Posts Tagged ‘Client Services’


It’s [NOT] The End of the World As We Know It

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Speaking through megaphoneLauren Shapiro*

The world may not have ended on May 21st 2011, but Harold Camping surely secured a place for himself in our history books as the man who convinced [some of] the world that the beginning of the end was near. Though it wasn’t the first time he made such predications, it was, perhaps, the first time that such an elaborate advertising initiative was implemented for such an occasion.

Through billboards, advertisements on buses, and the infamous camping trailer that transported dedicated followers spreading the message, “Judgment Day – the Bible guarantees it,” how could you not take notice of the FamilyRadio.com campaign? Whether you emptied your life savings in preparation for the rapture, were a little nervous around 6pm or did not buy into it at all – the nation was talking about Harold Camping and his radio station.

Regardless of Campings’ [clearly] incorrect prediction about the end of the world – one must give him credit for the sheer genius of his marketing campaign. Social media was a-twitter about the predictions sparking end of the world parties and hash tags like #rapture. People even spent their life savings to purchase billboards! But, the true magnificence of the FamilyRadio.com marketing campaign wasn’t the message itself; it was the viral nature at which it spread. Everyone from the Huffington Post, as seen in this article, to this post from National Geographic continue to talk about Harold Camping and FamilyRadio.com.

Print, online, and broadcast media all covered the “end of the world predictions.” So, did Harold Camping truly believe that the end was near or was his radio show desperate for more listeners and more money? Probably both.

Regardless of the hoopla Camping caused, it is essential to give a nod to the art of marketing. Camping and FamilyRadio.com prove yet again that it’s not what you’re selling; it’s how you sell it.

***

*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce 

A Personal Success Story for Using Twitter to Connect with Clients

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Do you check-in on Foursquare or Loopt or post to Twitter when you are out shopping or eating? A recent MediaPost story, Users Register Social Network Comments While Shopping, reported one-quarter of customers share their experiences while at a physical store, as taken from a study by ListenLogic.

So you shared, now what? You might find a friend gave a tip or is also in the store. But, perhaps, you expect or want more. I recently found a couple organizations taking advantage of online sharing by working to engage their customers. 

If you are a home owner, you know the nightmare that involves going to a hardware store. Even if you know what you need, you can’t always be sure you’ll find it. Nor can you always find someone to help you. I recently went to my local Home Depot (Home Depot is a BurrellesLuce client) with my brother, who was willing to be my handyman for the day. We had not one, but four people ask if they could help us. We were both really impressed, so I checked-in on Foursquare, and posted to Twitter about the experience.  A Twitter friend commented on how Home Depot has recently been working to upgrade its service.  Ryan at Home Depot replied to both of us and commented on how they (Home Depot) were glad to hear we noticed the service. Wow! They noticed.

Home Depot In Store Service Tweet Exchange with Debbie Friez

I had a similar experience when I was in downtown Minneapolis recently, and I stopped into the Macy’s store to see what was new. I learned the Macy’s Flower Show was going on in the auditorium, so I commented on Twitter I was hoping to come back and check-out the show. Macy’s replied and asked me to send them a picture if I made it to the show. I did, and they asked to confirm my location. When I did, they asked me to stop by their executive offices for something special, which turned-out to be a $10 gift card, which I promptly used.

Macy's Flower Show Tweet Exchange with Debbie Friez

A recent Mashable post outlines how all organizations can learn 9 Digital Marketing Lessons from Top Social Brands. My favorite is #3- Listen and Respond – which is exactly what Home Depot and Macy’s did. I was impressed that both organizations were monitoring social media and saw my tweets on a weekend and encouraged me to engage in more conversation and then asked me to take additional action. They were simple gestures, but they made me feel special, so I shared the stories with several friends. How easy was that for a lesson in customer service and word of mouth?

I believe we can all do a better job of using social media tools to connect with clients, prospects, or even friends. How is your organization using Twitter to engage clients? Do you have any tips or examples  for the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers?

Who Needs Netflix When You Can See Your Favorite Films on Facebook? It depends!

