Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Communication is important in customer service

Aileen Bennett recently wrote a blog post at theadvertiser.com looking how communication changed her experience with a certain local store. She was very impressed with the in-store customer service, but was not impressed with the lack of communication that ensued after she left. There was a void in communication, leaving the customer in the dark when it came to finding out information that was not in the store.

What do you think? Communication is important, and customer service occurs more places than just in person at the store. How can companies ensure that they're effectivly communicating with their customers both in and out of stores?

Be where your community is

Amy Gahran recently posted a great post about forming online communities. If you're looking to start an online community for your business, start by joining the other communities out there. Odds are the group of people you want to communicate and network with already have a place they frequent online. Join that space and begin interacting now so that when it comes time to build your own network, you have the thoughts and opinions of others in your community. You should also be allowing your employees to frequent these spaces online and communicate with others in these social networks.

What do you think? Do you have an example of joining a network and communicating with them before you start your own? Also, do you think your employees should have access to these social networking tools so that they can begin to build an online following and join the communities?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Market research helps measure progress

We know that market research is a vital part to any business, as it can help you understand what your customers need. It can also help you create benchmarks that to tell you if you are meeting your goals when it comes to your customers needs. Robert's Atomic Blog looks at why market research is important in terms of measuring your success.

Market research creates benchmarks and helps you measure your progress
– Unless you measure you will not be able to properly gauge how well your business is performing. Early research can identify flaws in your service or areas where a product needs to be improved, by conducting regular market research it will identify if improvements are being made and, if positive, will in turn help motivate a development team.

Delta Arms Customer Service Reps with Red Coats (Again)

Facing a high rate of customer service complaints, Delta Airlines will reequip its customer service representatives with red coats. This move will hopefully enable flyers to easily locate customer service representatives to assist them with their travel.

Charisse Jones of USATODAY reports that, "the agents returned to New York's JFK airport last summer and made their debut this month at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson. By summer's end, 600 agents will be walking the concourses and gate areas of 14 airports, including LAX, Orlando and Washington's Reagan National. The return of the elite agents is perhaps the most visible sign of an airline ramping up personal customer service rather than reducing it at a time when self check-in is the norm and passengers often have to pay extra to have an actual person book their flights."

What other efforts, fashion aside, could Delta do to enhance its customer service teams to better serve its flyers?

Moms Using Social Media Grows

According to Mike Shields of Progressive Grocer, moms--especially new moms--are flocking to social networking sites. In a report by BabyCenter, moms of young children have reduced their time with magazines and newspapers and converted to the online networking sphere. Shields reports that many times moms have two sets of friends, the online group of peers and their friends and family. "Because these women are so social, and so information hungry, they often meet other mothers in similar child-rearing stages on sites like BabyCenter and all sorts of mommy blogs."

How can social networking sites cater to new moms?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Real Life Social Media- Lessons learnt from Paris Hilton

I just saw Paris Hilton talking about her show "My new BFF" at the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Now I don’t have much in common with Ms Hilton. If I ran a show like my new BFF, I’d probably have to bribe my friends to be the contestants. But then, lately, I have had my share of 'hungry tigers' in the reality show that is my life.

I spent time with all of them (at many occasions - unreasonable amounts)- mostly because I felt I should if I could, and sometimes because of my foolhardy enthusiasm to meet people. (I forget I am not Paris Hilton with the luxury of riches).
And what inevitably happens is this: People contacted through referrals and friends or social networks- mostly looking for quick assistance- professional or otherwise- and then disappear- as if a literal vanishing cream has come out in the market that does the trick.

Now I do not expect anything from them. And am surely not fishing for gratitude or anything. But it had started happening too often in the past few months. And it seems being “professional” and being “social” are two mutually exclusive things.

Now here is the funny part- many of these guys are from the digital marketing industry or belong to a ’social media marketing’ set up.

Read more on the funny but ironical escapades with these guys- and if you have had your experiences with these people.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What Not to Do with Online Marketing

Guy Kawasaki of Entrepreneur.com offers 13 tactics to avoid when trying to make your online marketing a success. What other points can you offer to keep online marketing a valuable resource for your business?

