Invasion of the Plate Snatchers

August 12, 2010

I’m usually not too paranoid, but I must warn unsuspecting diners of a very real danger. Oh yes, be afraid, be very afraid. For THEY are around, lurking just out of sight, ready to pounce without warning. And you may become their next victim. (gasp!)

THEY are………… the Plate Snatchers!   Bwahaha!

THEY will swoop in and snatch your plate away.

THEY don’t care if they invade your personal space.

THEY don’t care if others are still eating, your plate is theirs.

THEY only care that any empty (or almost empty) plates have vanished.

THEY must not ruin our dining adventures. Hold tight to your plate with both hands.

Defend your Plate!

(So now you know what my pet peeve is when dining out. What’s yours?)

Customer Loyalty

July 4, 2010

Thanks to the euro’s declining value, mortgage rates are at their lowest in years. Like many others, we are taking advantage of these low rates to refinance our home. We chose to re-finance using our original mortgage broker (Usher Financial Group) because they cultivated a strong relationship with us that continued post-sale.

As we picked up the closing check at our bank (also happens to hold our current mortgage), the teller asked “Why didn’t you use us?” This guy asked the wrong question! What he should have asked is “What could we have done to win your business?”

Doing business with your customers is NOT the same as having a relationship with them. If you want to win my business, then cultivate a relationship with me. No relationship = zero loyalty.

How do you cultivate customer loyalty? What makes you a loyal customer? Leave a comment and share your tips on cultivating customer loyalty.

Customer Service needs Social Media

June 16, 2010

I believe in the power of Social Media. It has kept me connected to family, re-connected me with old friends, and helped me build stronger personal and professional relationships.

I believe in the power of Social Media to improve customer service. I’ve used it to resolve my own customer service problems so I know it works! Gone are the days when Customer Service dictates how and when a customer contacts them for help.  Now, we must go to where our customers are and make things right when our products or services fall short of their expectations.

In my mind, it is a no-brainer. But there are skeptics that need convincing so I am building a business case to persuade them that the investment is necessary. During my research, I came across this video from Socialnomics that states my case perfectly (and the music is cool too).

What really sticks with me is the notion “Word of Mouth -> World of Mouth”. Take the time to watch it and let me know what you think.

Twitter role model – Best Buy’s Twelpforce

May 28, 2010

As part of my efforts to get Customer Service a larger role within my company’s Social Media initiatives, I’ve been researching how other companies have built and run their Social Media programs. My goal is to identify some best practices that can be incorporated into our fledgling Twitter outreach program.

Earlier this week, I spent some time researching Best Buy’s Twelpforce.

Read the rest of this entry »

OPB – Where’s the Love?

April 3, 2010

When it comes to OPB, the following is true:

  • I am a huge fan of OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting).
  • I am one of the 120,000 contributors who believe that the service and programming OPB provides is necessary and valuable.
  • I am a proud OPB member.
  • I am a little bit miffed at OPB’s Membership Team. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Nexus One – Pitfalls of Partnership

January 15, 2010

The recent launch of Google’s Nexus One Android phone has been an interesting one to follow. Although it is still early in the game, the launch appears to be more fizzle than sizzle.

From a customer service perspective, it seems that the three players (Google, HTC, T-Mobile) either under-estimated or ignored the customer service challenges posed by a multi-vendor partnership.  Read the rest of this entry »

Johnny the Bagger

January 4, 2010

Don’t you just love a true-life story where the hero is an ordinary person doing extraordinary things? I do!

To kick-off 2010 on an inspirational note, here is the real-life story of how “Johnny the Bagger” won his customers’ hearts and loyalty by doing something special for them.

Johnny’s story is a touching reminder that great Customer Service doesn’t depend on technological prowess or fancy tools; it comes from the heart.

Although this video is a couple of years old, it still contains a relevant and powerful message for today. Here’s a question we should all ponder: “How do we make our customers feel special?”

A Lesson in Customer Communications – Portland Water Bureau

November 30, 2009

Is your company or organization prepared to handle customer communications when the unexpected happens?

Service disruptions and unexpected events require immediate engagement with your customers. The same tools that you use to engage and communicate with your customers for normal business activities need to be utilized in times of crisis.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the City of Portland’s Water Bureau experienced a crisis that required immediate and regular customer communications. How they handled this communication left some customers unhappy. Here’s what happened: Read the rest of this entry »

Building Customer Trust

November 16, 2009

Pssssst? Want to know how to increase customer loyalty? Try building customer trust.

It’s no secret! A key factor to long-term business success is the ability to earn the trust of your customers today. Otherwise, you can forget about them doing business with you tomorrow.  Read the rest of this entry »

Going Above and Beyond

October 26, 2009

Lompoc

Companies known for great customer service do an excellent job of service recovery. Disney is one of the best at applying this principle on a daily basis. It’s a smart business practice that wins you strong customer loyalty.

Now let’s take that principle to the next level. What if a company goes above and beyond; not because they are in service recovery mode, but to fix a mistake the customer makes? I had this type of experience recently and it resulted in one of those coveted “Wow-your-Customer” scenarios.   Read the rest of this entry »


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