Friday, March 18th, 2011

by Lauren Shapiro*

netflixWith over 20 million subscribers, Netflix has been dominating the at-home-movie scene. As a subscription-based platform, Netflix allows users to watch unlimited TV episodes and movies via the Internet on either a Mac or PC or stream the content to a television using devices such as Xbox 360, Wii, or PS3. A subscription, according to their website, is $7.99 a month for unlimited streaming video or for DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming video, plans start at $9.99 a month.

However, Facebook’s 500 million friends will not be counted out, as soon to be seen (pun intended), the social networking site will be a potential competitor to Netflix.  Warner Brothers’ announcement of their availability on Facebook comes with little surprise as telecasts on Facebook have become more and more popular. Even the President and First Lady have taken to the Facebook airwaves to promote the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention on March 10th

The Warner Brothers’ Facebook application will allow users to choose from a select number of full-length films priced at 30 Facebook credits. Facebook credits are an online currency that allow users to purchase applications and games on the site. Thirty credits equate to $3. Users can also acquire Facebook credits through applications and games also available on the site. Once the credits are redeemed, in this manner, the user has 48 hours to watch the movie. 

But don’t think that Facebook is alone in the quest to provide pay-per-view movies. Google’s YouTube has been offering online movie rentals since 2010, allowing users to access independent films and recently more popular films like Scary Movie 4 and Hannibal Rising. According to the YouTube Store, movie rentals range between $2.99 and $4.99. Other lesser known services have begun to crop-up as well. For instance, Zediva streams new releases through what amounts to a loophole in copyright law. The site offers “new release movies you can’t get on Amazon, Netflix, or iTunes that cost $2 for a digital rental that lasts two full weeks,” explains this Wired.com article. “The company literally rents you a DVD and a DVD player, with your computer, tablet or Google TV as the remote control.”

Will Facebook give Netflix a run for its money? It seems that Netflix users and Warner Brothers Facebook application users will be targeting different consumers. Netflix users are avid movie watchers and actually save money by paying a monthly fee rather than a paying per view. However, Facebook may gain viewership with users who are on the go and want to rent one movie at a time inexpensively. Also, Facebook users who accumulate credits have the ability to use their credits to rent movies. The Warner Brother’s Facebook app pales in breadth and depth to the movie selection offered by Netflix, however, only time will tell how much of a threat Facebook’s movie rentals will truly be to the reigning streaming-video service.

If you are a subscriber of Netflix and a user of Facebook, will you be trading in your subscription? What about for one of these other services increasingly becoming available? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

***

 *Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce 

Client Meetings: Know Your Role

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

by Denise Giacin*

client meetingYou finally confirmed a meeting with the client you have been trying to schedule with for weeks. Your boss is watching closely and you know this opportunity is too important to fly by the seat of your pants. Sometimes being face-to-face with a client is cause for momentary lapses in judgment. Sitting across the table from someone you lose the comfort of writing carefully worded emails or the ability to hide your hair twirling habit a client never sees on a conference call. Everyone has quirks; however, it’s important to know how to keep yourself in check during client meetings. 

These six tips will help you stay focused and reassure your clients they are in the best hands and can serve as an important reminder for both new and seasoned professionals alike.

Be Prepared.
Know who you are meeting with and have enough materials for everyone attending. (Bring extra just in case there is a last minute sit-in.) Make sure you understand the reason for the meeting as well as how you are going to contribute. If you are demonstrating a new product or service, make arrangements for everything you need (such as a laptop, Internet connection, conference room, etc). The more prepared you are, the more comfortable you will be and the more confident your clients will be in your abilities to provide them with the services they need. 

Communicate.
Fully understand the product or service you are presenting and provide accurate and intelligible information to your client. Speak clearly, intellectually and choose your words wisely. Remember: you will need to adjust your approach depending on who you are meeting with, their familiarity with your product or service, and their position in the company. 

Never Say Never.
While it is important to manage client expectations, try to avoid saying “no” or “impossible” during your meeting. If a situation arises, communicate how you will make an effort to look into any concerns or requests and that you will get back to them with a solution or appropriate alternatives. And give them a timeline of when you plan to follow up.

No Complaining.
Clients do not want to hear how bad your day is going or how much work you have at the office. Pointing out negativity is only going to lead the conversation in that direction. Focus on positive, energetic conversation points to keep your client interested in what you have to say.