1. Forcing Immediate Registration: Requiring a new user to register is a reasonable request—after you've sucked him in. The sites that require registration as the first step are putting a barrier in front of adoption.

2. The Long URL: Say a site generates a URL that's 70 characters long or more. When you copy, paste, and e-mail this URL, a line break is added. Then, people can't click on the link or it only links to the first part of the URL.

3. Windows That Don't Generate URLs: Have you ever wanted to point people to a page, but the page has no URL? Did the company decide it didn't want referrals, links, and additional traffic?

4. The Unsearchable Web site: Some sites don't offer a search option. If your site goes deeper than one level, it needs a search box.

For the rest of his theory, be sure to check out his original article here.

What does your business use Twitter for?

This post on USA Today discusses how many companies are taking advantage of real-time capabilities of Twitter to foster customer service. Comcast, PepsiCo, JetBlue Airways, and Whole Foods Market are some of the companies which have begun to take advantage of twitter and opening up direct communication with customers.

Elissa Fink, vice president of marketing at Tableau Software mentions, "The more ways you provide customers to contact you, you're more likely to satisfy them."

Consumers have become increasingly frustrated with wait times in call-centers, maybe it's time we took another look at the traditional call-center and incorporate social media strategy in some of these older-styled companies.

What does your business use Twitter for?

This post on USA Today discusses how many companies are taking advantage of real-time capabilities of Twitter to foster customer service. Comcast, PepsiCo, JetBlue Airways, and Whole Foods Market are some of the companies which have begun to take advantage of twitter and opening up direct communication with customers.

Elissa Fink, vice president of marketing at Tableau Software mentions, "The more ways you provide customers to contact you, you're more likely to satisfy them."

Consumers have become increasingly frustrated with wait times in call-centers, maybe it's time we took another look at the traditional call-center and incorporate social media strategy in some of these older-styled companies.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Customer service expectations changing with generations

Recently at the Kansas City Star, Steve Rosen recently wrote about the expectations that different generations have when it comes to customer service. His generation is used to kind customer service where employees are ready to help upon entrance to a store. But today's youth looks to sales team as people who are there to check them out. He pointed to a survey done in 2007 that found that some companies actually discourage customer service due to the fact that customers will spend more with their company if they aren't available through medians such as telephones.

What do you think companies can do today to change the attitude of the younger generation's view of customer service? Will this generation be able to change their views of customer service as a hassle in the future?

Downfalls in online community management

I recently came across an article that looked at the Seven Deadly Sins of community management. Are you guilty of committing any of these? Were there any overlooked that you'd add to the list?

  1. Pride: Preventing community members from criticizing you.
  2. Greed: Failing to share with community members the results of feedback and the changes inspired by the community.
  3. Lust: Using the community to try to win sales.
  4. Envy: Starting a community because "everyone is" rather than defining clear goals for your own organization.
  5. Sloth: Failing to devote the time and staff required.
  6. Wrath: Punishing community members.
  7. Gluttony: Over-surveying and over-researching members.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tips for using online communities

The Kansas City Star has a few tips for people joining online networks:

•Connections: The more the merrier.
Connect with old colleagues and professors to build your network.

•Be profile-smart
Separate personal profiles from professional profiles.

•Don’t sign up and forget it
Stay active in your community.

Do you have any other tips for people just starting to build their online community?

TMRE now on Twitter!

You can now follow The Market Research Event on Twitter!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Free Web Seminar: Defending the Loyalty Function: Lessons from Chief Customer Officers

Defending the Loyalty Function: Lessons from Chief Customer Officers

Loyalty is elusive, and justifying ROI for loyalty initiatives is even more difficult. Yet, many companies have placed such a premium on customer loyalty that they’ve created a new C-Suite role called the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) to serve as the definitive and authoritative view of customers across the company and to drive customer and corporate strategy at the highest levels of the company.

During this session, you'll learn how to:
1. Quantify the impact disloyal customers can have on your business
2. Measure the success of loyalty initiatives
3. Communicate the value of loyalty in terms understood by the CEO, the CFO, and especially the CCO
4. Enlist the help of the CFO in championing loyalty

Reserve your Webinar seat, mention priority code G1M2200W1BlogLI

What would you do if you ruled the world?

