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Theresa Quintanilla
Houston, TX
Founder at SteadyCRM.com
Interests: CRM, customer relationship management, marketing, loyalty, innovation, business books, houston's image, blogging, new york, marketing trends
Recent Activity
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The dynamic of admitting our mistakes to customers is not a one-and-done transaction. Our customers are not surprised to learn we aren't perfect, and they judge us by the process we use to handle mistakes. When deciding how to handle a mistake, consider the following issues: What will our customers have to do to minimize or recover from any damage? How can we help? (Consider assistance to their customers and employees first, refunds and credits last.) How can we use this opportunity to demonstrate our trustworthiness? Where does this mistake fit into our history... and how does it revise our... Continue reading
Reblogged 4 days ago at QViews
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When I started my marketing career as an account executive at Ogilvy, we focused on advertising campaigns, but I was quickly drawn to direct marketing, starting with the mailings which Compaq was sending their customers. I enjoyed analyzing the data we gathered. When I left Ogilvy for Service Corporation International, I was thrilled to discover we could create entire new lines of business based on customer data analytics. For customers who had purchased funeral prearrangements, we offered estate planning, prepaid legal services, and senior fitness programs. They began to see SCI as a resource for their immediate future, not just... Continue reading
Reblogged 7 days ago at QViews
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Loyalty programs with incentives and CRM tools enable us to build customer loyalty, but they often get in the way. The foundation of loyalty is understanding and support of the customer. When the customer feels valued, they support us with more transactions, feedback and advocacy. In many ways, the discounts we offer them and the database we use to track their actions are just the ways we measure ourselves, not them. We have to use the tools, tactics and technology to create a loyalty-building process we can sustain. Retail Touch Points Blog: Dispelling Five Major Myths of Customer Loyalty, 2015-Jul-13... Continue reading
Reblogged Aug 19, 2015 at QViews
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I used to be co-owner of a company focused on administering customer satisfaction surveys, and I become well aware of their flaws back then. The surveys were easy to game and seldom stimulated the customers to open up or feel appreciated. That's not to say they weren't a huge improvement over the lack of interest in post-transaction followup that existed before. They were just a crude tool, and I'm amazed that they are still so commonplace. I don't participate any more, no matter how happy or mad I am. Starwood is now looking at reviews and social media comments as... Continue reading
Reblogged Aug 17, 2015 at QViews
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Loyalty is a trick word, especially in the business world. The airlines proved that you can turn it into a ruthless game. Wireless companies specialize in 'locking up' their customers. Many companies destroy it by misunderstanding why their customers chose them in the first place. True loyalty is based on two ends of the transaction understanding and committing to serving the needs of the other. It's not indestructible because our needs can change. But it does provide the only sustainable advantage in growing and preserving an enterprise. What most people fail to grasp is that being loyal isn't easy. It's... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at QViews
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If we have complex sales and/or business relationships, our salespeople may find renewals and upgrades of the existing contracts so difficult, they prefer signing up new customers. Typically, businesses which have this problem also have many other productivity problems relating to siloed business processes, lack of digitized contracts, etc. Even in small businesses, the founder may unconsciously hoard information about the oldest customers that cause sales people and customer service reps to avoid supporting them. Creating a CRM system is about establishing a place to share information so that the entire organization can help to customers from a unified position.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2015 at QViews
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To understand the current CRM landscape, we have to understand the capability and trends for the use and development of Salesforce. It now forms the expectations for almost all sales people. On my path to becoming a certified administrator for Salesforce, I will occasionally share exceptionally good explanations and tips. Salesforce produces phenomenal free training materials, such as Trailhead. So when I share something here, it's because it cuts through the clutter and takes our understanding of Salesforce to a new level. Even if Salesforce is not your bag, we all have much to learn from it, and we need... Continue reading
Reblogged Aug 7, 2015 at QViews
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If you have email-based conversations with your customers, you are already building loyalty with email (if you're being nice, I guess). The real question is can we build loyalty with mass emails? Personalization helps, but we have to do more than just toss in a name. We have to merge individual recognition, which is impossible if you haven't been using a CRM to track activities and add history to your contact records. A big, powerful company like Marriott can serve up reams of personalized data. A smaller company can at least log birthdays, major milestones, and preferences that will help... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 28, 2015 at QViews
