Marketing

A well-executed business blog is a 24-hour opportunity to interact with customers, impress Wall Street, spark business-to-business opportunities, track industry trends, spot brand deterioration and spook competitors, all maintained at a low-rent cyber address. Does your company have one? Speaker Toby Bloomberg explored the marketing potential of the blogosphere at the Compete Through Service symposium sponsored by the W. P. Carey School's Center for Services Leadership.

Indifferent employees alienate shoppers, run off clients and botch deals with a shoulder-shrug. They don't care, and that message acts like static on a bad telephone connection, canceling out any lucrative communication. How to turn that attitude around? Four things, says management strategist Don Peppers: a sense of ownership in the company, open communication, no secrets and no excuses. Together, all four also create an environment where failure is tolerated as long as you learn from your mistakes and missteps. Peppers spoke at the Compete Through Service symposium sponsored by the W. P. Carey School's Center for Services Leadership.

When it comes to consumer contentment, managers and executives should not mistake silence for satisfaction. Most unhappy customers never say a word; they just take their business elsewhere. Consumer-complaint expert Nancy Stephens, an associate professor of marketing at the W. P. Carey School of Business, urges companies to do everything possible to encourage unhappy consumers to give businesses the chance to make things right — and to keep their customers.

Strategies for recovering from service failures can have a dramatic impact on profitability, according to research conducted at the W. P. Carey School of Business. That's because most business profit comes from keeping current customers satisfied, not from developing new accounts. So, it's crucial that managers and executives know how to handle service failures. But in reality, many business leaders are clueless about what to do when their best efforts come up short.

The W. P. Carey School, through its pioneering Center for Services Leadership, has been at the leading edge of research concerning the services sector, which now accounts for 75 to 80 percent of the U.S. economy. Recently, academics outside of business schools are beginning to take an interest in learning about the dynamics of services. This rising interest in what is being termed "services science" not only signals a new appreciation for the vast influence of services on the global marketplace, but also hints at the possibility of exciting new interdisciplinary research that could help solve problems both in the business world and elsewhere.