The world is changing all around us and everyone has ideas about what they would do differently if they were in charge. If you were calling the shots, what would you do? Where would you start? What would be your goal? How would you make the world a better place? Speak up and spread your ideas by joining If Marketers Ruled the World today!

Who knows, maybe someone who really is in charge will be listening.

Join the community, share ideas in the forum, post photos or share videos.
If your idea is selected as the winner, you win a trip to THE Conference on Marketing on us!*

Everyone who posts an entry will be emailed an exclusive VIP discount code for THE Conference on Marketing taking place November 2-4, 2009 in Miami, FL.
For more details visit www.theconferenceonmarketing.com

* Offer includes complimentary pass to attend the event, airfare voucher for $300 and 2 nights at the Eden Roc Hotel.

Google Shows Facebook Friends

I came across this post on search engine land that revealed that while doing a search for someone in Google, their Facebook profile came up and so did their friends. This brings up the debate of exactly how much information should be made accessible to the general public over the internet? Should Facebook friends be hidden in search results in Google? What do you think?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Customer service beneftis a company

At The Mercury, Chris O'Brien looks at why customer service can benefit a company as well as its customers. Providing great customer service can provide powerful moments to learn, interact and gratify customers. It's a powerful way to interact with your customers and learn what they want. O'Brien goes on to tell of his powerful interactions with Apple customer service, where he did not have to sit on hold nor argue with service agents to solve his problems with his products.

Is good customer service a reason you'll go back to a company over and over again? Are you providing the type of customer service that will bring customers back to your company over and over again?

FTC looks to regulate bloggers

The Washington Post looked at the reporting practices of bloggers over the weekend. The new guidelines proposed, which could be approved this summer, would require bloggers to disclose when they are compensated for writing reviews on their blogs. If the guidelines are accepted, the FTC could then patrol the Internet for false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest. The FTC would then be allowed to patrol what goes on online, as many readers of blogs are unaware of the compensation that could go on behind the scenes online. The article went on to say that bloggers are not held to the same standards as journalists, but they have come to represent the same thing. Journalists are not technically allowed to receive products and review them, and that is considered an ethical practice in that community. Read the full article here.

If you are a blogger, how do you feel about this? Should bloggers have to disclose if they are compensated?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Drafting Trouble-Free Social Media Policies

James Wong of Law.com, has an easy to follow guideline for understanding the legalities of a company's entrance into the social media sphere. Wong writes, "Companies should recognize the need of employees to speak in their own voices. So their policies must walk the fine line between protecting the company while respecting the right of the employees to express themselves on the Web. Use policy and training programs to remind employees to use their good judgment and avoid irrational exuberance on social networks. Crafted well, these policies should allow workers to tweet without the company looking like a twit."

Be sure to check out Wong's guidelines and template for legal departments, as well as a few best practices that all in the organization should be aware of before entering into social media.

Drafting Trouble-Free Social Media Policies

Is Attire Important in Customer Service?

Greg Kratz of Deseret News shares a few insights that he's received over appropriate dress and conduct for customer service representatives. Kratz, after receving a few emails, notes that, I believe it's true that a crisply dressed employee gives a first impression of respectability and competence. However, if that isn't followed up with helpful, friendly service, I may storm angrily out of the store and forget all about how nice someone looked.

How about you? Does attire really matter with customer service? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

TMRE 2009 Keynote: Joel Benenson

Joel Benenson will be a keynote speaker at this year's The Market Research Event. The Market Research Event will be taking place from October 18-21, 2009, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He will be presenting "Lessons from The White House: Stories From Obama’s Lead Pollster & Strategist."

Joel Benenson is a Founding Partner and the President of Benenson Strategy Group (BSG), and has personally provided strategic research and consulting to our nation’s political leaders, business leaders and major advocacy and charitable institutions.

Joel offers a unique combination of communication expertise and an aggressive analytical approach to research clients with messaging strategies that work in the most difficult situations. His extensive experience prior to becoming a pollster in 1995 includes working as political journalist for the NY Daily News, serving as Communications Director for Gov. Mario Cuomo’s 1994 campaign and as a Vice President at FCB, a New York ad agency.