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Fast-growing startups can spin out all types of innovations. Some work, some don't. For most of us, it's a matter of following along and copying what works. Fortune: Starbucks and Lyft partner to give rewards to drivers and riders, 2015-Jul-22 by Kia Kokalitcheva Retaining drivers is a critical front in the riding hailing wars. Both Lyft and Uber have used aggressive tactics to poach each other’s drivers through big cash rewards. Simple things like letting passengers tip their drivers through the app with Starbucks “stars,” or points, can help drivers feel more appreciated by Lyft. With that said, Uber has... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 23, 2015 at QViews
One of the best ways to build customer loyalty is to recover excellently from our mistakes. Groove provides customer service software, and they've compiled a wonderful list of words that customers want to hear. I think these are phrases customers always want to hear, but they are most important when things are not going as the customer hoped. Groove: Word Choice Matters, 2014-Oct-21 by Len Markidan I don't know, but I'll find out for you. I'd be frustrated, too. I'd be happy to help you with this. I'll send you an update by [day or time]. I really appreciate you... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 22, 2015 at QViews
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One of my most memorably bad experiences was in the service area of a car dealership. I was clearly not of the recognized regular customers. And I arrived in a bad mood, as a consequence of some problem with my car. The service manager punished me by overlooking me for all the other customers in the area. There was no queueing system that might have protected my turn. As I stood there and stewed, I had plenty of time to consider what I had done to contribute to the situation and how I wish things had been handled differently. If... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 21, 2015 at QViews
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Sorry to pick on Office Depot, but their loyalty program isn't reaching me. Office Depot has been my favorite office supply store for ten years. I can't even really tell you why, except I like going there. The people have always been nice. Some years I've been ramping up a small business and have spent heavily. Other years I'm in a job and just get a few things for home use. Right now I'm starting a business but trying to run very lean. However, their loyalty program doesn't vary. Points and discounts: they are missing an opportunity to get me... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 15, 2015 at QViews
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Over at ChaiOne, they've designed a new "mobile sales enablement tool" called Game Plan that looks pretty cool. Fortunately for everyone, they've put out an infographic that sharing the research that led to the Game Plan project. The text is a little hard to read here, so head over ChaiOne to see their original. The most interesting perspective for me was how little patience sales people have for finding the right content that's already been prepared by marketing. I knew they hate data entry, but they also hate looking for content. So Game Plan might be right for your team.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at QViews
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Evan Malter has been a small business owner serving small business owners. Now he is innovating ways to help them finance their growth. His new venture, ZipCap, provides 12-month term loans to small businesses which can get 100 or more customers to pledge to spend a minimum amount during the year. The amount of the loan is based on the total amount pledged, and it's early days to know whether this concept will work. Based on my experience with small business owners, I do think this idea has good prospects. New owners often get freaked out about short-term profitability, which... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2015 at QViews
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We all have our issues with social media. As soon as we get comfortable it changes. Unfortunately, that's an advantage! The tools are getting better in many respects. It's not a smooth road but it does lead to greater awareness. Anyone interested in growing a business, building a career, and developing strong relationships has no choice but to start paying attention and participating. Not constantly, but with a sense of obligation. Our friends and associates are out their sharing their experience and views and we have to acknowledge them. We can actually insult them if we don't. It's just the... Continue reading
Reblogged Jul 2, 2015 at QViews
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If you have a restaurant and customers use Facebook to announce their presence, do those customers expect the restaurant to notice? What if they are checking in frequently? Do they feel the restaurant should acknowledge them? We don't have good answers yet, but as this Harvard Business Review article points out, large chains like Starbucks now have access to this information and can integrate it into their loyalty programs. We expect that as customers experience such benefits at our competition, the customers will expect us to catch up at some point. Harvard Business Review: The Internet of Things is Changing... Continue reading
Reblogged Jun 13, 2015 at QViews
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Two of my Facebook friends are deceased now, but they are still in my Friends Count. Of course, I appreciate seeing their names although I don't visit their profiles. I do remember them fondly when I see their names in the list. Deceased customer names in a marketing database? Not such a good idea. Unfortunately most marketing databases are cluttered with the names of people who moved away or aged out of our market or just rearranged us out of their lives. We compete not only with chance events but with competitors who are stealing our customers. If we don't... Continue reading
Reblogged Jun 11, 2015 at QViews
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Most of us believe we have to talk in order to be persuasive, but one of the best ways is to ask good questions, listen to the answers, and integrate those answers into the way forward, acknowledging the person who contributed. PeterBregman.com: If You Want People to Listen, Stop Talking, 2015-May-26 by Peter Bregman It is easy to fall into the habit of persuasion by argument. But arguing does not change minds — if anything, it makes people more intransigent. Silence is a greatly underestimated source of power. In silence, we can hear not only what is being said but... Continue reading
Reblogged Jun 5, 2015 at QViews
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At the leading edge, our competitors are now focusing on customer success in order to grab more market share. Relationships are all well and good, but the way to know if a relationship is really working is to monitor the success of our partner. CRM software is designed to help us manage ALL our relationships: customers, prospects, teammates, and suppliers. Now we have a new software platform called Customer Success Management. Developed for companies that depend on software-as-a-service (SAAS) subscription renewal and growth, the technology imports data from ERP as well as CRM and social media accounts to monitor growth.... Continue reading
Reblogged Jun 4, 2015 at QViews
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I was reading about the difference between conservative and liberal worldviews, and the author classified loyalty as part of the conservative worldview. That makes sense, but I think it speaks to the traditional definition of loyalty as a sort of tribal value. Loyalty in a business sense is about an enterprise including in its long-term plans a commitment to recognizing and rewarding its supporters. Supporters will include customers and many other types of people who want the business to thrive. Loyalty leads to increased profits, or improved operating margins for a nonprofit. Loyalty is provided by people, not by 'customers'... Continue reading
Reblogged Jun 2, 2015 at QViews
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Whenever I become the customer of a new web service, I'm often offered the opportunity to get reward points or even discounts for promoting the service on social media or for recruiting my contacts to join. While it's not offensive, it's usually pretty useless. It's too early for me to recommend a service I just joined. I'm not the "advocate" personality type. Customer advocates are one of the very cheapest and most credible ways to promote our businesses. Unfortunately, satisfying customers and creating advocates are very different processes. A 2010 case study from Harvard Business Review found NO overlap between... Continue reading
Reblogged Jun 1, 2015 at QViews
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Part of being a leader is making sure the vision is communicated. As an innovator, I find that extremely difficult because I don't like repeating myself. I want to find a NEW thing to say. I work hard at being a good leader, but I may be missing the very first step. So onto my check list goes: Did you repeat yourself today??? First Round Review: 42 Rules to Lead by from the Man Who Defined Google's Product Strategy, 2010-Apr-2 by Jonathan Rosenberg #1 Be a broken record. “When you think you’ve communicated something too much, you’re probably just beginning... Continue reading
Reblogged May 29, 2015 at QViews
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I'm torn by the necessity of sending regular contact to customers and the desire to wait until I have something important to say. It's a natural tension, and one I just have to confront on a monthly basis. If I haven't found something to email about at the end of the month, then I have to give up and email something anyway. "I still care about you" is the message I'm trying to convey. Code School blog: Forget About Clicks, Design Emails With Purpose, 2015-May-15 by Corey Rabazinski Here at Code School, we spend a lot of time thinking about,... Continue reading
Reblogged May 20, 2015 at QViews
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I've always loved being in museums. Back in college, I thought I'd like to work in them. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to intern in a few before I left graduate school. For the advertising business. Also a mistake, but I've never regretted leaving the museum world behind. Museums are inextricably linked with commerce in art. Curators compete to acquire major works from private collectors who may donate or share the works they've acquired. The job performance of curators is often judged not by the quality of the shows but by their ability to cultivate a strong relationship with independent... Continue reading
Reblogged May 10, 2015 at QViews
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I've been worried about the email newsletter. Although it's one of the most reliable ways to provide steady customer relationship management, they are so difficult to write well. But maybe it's not the writing but the content. In the article below, Blaise Lucey makes a great comparison of the spontaneity and sense of discovery we experience in social media, in contrast to the predictability of most email newsletters. I'm inspired to follow his advice. Moveable Ink blog: Why Live Social Media Feeds Are the Future of Email + Social, 2015-Apr-27 by Blaise Lucey We don’t expect much from brand emails.... Continue reading
Reblogged May 5, 2015 at QViews