There is Nothing More Important Than the Customer Experience!

For all of the social and digital media advice and trends I provide on this website, as I preach at conferences, keynotes, when I’m teaching, and anywhere people will listen—all of the social media engagement and listening in the world is trumped by remarkable customer service. 

If you provide remarkable customer service, people will tell others through word of mouth and through social media. Conversely, if you have poor touch points with customer service, people will tell others.

I was flying cross country a couple of weeks ago and had a layover at DFW. Now I know airline gate agents are stressed to the max and have to deal with some outrageous people and situations at times, but watching what was happening for a few hours was amazing.

This happened to be American Airlines. I’m sure American has thousands of amazing people who go out of their way to help customers and make them feel good. However, on this day, at this gate, for a few hours, that wasn’t the case. The customers who would approach these gate agents did so politely. For three hours, never did I see a smile. Never did I see anything other than multi-tasking, transaction agents, mostly looking down while “customers” approached them.

Here are a few things to think about:
1. Love your job or leave it. It’s not prison.
2. Love your customers or leave them. Your job isn’t prison.
3. Provide remarkable customer service that people will talk about, otherwise your business is invisible and no different than any other business.

(c)  Joseph Barnes 


Powerful Digital Storytelling!

Whether you are a small or large nonprofit, a small or large for-profit, digital storytelling is a powerful way to get your message across—and create powerful word of mouth marketing. Nothing is more powerful than someone “experiencing” your brand or your message.

It can be humorous, say funny flubs from cupcake decorators, or have a serious message. As an Emmy Award Winning television professional I have led teams to create powerful stories and produced powerful stories myself. Along the way I have gathered powerful stories as good examples. Some are incredibly simple, yet carry powerful messages. Here’s one such example:

At Digital 3000 we can create concepts, write, shoot, edit, and produce PSA’s and stories for your organization.

Social media for social change for social good.

Social media is so much more than marketing, creating communities, listening to customers and having a two-way dialogue. It’s also about using the tools and platforms for change—real change—that makes a difference in the world.

Whether you are an individual, an organization, an association, or a company—it’s your (our) responsibility to use these tools for social good.

I’m reminded of a story from 2010 in which a social media leader had a real epiphany — a real “ah ha” moment about social media for social change. As he tells the story here he is pounding out his blog every day with thousands of readers when his wife comes home and says she wants to help a mother and kids after they became homeless because of a domestic violence situation. The writer took the family in and then  tweeted the need for $5,000 to help set the family up in an apartment. 

Was he surprised. By the next day people had sent in $17,000 via Pay Pal — and he didn’t even know most of these people. 

The moral of this story is to do the same thing. Use your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn connections to help others. Social media for social change for social good.
Joe Barnes

This is a GIANT! Ads on Homes!

This is BRILLIANT….I’m tell you brilliant. Ads written on a house! Talk about getting word of mouth going…..

At the National Advertisers’ Agency/Client Forum in New York, Jeff Goodby chairman and co-founder of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners showed his 117-year-old Victorian house in California, which has lots of words painted on the exterior. (c) 2009

Goodby created a Web site about the house, called Then, he posted it on Facebook. He said people just went crazy.

How To Market To The Digital Mom

Great post by Tracey Hope-Ross “How to Market to the Digital Mom.” Tracey says moms increasingly view traditional media as intrusive and disruptive. Social media cuts through the clutter. Moms use social media to swiftly pass along ideas and product assessments to others. She says the majority of moms are “social researchers” who seek out online reviews.

She says to connect work realistically within moms’ daily schedules. Intimate events and parties can be used as catalysts to ultimately drive sales and attendance to larger brand events in the area. Social media provides creative new ways to establish or augment connections with moms.

The Most Important Video You May Ever See!

If you watch just one special video this year and let it resonate, this is the one. It’s from Eric Qualman, the author of “Socialnomics,” How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business.” You will instantly see the impact of social media on our culture and the way we communicate.

Watch this video and let the facts speak for themselves!

The NEW Power of Moms!

Good post recently by Lolita Carrico on MediaPost’s Engage Moms about the power of moms…and every marketer should read this one.

According to a recent eMarketer report, 50% of moms find online reviews from “others like me” to be a valuable source of information.

So, how do marketers get involved in effective sampling and word of mouth campaigns? Some pointers:

1. Target the recipients of your product
2. Look for a partner with an engaged community
3. Continue to engage with your influencers

Word of mouth strategies are effective on many levels. The key is to be authentic in your outreach and expect authentic feedback in return.


Real Friends More Valuable Than Bloggers!

eMarketer is out with a story reporting on a Mintel study on Internet buying. Thirty-four percent of US Internet users who bought a product or service based on a recommendation got that tip from a friend or relative, while one-quarter bought based on advice from a spouse or domestic partner. Lower on the list were bloggers and chat rooms.

The most common reason that Internet users recommended a product or service was price, followed by quality and convenience.

The Hot New Marketing Trends

If you are reading the tea leaves….here are the key trends and what you should be doing about them:

1. FEAR: People are acting out of fear. Real or perceived, they are fearful.

2. PRICE SHOPPING: They are shopping more for prices and deals than brands. Give people value, tell them how it’s of value, and give your loyal customers price breaks.

3. PROMISE VS. PERFORMANCE: Now more than ever you must over deliver on the customer experience. Do what you say you will do and exceed customer expectations.

4. COMMUNICATE: Increase your communications with customers but make it meaningful, relevant and two-way. Customers can see right through nice chat by a bank teller about “how’s your day?” That’s not meaningful. But ask a customer, “Are there any ways we could improve customer service for you?” Now that’s relevant and meaningful. Are you asking the right questions? Use in-person, blogs, your website, Twitter, etc.

5. BENEFITS: Keep reminding people about the benefits of your product(s) or service. They are looking for tangible benefits. They are also looking for solutions relevant to their lives.

6. USE SOCIAL MEDIA: LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, websites, text messaging, Word of Mouth Marketing programs, YouTube, Facebook, etc. (Reminder, I am happy to do a seminar or consult with you on your projects).

Touch Point Opportunities!

How many “touch points” do you have in your organization where you have an opportunity to make friends and influence a potential or current customer/client/patient? Make a list, then do an audit of how well you are executing those. Use secret customer/client/patients and ask them to report their experiences to you. These are golden opportunities do what’s most important in word of mouth marketing: Create Amazing Relationship Experiences (CARE).

I just joined a health cooperative in Washington State (Group Health). My first visit had seven touch points in one visit. Anyone along the line could have dropped the ball or been less than enthusiastic. But no—every single person gave me a smile, cared, and took the time to give me an Amazing Relationship Experience.