Joel was the lead pollster and a senior strategist for President Barack Obama during the 2008 election. He has also been a pollster and strategist for U.S. Senators, Governors and Mayors from around the country. He also played an integral role as a pollster for the DCCC in 2006 when the Democrats won back the majority in the House of Representatives. The team Joel was on won 8 of 10 races, including helping to defeat 3 incumbents.

During his career, Mr. Benenson has worked directly on research projects for some of America’s foremost CEO’s including A.G. Lafley, Jack Welch, and Bob Pittman. He has also helped guide corporate clients through some of the most notable communication challenges in the past decade. He was the lead strategic researcher for Procter & Gamble’s launch of Olestra, the fat substitute; he was instrumental in helping AOL manage its capacity crisis in the late 90s; and he helped a NYC coalition block Mayor Bloomberg’s plans for an Olympic Stadium in Manhattan.

Joel is also the co-founder of iModerate Research Technologies, an innovative research company that connects respondents in online surveys in real time to a highly trained moderator for a one-on-one session to probe deeper into subjects within the quantitative survey.

Mr. Benenson is a graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York. He and his wife Lisa Benenson, who is the Editor in Chief of Hallmark Magazine, have two children and live in Montclair, N.J.

Read more about Joel Benenson here:
New York Times Article: Obama Seldom Asks His Pollster to Play the Role of an Oracle

Source: Benenson Strategy Group

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Community 2.0 June LinkedIn Update

The June Community 2.0 LinkedIn Update came out today! This month, we're looking at how Twitter is affecting journalism by providing unedited, real-time accounts from the public. We also took a look back at May's Community 2.0.

Read the newsletter here:

If you aren't a member of our Community 2.0 LinkedIn group, join us today!

Reminder: Free Webinar Tomorrow by MarketTools: Quality Research on a Budget

There are a lot of online survey tools available these days that allow you to do one-off research projects for next to nothing. While these inexpensive tools are relatively fast and easy to use, they don’t always yield quality results on which you can base important decisions. Why compromise? There are ways to do quality research without breaking the bank. Let us tell you how.

Join us to hear how your peers are doing high-quality research on very limited budgets. Our panel of experts will discuss their experiences and provide real-life examples of how they’ve been able to do it. During this one-hour webinar you’ll learn:

* Five simple guidelines for doing quality research
* How a panel can reduce your research cost and improve quality
* What companies are doing to deal with “professional” survey respondents
* When is it a good idea to call in the experts
* And much more…

Mike Waite

Chris Schroll, Senior Manager Strategic Research & Analysis, Wolters Kluwer
Pat Merrill, Founder/General Partner, Merrill Research
and other research leaders from Fortune 500 firms

Register below, make sure to mention priority code MWS0025BLOG

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Breaking down your market

At HandMade News, they recently took a look at how to successfully identify who your customers are and what the target market is shaped like. It's obviously a very small market within your population, but how is a small business to find the market?

They start by identifying market segments:
Age: Are your customers young, middle-aged, or elderly?
Gender: Male or female?
Education: Have they graduated from high school? College?
Income: How much money do they have to spend? Are you targeting people with more or less disposable income?
Marital Status: Single, married, divorced, or widowed?
Ethnic and religious background
Family life cycle: Newly married, new baby, married for years, how old the children are

And then they go on to narrow it down further:
Lifestyle: trendy, conservative, pinching pennies, extravagant?
Social class: lower, middle, upper?
Opinion: open-minded or set in her ways?
Activities and interests: how does she spend her time? Reading? Watching TV? Riding her bike?
Attitudes and beliefs: is she interested in green products? Is she a community activist?

Figuring these things out can help you narrow down your target market and successfully find the right people to market your product to. If you've already done this, how have the demographics above changed with fewer customers spending less money these days?

Keeping customers in difficult economic times

An article at RetailWire suggests that as economic woes continue, it's going to be harder to keep customers coming through the door. Building loyalty will be difficult, but pricing and rewards are a way for retailers to keep loyalty today. Also important is to give you customers a dynamic brand that presents a character they will remember. Read the full article here.

