the value of customer relationships. For most companies, the transition to a relationship-based approach will require a significant shift in practice.
Companies need to understand and manage the rising threat of online public complaining. When customers believe that a company has treated them badly, they may take their grievance public — very public. What can companies do, whether in reacting to such negative publicity or in preventing its occurrence? The authors have developed an “organizing matrix” to help understand and respond to online complaints, noting that "as long as the company uses such fair processes, and as long as it makes customers aware of them, customers will tolerate the occasional service failure."
People are connecting with one another in increasing numbers, thanks to blogs, social networking sites like MySpace and countless communities across the Web. Some companies are learning to turn this growing groundswell to their advantage.
Customers frequently play key roles in the delivery of services. But if customers fail in those roles, their experiences may be unsatisfactory for them — and for the companies with which they do business.
A market research technique called conjoint analysis can help managers predict what kind of affinity marketing program is likely to offer the best return on investment for their brand.
Many companies make incremental improvements to their service offerings, but few succeed in creating service innovations that generate new markets or reshape existing ones. To move in that direction, executives must understand the different types of market-creating service innovations as well as the nine factors that enable these innovations.
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