Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Winning Back Customers

Customer attrition strikes all businesses, large and small. The reasons are many: a weak economy, poor customer service or a product that doesn’t measure up on a particular day. The impact: this attrition affects profits and a firm’s ability to grow.
Some of this attrition can be prevented or corrected after the fact. How? By developing a plan to go after these lost customers.
Retrieving these lost souls can be a strategic advantage to your company, and it can lead to future success. Try following these four suggestions:
1. Develop a “Most Wanted” list. Before you can figure out how to win customers back, you need to find out who they are. Rely on your database software to kick out former customers who have strayed.
2. Determine why they left. Ideally, a personal visit or a call is the best way to find out why a customer strayed. If you can’t accomplish this yourself, train an employee to make the call.
3. Try to get them back. Apologize for the poor product or poor service and throw out an offer to gain their business back. When trying to win back a customer, it may take lowering your prices or offering an added bonus.
4. Service, service, service. Winning them back is only half the battle. Once they are back, you have to concentrate on keeping them. This takes the commitment of building long-lasting relationships with clients. It also takes a commitment to superior customer service.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

E-Waste Is Big Business

As consumers, we naturally are interested in upgrading and improving our newest “toys,” and computers are no exception. But as our nation of 280-million people continues to “ratchet up” with technology, what is happening to yesterday’s newest apparatus that has become obsolete today?
Electronic disposal, or “e-waste,” has become big business. In fact, discarded consumer electronics comprise the fastest-growing portion of waste in the country. Every year, 20-million to 50-million metric tons of e-waste are generated worldwide, bringing potentially serious risks to human health and the environment. In America alone, between 1997 and 2007, nearly 500-million personal computers will become obsolete—almost two computers for every person in the United States. More than 3.2-million tons of e-waste are buried in U.S. landfills each year.
The National Recycling Coalition reports that televisions and video and computer monitors use cathode ray tubes (CRTs), which have significant amounts of lead. Printed circuit boards contain primarily plastic and copper, and most have small amounts of chromium, lead solder, nickel and zinc. In addition, many electronics products have batteries that often contain nickel, cadmium and other heavy metals. Relays and switches in electronics, especially older ones, may contain mercury.
Read the following article by Kenn Ritchey of EPC's Asset Recovery Solutions and learn the ins and outs of dealing with e-waste.
Click here to read the article.