Iranians Utilizing Social Networks to Coordinate Protests

Brad Stone and Noam Cohen of The New York Times report that, as the embattled government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to be trying to limit Internet access and communications in Iran, new kinds of social media are challenging those traditional levers of state media control and allowing Iranians to find novel ways around the restrictions.

Iranians are blogging, posting to Facebook and, most visibly, coordinating their protests on Twitter, the messaging service. Their activity has increased, not decreased, since the presidential election on Friday and ensuing attempts by the government to restrict or censor their online communications.

Americans and other western nations with ties or sympathies with Iran are finding a deeper understanding of the turmoil by joining Facebook groups and following Tweets.

Twitter executives have recognized the power of Twitter during these events and even canceled schedule maintenance of the site in order to keep it open for use.

Acknowledging its role on the global stage, the San Francisco-based company said Monday that it was delaying a planned shutdown for maintenance for a day, citing “the role Twitter is currently playing as an important communication tool in Iran," The Times reports.

For a deeper understanding of the role that social networking in playing in Iran, please visit the New York Times article here.

Social Networks Spread Iranian Defiance Online

Monday, June 15, 2009

Get Verified on Twitter

Just came across a quick Twitter tip in this post in Quick Online Tips. Make sure to verify your Twitter account, it helps to verify that you are indeed who you claim to be. The post even mentions how many news reporters got verified before John McCain. Take a couple of moments to verify your twitter account.

Email marketing to balloon by $2 Billion

“By 2014 direct marketers will waste $144 million on emails that never reach their primary target,” said Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst David Daniels. “Successful Direct Marketing pros will alter their tactics to overcome inbox clutter and increase relevancy.”

This comes in a business wire release today as Forrester forecasts that, spending on email marketing in the US will balloon to $2 billion by 2014 — a nearly 11 percent compound annual growth rate.

The report notes some of the growth areas shaping the future of email marketing:

* Retention email — email that recipients have blessed with their permission — will continue to replace paper communications and will make up the largest share of marketing messages. Retention emails will account for more than a one-third of all marketing messages in consumers’ inboxes by 2014, representing increased competition for marketers.

* While the bulk of the market will continue to deploy email marketing on a self-service basis, the growing complexity associated with data integration and new tactics to increase relevancy will drive healthy growth in use of email service providers.

* Spending on ad-sponsored or ad-supported newsletters will double over the next five years as traditional print publishers face falling circulation and ad revenue.

For more information on Forrester's report, please click here.

Forrester Forecast: US Email Marketing Spending To Reach $2 Billion In 2014

Friday, June 12, 2009

Social customer service

Although many companies are diving into the world of social networking customer service, it still remains to be seen whether or not companies need to set up formal contact centers with these mediums. The survey done by Datamoniter found that using these tools for customer service really depends on the company. The company should have social networking tools already at work in their company, and foudn that it's often more useful for small companies. Find out more here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

TMRE Speaker Profile: Noah J. Goldstein

Noah J. Goldstein will be a keynote speaker at this year's The Market Research Event. The Market Research Event will be taking place from October 18-21, 2009, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He will be presenting "Yes! – Proven Ways for Marketer Researchers to Become More Persuasive."

Noah J. Goldstein is Assistant Professor of Human Resources and Organizational Behavior at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Goldstein joined the UCLA faculty after serving on the faculty of The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Professor Goldstein’s primary line of research involves the study of the factors that lead people to change not only their attitudes and opinions, but also their behaviors. His scholarly research and writing on the topics of persuasion, conformity, and compliance have been published in academic outlets such as Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, and Sloan Management Review, and in a recent book entitled Yes. He is also interested in several other research lines, such as examining the antecedents and consequences of feeling psychologically close to other individuals.

Dr. Goldstein has consulted for a number of private and public institutions, including Accenture, the United States Forest Service, and the United States Census Bureau.

Professor Goldstein has taught Managing & Leadership Organizations and Leadership Foundations I to MBA students at UCLA Anderson.

