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Theresa Quintanilla
Houston, TX
Founder at
Interests: CRM, customer relationship management, marketing, loyalty, innovation, business books, houston's image, blogging, new york, marketing trends
Recent Activity
If we want a stable base of business, we have to be steadily moving toward our customers, giving them more of what they want. Unfortunately, our customers are changing constantly, even moving away from us. By constantly collecting data we can follow them, or replace them, if necessary. A satisfaction survey is seldom enough, unless we use it to open a dialogue with our customers. Our best bet is to have a customer tracking plan in place. Sort out our best customers, then collect information about them and from them. Compare it to trends in transactions. Are we moving with... Continue reading
Reblogged yesterday at QViews
CRM technology is a given at most large companies these days, and it's often used as a data repository instead of a marketing tool, so no return on investment is expected. Good SEO and content marketing will bring in new customers, leading to increased revenue. Understanding and using the data in our CRM tools will help us improve our share of existing customers' activities, leading to increased profits and revenue. Why settle for revenue when we can have higher profits as well? How are our competitors handling this issue? eMarketer: What Technologies Are Most Important to Marketers?, 2015-Oct-1 On the... Continue reading
Reblogged 5 days ago at QViews
We know our web sites are most effective when they are regularly updated, but we may overlook an important reason to update: a new category of customer. While we may find a few exceptions, we generally want to expand our market to new categories. And the easiest way is to keep an eye out for new customers who don't fit our existing personas. At the same time, we need to be sure our existing personas still fit. Kissmetrics: 5 Ways to Align Data and Storytelling for Business Growth, 2015-Sep-24 by Shayla Price To target the most influential consumers, data identifies... Continue reading
Reblogged 7 days ago at QViews
In building our brands we don't have to rely solely on our own brand. Customers were originally attracted to our business by certain values, and if we remember those values, we can tap into bigger issues, or even bigger brands, to remind them why they love us. Here's an example. Lightspeed: 4 Steps to Join the Shop Local Movement and Get Exposure in Your Community, 2015-Sep-22 by Zoe Sadler of Snap Retail Use hashtags like #ShopLocal or #SupportLocal with your messages. Tag your fellow businesses in posts to promote the sense of community. Encourage your neighbors to host an event... Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 24, 2015 at QViews
Our customers don't expect us to fulfill their every need. However, they appreciate when we recognize their needs beyond our business. Starbucks has actually been bringing the news with the morning coffee for some time, but this new partnership has the most synergy. Complimentary products make the best partners. Loyalty360: Loyalty Lessons from Starbuck's New York Times Rewards, 2015-Aug-31 We sat down with Joe Pino, Director of Client Success at Clutch, who works with an array of leading brands to design and execute customer loyalty strategies to get his perspective on the Starbucks / New York Times loyalty partnership. Q:... Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 23, 2015 at QViews
We recently went through the painful process of creating journey maps for a newly identified set of personas with one of my clients. Persona development was not tough because feedback from a recent increase in communications had demonstrated that customers had different information preferences. We couldn't afford to verify with research, but we did layout a foundation to future research. Mapping turned out to be very messy and confusing. Finding free or low-cost tools was hard. Several meetings with staff who interact directly with customers was required to identify touchpoints and customer requests. Then sorting things out into a map... Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 21, 2015 at QViews
For many of us owning and operating enterprises, the process of selecting and maintaining a customer relationship management system is full of anxiety. We have hundreds of software products and platforms available. Figuring out which system is the 'best' is like buying a home for your family. Except that picking the wrong CRM can damage our businesses and livelihood. We owe it to ourselves to understand the playing field on which these CRM platforms operate. Not to be an expert, but to help us make common sense distinctions. Gartner is a research company that tracks and compares software vendors, and... Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 18, 2015 at QViews
Apple has innovated loyalty more than any other company. When I'm consulting, I tell my clients, "we have to interact with our customers." But that's not what Apple does. Apple allows you to avoid interacting with them or the carriers. Reliability and functionality create a user experience that allows you to buy and use with the minimal amount of support. Now that you can subscribe for an iPhone, pay every month, and get an upgrade once a year, these phones even more like vehicles. We'll pick a carrier like we pick a car dealer, with minimum commitment. Quartz: Apple's iPhone... Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 16, 2015 at QViews
So I really like the toll roads in Harris County. They make my life easier. I have driven through many of their toll booths and happily paid the toll. Now one of their toll booths is not reading my toll-paying sticker. I got a TxTag sticker because Harris County Toll Road Authority told me that I can drive their roads and pay with a TxTag sticker. Although I have paid tolls at dozens of HCTRA booths, it's now my responsibility to contact TxTag and make them prove to HCTRA I'm a good customer. Even thought I have no control over... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2015 at QViews
When we discover a new customer and they really like us (really!), we may fool ourselves into expecting smooth sailing. While it's good to experience the sun shining on us, we have to keep steering our business by accepting responsibility to manage the relationship. Years ago I was very upset when my partner wanted to resign an account that was ready to flood us with new business. I wasn't the one in charge of the relationship, and my partner was hearing that customer demand many changes to the terms of business. The customer was quickly becoming unmanageable. We can't control... Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 8, 2015 at QViews
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 Aug 27, 2015 at QViews
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 Aug 24, 2015 at QViews
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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