October 23, 2014

I’m Back! Plus, some great links for holiday reading

BC headshotI realize I have not been around much here on the blog these past few months. I have missed it, but more than that, I have missed the conversations I have with you, my readers! My plan for 2010 is to blog at least weekly, possibly more often if I keep the blog posts relatively short (like a Posterous-type post). Thank you all for hanging in there with me – I really appreciate your loyalty to Customers Rock! over these past 3 years (yes, I just celebrated this blog’s 3-year blogiversary in December!). More to come… much more.

I have been spending more time lately on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as I continue to build a Customers Rock! presence on those sites. I also created a Customers Rock! Facebook Fan Page and have been testing out a new Customers Rock Twitter account where, daily, I am sharing POSITIVE customer service stories and experiences I find on Twitter. Please feel free to come and chat with me at any of the above places where you also hang out!

I have also started a new radio program, Customers Rock! Radio. This came from my appearances on nationally-syndicated The Big Biz Show, where the hosts suggested I spin-off my own radio show focused on customer service, marketing, and social media to create rockin’ customer experiences. I have had some fabulous guests including Jeanne Bliss, Michael Brito, Don Peppers, Amber Naslund, and Tony Welch. You can listen online at wsRadio.com or download the mp3 files to your computer or iPod. Please check it out and let me know what you think! (I am also actively looking for sponsors for the show. Give me a shout for more info or if you have clients who might be interested.)

Again, thank you for everything, my faithful readers. For your holiday reading pleasure between now and the New Year, here are some great links to posts that I think you will enjoy. Some are newer posts, some are older, but they are all worthwhile reads.

Holiday Reading

MediaPhyter features a guest blogger, David Hauser of Grasshopper who shares five ideas for how to build loyal customers.  I wholeheartedly agree with you, David. I especially like #3, Create a Culture of Responsibility. Taking care of customers goes far beyond customer service!

One of my favorite customer service bloggers, Meikah Delid, wrote about the new report showing how much poor customer service affects global business. How many billions are lost per year due to bad service, and why do customers leave? Read this post and find out.

Steve Woodruff, fellow speaker and consultant, writes about a great customer service experience he had at Chick-fil-A. Even the simplest acts can make a huge impact.

Terry Starbucker’s post on 15 Basic Steps to Mind-Blowing Customer Service is fun to read – and it hails from his recent experience in a Parisian produce shop. Merci beaucoup, monsieur Terry!

Enjoy, and Happy New Year to all of you!

Recognizing Customers

Wall of Customers I have seen restaurants with their “customer wall of fame” before, but I think this one takes the cake!  Lighthouse Ice Cream and Yogurt is located in Ocean Beach, CA, just down the street from the Ocean Beach pier in San Diego.  I just happened to wander towards the back of their cute shop and noticed several sheets of white poster board hanging from ribbons, plastered with photos.  As the boards were unlabeled, I asked the lady behind the counter what they were.  She explained they have been taking photos of their customers for the last 10 years and posting them on the boards for all to see.  Then she took our photo and told us where it would be placed later in the month!

This is a quick and simple low-tech idea (she used a disposable camera – not digital).  It gives the impression that this ice cream shop has many, many fans.  In addition, it is a “feel good” for customers to have their photo added to the display.  As San Diego is such a dog-friendly community, there is even a “pet board” with photos of customer pets who have come in (the ice cream shop keeps a doggie water bowl outside the door for thirsty pups).

I love this display of customer recognition.  One way they could take it further would be to use a digital camera (or have the film developed onto a CD) and create a flickr or Facebook group of fans.  That way, anyone who visited there could interact, and it would raise their visibility on the web.  Maybe one of their local customers could even do it for them!

Either way, this is a fun way to let people know that you love your customers.  People want to frequent establishments that care about customers, and every little bit helps these days!

You rock, Lighthouse Ice Cream!

(Photo credit: B Carroll)

 

How do Customers Want to Engage in Social Media?

blog.jpg I spoke to a fabulous group of marketers last night at the iMarketers.org meeting, talking about social media and customer loyalty.  Before the talk, I spoke with a few of the attendees about how they were using social media to engage with their existing customers.  As I listened to some of the ways people were working with new media for “old” customers, I started to hear three main themes critical to success.

  • Ask customers – Don’t just assume your existing customers want to engage in a certain way or with certain media.  If the uptake isn’t what you expected, go back and ask your customer/client base whether they use this media.  If so, how do they use it?  If not, why not?  What might get them to use it?
  • Use trial and error- The adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” was never more true than in the age of social media.  One example we discussed last night was a sports and social club and their use of Facebook.  Members were definitely engaging through this medium, and the CEO was looking for ways to further get customers involved.  He thought the “Send someone a beer/martini/drink” application would be a perfect fit for this group of active adults, as the club often met in bars after the sports events were over.  It flopped.  However, putting photos of the sports contests and the after-sports happy hours was a big hit!
  • Make a plan- Don’t just blog or start using MySpace because everyone else is doing it.  Social media needs to be as well thought-out as the rest of your marketing mix, perhaps even more so because it is so quickly visible!  Set goals, create guidelines for your internal team, test with customers, and ask for feedback.  In other words, treat social media as a great marketing tool, using the same rigor as you would for direct mail or email (those are still great tools to use).

Do you have any social media tips for how to better engage with customers?  Come on out and share them here!