Dress Professionally.
This should be a no-brainer; after all, you are a representation of your company. You do not want to show up at a meeting looking like you just rolled out of bed. Depending on your corporate culture, your dress may vary. Most companies make it quite clear how they would like you to dress and if there is any confusion you should inquire with your supervisor.

Mind Your Manners.
Always be polite and respectful. Never swear or use derogatory language, even if your client speaks freely. If you are having a meal, use proper etiquette. If alcohol is involved, know your limits and do not cross the line. Your maturity in these situations is reflective of how you will handle the account and, again, reflects on your company or brand.

If you are new to the area of client services, what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of client-facing meetings? If you are a seasoned PR, marketing, or client service pro – what tips can you give for weathering client meetings? What have been some of the challenges you have faced at client meetings and how have you handled them? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

***

*Bio: Prior to joining the BurrellesLuce Client Service team in 2008, Denise worked in the marketing industry for three years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Connecticut, where she gained experience interning in PR and working for student organizations. By engaging readers on the Fresh Ideas blog Denise hopes to further her understanding of client needs. In her spare time, she is passionate about Team in Training (The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s charity sports training program) and baking cupcakes. Her claim to fame: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. LinkedIn: dgiacin Twitter: @denise10283 Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Understanding and Eliminating Stress: Keys to Health and Success

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

by Lauren Shapiro*

stressWho hasn’t been super stressed out in the past year? Between the economy, layoffs and undertaking of additional work at no additional pay – how could you not be stressed? Now, more than ever, employees are feeling strained without relief.  According to Dianne Buckner of CBC News, “When it comes to the pressing priorities of an average entrepreneur, managing the mental health of staff is probably not at the top of the list. Concern about whether or not employees are feeling good about their work and their lives likely has to take a back seat to issues related to surviving this tough economy, such as improving sales or reducing expenses.” Buckner goes on to write, “But touchy-feely as emotional well-being may sound, the fact is that issues such as anxiety, depression and burnout present some very real costs — and not just to individual enterprises, but to the economy as a whole.”

With internal pressures growing greater as we watch unemployment lines grow, these anxieties and stresses begin to affect the mind and body. It is important to note that there are different types of stress that we experience. Good stress motivates us to give a stellar presentation or to go above and beyond for a meeting. However, bad stress can cause negative effects including sleeplessness, headaches, high blood pressure or fatigue, illustrates an article in the San Jose Mercury News. Explains Reba Connell, Center for Stress Reduction, “Stressors, the life events that cause feelings of stress, can also often put the body in a chronic “fight or flight” or hyper-arousal mode. The feelings associated with fight or flight include accelerated heartbeat and breathing, tunnel vision and racing thoughts. This mode releases endorphins and cortisol, which can increase blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels. High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack.”

There are plenty of ways to reduce stress. Taking a “mental health” day is a great way to take a step away from the hectic workday and focus on doing something for yourself. Put the BlackBerry down and relax. (Want more tips on how to reduce digital overload? Check out this BurrellesLuce newsletter.) Take a bath, go shopping, do something that you enjoy and take the time to enjoy it! “Mental health” days are great ways to break up the work week and remind you that things may not be as bad as they seem. They will rejuvenate you and bring you back to your non-stressed self.

If you can’t step away for a mental health day, here are some tips to keep stress at bay, as suggested by Rismedia.com

  1. Get plenty of sleep.
  2. Learn to make decisions quickly and let go of the need to over-analyze everything.
  3. Express your feelings and don’t bottle up your emotions.
  4. Avoid trying for perfections and don’t sweat the small stuff.
  5. Maintain a positive mental attitude by utilizing affirmative “self-talk.”
  6. Stop worrying so much and look at situations more optimistically.
  7. Smile and laugh frequently throughout the day; don’t take yourself so seriously.
  8. Mix leisure with work: take breaks and get away when you can.
  9. Become more tolerant. Don’t be overly critical of yourself or others.
  10. Keep a list of things to do and stay focused on short-term accomplishments

Does your organization provide stress relieving activities? How do you cope with stress prevalent in PR, marketing, communications, or client services?

***

*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce