Posts Tagged ‘Macy’s’

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?

Yes Virginia, There is a Company Brand in that Email

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

by Rich Gallitelli*

Yes, Virginia - CBSWe just concluded yet another holiday season full of new widgets which most of us didn’t even dream about a generation ago.  Yet, despite all these technological advancements, I am still drawn to the famous editorial that appeared in the New York Sun way back in 1897. “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” is the famous line in Francis P. Church’s reply to young Virginia O’Hanlon’s question, a reply which has become the most reprinted editorial in history. 

The Sun was the main rival of the New York Times for more than half a century. Its famous masthead was featured in the Oscar-winning movie “The Godfather.”  It was even the first newspaper to hire a full-time fashion editor, Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd.  And its “Crime on the Waterfront” feature, by Sun writer Malcolm Johnson, won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting and became the impetus for another Oscar-winning movie: 1954’s “On the Waterfront.”  But, what is most synonymous with The Sun, more than anything else accredited to the newspaper, was that charming, reassuring editorial.

“Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” inspired among other things, a 1974 Emmy-winning animated television special, the Virginia O’Hanlon Scholarship from the The Studio School in New York City, Macy’s 2010 Christmas campaign, and the countless hearts of our inner-children. In effect, the editorial became synonymous with The Sun’s brand. And that got me to thinking… In this age of emails, tweets, blogs, and general interconnectedness, client services and their interactions with their clients have now become their company’s brand and how it is conveyed to others. 

In my previous blog post, I extolled the virtues of product knowledge.  And, while product knowledge does instill the trust between the client and the client services representative, how you answer your emails and the questions posed to you over the phone is just as important. The manner in which you convey your knowledge through your speech and grammatical tone promotes and broadens or hinders the appeal of the company brand. In essence, employees serve as brand ambassadors. If you are armed with product knowledge, take ownership of problems, and convey ideas politely – you can easily take on the challenges of today’s interconnected business world and exceed the expectations of clients. Now, think for a moment, how many times you have dealt with not just a rude representative, but a curt representative, an unsympathetic representative, or someone who passed you along to various individuals. How poorly did that affect your opinion of that company? Not a company you want to deal with, right?  Yep, I would be dreading that phone inquiry too!

Anne Sauvé of Anne Sauvé Marketing Communications has stated, “I’ve always believed in the sheer power of ‘living the brand’ internally, which is where effective employee communications can play such a powerful role.” She goes on to say, “No matter how good a job you do at building your brand in the marketplace, it will all fall apart if your employees are not engaged and part of that brand – without them you have no brand.”

Perception is reality.  And the reality is that a company’s client services is an extension of the company’s brand.  It is not the first line of defense; rather, it is the arm of diplomacy after the company’s marketing and sales efforts have taken hold. Today’s companies have to be more than what they offer. It may sound insignificant, but a half-hearted email or a lousy tone on the phone becomes the reality by which the company will be remembered.  Yes, we all have bad days and we all suffer from stress.  Yes, we even deal with a client or two that we can’t possibly please.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?  But, the client isn’t just going to remember the bad or rude employee; they are going to remember the bad or rude employee from “company X.”

So the next time you reply to an email or phone inquiry, remember, you are not just an employee; you are the company’s ambassador for its brand. Take an extra five minutes to go over that email that addresses a difficult problem.  That response and the manner in which it is written is the company’s solution, not yours, and embodies the company’s brand when the client reads it. In essence, the brand takes a journey through cyberspace to build itself up further in the marketplace.  The same thing applies when addressing the difficult problems on the phone.  Perception of how warm you are is the reality of how you are as a representative and how a company is as a whole.  Because, “Yes, Virginia” … as the ambassador for your company’s brand, your actions greatly affect how your clients feel about the company. Simply put, would you want to speak to you on the phone?


*Bio: Richard Gallitelli brought a wealth of sales and customer-service experience when he came to BurrellesLuce in 2007. His outstanding performance as a sales associate and personalized shopper for Neiman Marcus (he also has worked for Nordstrom) earned him a nomination by Boston magazine as “Best of Boston” sales associate for high-end retail fashion stores. Rich’s talents also won him praise and a profile in the book, “What Customers Like About You: Adding Emotional Value for Service Excellence and Competitive Advantage,” written by best-selling business author Dr. David Freemantle. Rich majored in English Literature at William Paterson University, and is a published poet and short-story writer. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: BurrellesLuce 

Challenges and Successes—“Go Red for Women” Award Winning Campaign

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Flickr Image: jon madison

Establish benchmarks at the beginning of each campaign. Do your research. Show that you have positively changed attitude about or knowledge of an issue.

These were the key points presented by Jennifer Pfahler, executive vice president of Edelman, during her discussion of the award-winning integrated communications campaign, Go Red for Women (American Heart Association), at this year’s PRSA International Conference. (Full disclosure: the American Heart Association (AHA) is a BurrellesLuce client and my grandmother died of heart disease a couple years ago.)

Pfahler outlined the challenges associated with creating a campaign of this type:

  • Not many women know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women.
  • Women have different symptoms of heart disease than men.
  • AHA needed to drive women to its website and move them to take the checkup.
  • Fundraising for education, scientific research, media outreach had to accelerate.

Pfahler said Edelman had worked on the Go Red for Women account for a few years, but was limited to one event in February. They worked to craft an integrated campaign, which included a TV documentary with NBC/Universal, and to find ways to create buzz throughout the 2007 year. In February 2007, they were able to pitch Marie Osmond as their spokesperson, and generate interest in their casting call for the documentary. Out of almost 800  submited stories, eight were picked, verified by Edelman, and used in the documentary. (more…)