Source: UCLA Anderson

Making the Brain Think Differently Through Twitter

Julian Dibbel's phenomenal piece in Wired regarding Twitter is not to be missed. Not only does Dibbel discuss the culture zeitgeist that has become "micro-blogging"; but, Dibbel goes further connect the minuscule messaging medium to something scientific, perhaps evolutionary.

Dibbel asks if we are challenging our brains (like a word version of Sudoku) to relay news in only 140 characters. We must be witty, gain followers and perhaps earn more followers with our insightful 140 character thought on the merits of Wheat Thins over Triscuits.

This particularly struck me, by forcing users to commit their thinking to the bite-size form of the public tweet, Twitter may be giving a powerfully productive new life to a hitherto underexploited quantum of thought: The random, fleeting observation.

We've, by using Twitter, thereby made a fleeting observation newsworthy, we've used a new medium to do so and perhaps challenged our fleeting thoughts to think differently.

The Future of Social Media: Is a Tweet the New Size of a Thought?

Meetings Drive Business

This is why companies need to continue to invest in business meetings. Not only will those who attend gain new and fresh perspectives from other attendees, but they'll hear from top companies who have lived by the same philosophy. Investment in yourself and innovation are the key to your business. What have you done recently to invest in your business?

Are you thinking of attending NACCM: Customers 1st this year? What would you expect to gain from the experience?

Meetings Drive Business

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meetings Drive Business

This is why companies need to continue to invest in business meetings. Not only will those who attend gain new and fresh perspectives from other attendees, but they'll hear from top companies who have lived by the same philosophy. Investment in yourself and innovation are the key to your business. What have you done recently to invest in your business?

Did you get a chance to attend Community 2.0 this year? What would you expect to gain from the experience?

Meetings Drive Business

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dairy Queen launching new program to measure customer loyalty

In the RFID Update yesterday, they report that Dairy Queen testing a customer loyalty program that uses text-based messaging coupon system. Customers can sign up in their area and provide their name and phone number, and receive code via text message and redeem it via an RFD labels attached to their phones.

The discount code can be used in any time frame, and therefore can track redemption rates and overall program performance. The coupons are also given out on an individual basis, tracking past purchases and giving out coupons according to those sales. Read the full report here.

MTV translates on air programing to online

At NewTeeVee, they look at how MTV has used the MTV Movie Awards to both increase viewership and page visits. MTV started driving traffic the Thursday before the awards to build awareness. The night after the Awards aired, MTV edited clips and put them into viral, embeddable players on their website and monitored and took down any videos on YouTube from the event. The day after the show, they had 13.1 million streams and found that 3.1 million people watched the show online. In addition, they monitored popular social networking sites such as Twitter to see which parts of the show were drawing attention from the fans. They found that the Bruno/Eminem incident was popular, but also Kristen Stewart dropping her Popcorn and the New Moon Trailer proved to be favorites of the viewers. Watch the entire show here.

What can companies learn from this? What are you doing to make your content viral?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Frontier Airlines Nixes Social Media for Customer Service

Frontier Airlines won't be the ones "tweeting" you back @frontierair if you tweet a compliant when stuck in an airport. That Twitter user name is run by former Frontier Airlines enthusiast, Andrew Hyde, who when stuck in an airport for 6 hours on standby decided to take matters into his own hands by creating a clearinghouse of grievances against the air carrier.

Frontier, however, isn't taking the bait for social media and will not use the vehicles to connect with its customers.

In a statement, Frontier Air said, "We know many companies, including major airlines, have moved on to direct engagement with their customers via blogs, Twitter and other social media. Those companies have also raised the expectations of Twitter users to a level that can sometimes become unmanageable, even with the best of resources. We don’t want to disappoint our customers by introducing a communications tool we can’t properly support. We also have a lot committed to our more traditional customer service tools. Any introduction of new programs now would end up taking resources away from existing channels."

Will Frontier's decision to stay out of the social media sphere completely, deflate customer service worries for the air carrier?

This article referenced "Frontier Airline's customer service fail" by Meghan Keane

What Are Your Social Media Goals?

Well? We talk about social media and its impact on your marketing campaign quite frequently on this blog; however, we'd like to ask you what your goals are for social media. Sure its easy to discuss case studies and to lead by example through the murky waters of social media; but what if your case is different--what if, you'd like to be the example and not just follow suit?

