For the first time since 1980, the FTC has updated its rules about endorsements and testimonials, and they’ve added blogging to the books. Now bloggers who don’t disclose that they’ve been somehow compensated—either with cash or with free services or products—can be fined up to $11,000.
Chrysler has extracted the DNA of our executive email carpet bomb and used it to create a weird new outreach program: starting next week, 300 Chryslers execs will each call a different recent purchaser of a Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep vehicle and ask if there are any problems. According to Cars.com’s blog Kicking Tires, they’ll keep doing this “until Chrysler chairman and chief executive officer Bob Nardelli is satisfied that if his customers have troubles, their problems will be fixed. Nardelli, by the way, is going to make the calls, too.” That last sentence—well, really the whole idea—becomes funnier when you know where Nardelli once worked.
If you can bear to read the meme-saturated twaddle of what Popken likes to call a “marketing douchebag”, Peter Blackshaw asks a crazy question: if companies are so interested in reaching out to their customers by having them make their ads and feel more involved in the business, why aren’t they paying any attention at all to the shameful service of their call centers?
We saw over at Church of the Customer Blog that some new research has attempted to quantify the effect of bad word of mouth. The statistics aren’t encouraging for companies inclined to approach the concept of customer satisfaction only in the aggregate.