Liana Evans article, "What Are Your Social Media Goals?" in SearchEngineWatch.com, spurred us to think hard about our own social media goals and the goals of every organization out there seeking to reach customers on a new level.

Along with providing a list of accountable goals, Evans also reminds us, A marketing director doesn't want to hear that you can't measure social media efforts. If you can come back with a concrete way to show success with your efforts by setting goals in the social media space you're working with, you're more likely to get greater support moving forward with more social media efforts.

So, what are your goals?

Archived Web Seminar: What are Words Worth? New Ways to Optimize Consumer Language

If you missed the BuzzBack's live webinar last Thursday, here's your chance to view it at your own leisure! Watch the archive webinar.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Don't wait on hold, they'll call back

Southwest, a company already well respected for the way it treats its customers, now has a new option for those calling in to their service center. The company has begun using Virtual Hold, a service that allows customers to call the service centers, and if the wait is too long, will call the customer back when the next customer service representative is available. Sitting on hold is a pet peeve of many customers, and Southwest has already been praised for this new initiative.

The new offering has reportedly earned the airline high marks from customers – some of whom twittered about it.

“Companies: In an age of cell phones, don't make me sit on hold. Call me back when it's my turn, like Southwest just did,” one customer “tweeted” on the popular social networking site, according to the release.

Read the full article here.

Small businesses embracing social networking

A new article at the New York Times looks at how small businesses are embracing the networking abilities of social media. Using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other smaller niche sites can prove to reach the right people in a timely manner throughout the world. They're also free. Today, 38% of all small business owners are members of a social networking website, and an estimated 260,000 businesses using social networking to promote themselves. Read about specific businesses and how they're using tools at the New York Times.

TMRE 2009 Keynote: Joan Lewis

Joan Lewis, Senior Vice President, Consumer & Market Knowledge, at The Procter & Gamble Company will share how P&G’s Consumer & Market Knowledge function steers
Company Strategy & Innovation. Hear about the role consumer insights play in P&G’s business cycle and how the research function drives competitive advantage and business growth. Don't miss her keynote session "How Consumer & Market Insights Steers Company
Strategy & Innovation" at The Market Research Event.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

10 common social media mistakes

  1. Posting a page and then walking away from it.
  2. Setting up a social media site if you’re paranoid.
  3. Spamming others with a constant stream of promo messages.
  4. Joining a social media network if you don’t understand how it works.
  5. Assuming social media networking can replace traditional advertising and public relations.
  6. Having a presence on every social network platform you come across.
  7. Expecting to realize direct sales.
  8. Thinking others will flock to you.
  9. Don’t think because it’s cost-free it isn’t expensive.
  10. Don’t assume it’s a “necessary evil.”

Any others that you'd add to the list?

10 common social media mistakes

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Social Media Involvement in Late Night Television

Here's an interesting article written by Josh Catone from Mashable that highlights how Jimmy Fallon's involvement on twitter and other social media outlets have helped him become a king of late night television. Before his show aired he had about 6,000 followers on twitter, compared to 176,000 followers when his show hit the airwaves, and 1,104,658 followers as of now!

Jimmy's clips have also appeared in several online video-sharing sites, and he's also appeared on a web video show. David Letterman and other talk show giants need to get with the times quick, before they get lost in the dust!

Medical Tourism and Customer Service

Tonya Walton, is the founder of Blue Morpho Medical Travel, she represents Gooch and Associates as Manager of Latin American Business Development. In a recent article posted on Medical Tourism Magazine, Walton discusses the need for understanding what your customers think. Though Walton is an expert in medical tourism, we found her customer service insights to be particularly relevant for our Customer 1st audience.

Walton offers five tips and techniques for successful customer service and customer experience:

  • Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions
  • Is a Satisfied Patient (Customer) Good Enough?
  • Processes, People, Trust and Loyalty
  • How Do I Get Feedback?
  • Communicate the Results

We encourage you to check out Tonya Walton's thoughts. What else is imperative for successful customer service and customer relationships?