Posts Tagged ‘service’


Register Domain Names for Less…At the Airport?

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

GoDaddy Kiosk-2During a recent trip to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport I noticed an unusual kiosk. Since November 2, 2010, and slated to be there through the “first part of 2011,” web-hosting service Go Daddy has set up shop in terminal 4 a.k.a. the “Go Daddy Sky Harbor Kiosk” to provide in-person service for a previously virtual-only offering.

From a marketing perspective, this is either the craziest or the smartest tactic I’ve seen in a long time. Go Daddy isn’t known for taking the safe approach (think Super Bowl Ads) so its recent initiative shouldn’t surprise me. Still, I find their risk taking extraordinary. During a time when businesses are looking for ways to scale back or otherwise avert risks – Go Daddy takes their virtual model to “brick and mortar.” I guess if patrons will line up at Charlotte Douglas International Airport for manicures and pedicures then small business travelers will feasibly benefit from this new Go Daddy kiosk. Think about it: during the social media frenzy a web-based service focuses on face-to-face targeting and interaction.

Finding myself intrigued by this recent endeavor, I reached to Go Daddy and, via its public relations department, received insights from Miguel Lopez, vice president- customer care at Go Daddy. I ask, “Why the airport?” Lopez explained that:Go Daddy helps individuals and small businesses build an online presence quickly and affordably. Why not show them how easy it is? Sky Harbor International is one of the busiest airports in the United States and our location intersects a tremendous amount of traffic. It’s a great location to meet locals and visitors alike, and give them an opportunity to learn about all the things they can do online with Go Daddy.”

When asked about successes or failures of the experiment, thus far, Lopez added: “We’ve found that many of our customers are interested in a guided tour of our website, GoDaddy.com. Others are curious about what it’s like to work for a company like Go Daddy and it’s fun to watch their facial reactions when they hear about how employees are treated like VIPs, attending lavish holiday parties and getting to go on monthly ‘Employee Appreciation’ outings.”

While this latest effort is solely driven by walk-up traffic and Go Daddy hopes to service small business travelers and to possibly recruit new employees (Go Daddy currently has more than 100 job openings), it will be an interesting to watch this endeavor unfold. Personally, I plan to keep an eye out on the kiosk traffic when I visit the airport (which is fairly often these days) in hopes of resolving my unanswered question: “Does Go Daddy have this much confidence in how efficient their process and service are that a business person could register their desired domain in mere minutes – and still catch a flight – or is it simply targeting the low-hanging fruit of stranded travelers who desperately want to be productive while in transit?”

Are there any services you would like to see available at the airport, train station or bus depot that would make you a more productive professional in transit? As I travel for BurrellesLuce, the one service I would like to see is a kiosk selling Dell chargers (unless Dell decides to finally go universal) or at least a Dell-charging station for the times when my charger doesn’t make my trip with me.

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Are Users Slow to Adopt Mobile Apps?

Friday, September 17th, 2010
Image Source: WMPowerUser.com

Image Source: WMPowerUser.com

I have an old phone.

I know it’s old because I’ve kept it longer than the service agreement I signed when I bought it. I know it’s old because it still has the logo of a now defunct cellular company on it. I also know it’s old because of my inability to download apps of any kind.

However, despite my phones technical limitations, it appears that I may not be the only one hasn’t been filling their phone with the all the latest available applications.

According to Mark Welsh’s recent story on Mediapost.com, Pew: Only Two-Thirds Of Cell Users With Apps Use Them, only four in ten mobile phone users have apps on their phone. And just two-thirds, of that 40 percent, actually use them.

(Not sure which apps to choose for the Droid? Check out this post from my BurrellesLuce colleague Johna Burke.)

Welsh notes that the download and use of applications is “still not among the most popular mobile data activities, with only 29 percent of mobile subscribers having downloaded an app…” In fact, “People are more likely to use their phones to take a picture, text-message, browse the Web, email, record a video, play music and send instant messages than they are to access an app.”

Does this mean that downloading the latest apps for my mobile device isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be? I have to admit; it’d be nice to have sporting event updates or get restaurant reviews before leaving the house and then be able to accurately calculate a good tip.

However, like many of those surveyed, I use my phone as, well, a phone. The reliability of the service is paramount. Anything beyond that is just gravy.

Of course, there are always benefits to owning an older phone. For one, unlike so many people, I can break my cell phone contract without a penalty. Also, I never get frustrated with my phone because I really expect nothing from it other than the most basic of services.

Confidentially, though, I’m really just waiting for my birthday present iPad anyway.

How about you? Have you been quick to download apps? If so, do you still use them? If you haven’t added any or no longer use them, why?

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Minding Your Manners In An All Too Public Age

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
Colleen Flood*
Flickr Image: CarbonNYC

Flickr Image: CarbonNYC

After seeing, hearing, and reading all the recent hullaballoo about employees publically quitting their job, I was reminded of how important manners are and how we often overlook them.

Take the case of Stephen Slater, former active employee for JetBlue Airlines, turned possible folk hero. While Slater was treated rudely by a passenger he was providing a service to that day (and he claimed, many other customers spanning his career), I don’t think, and I’m sure many agree with me, that it was necessary for him to so rudely and publicly exit his career. 

Also, I’m sure there were young children on the plane and as a parent of children under 12 I try to instill good speech and certainly don’t want them to “overhear” a flight attendant on a loudspeaker uttering curse words. Never mind having them see a grown man whisking down a safety slide when clearly there was no emergency. 

We were all taught as kids “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Then when we got older, we were taught that “the customer is always right.”  Mr. Slater forgot theses pearls of wisdom. 

Recently, I started following Jodi R.R. Smith on Twitter after reading her article, Gracious Good-Byes – Career Transitions. While Jodi has some great tips on protocol for an exit strategy, she also has periodically written pointers on manners in general, not just for the workplace. These are two that standout to me:

  • Attention Clerks: Customers who took the time to enter your store should be waited on BEFORE those calling in by phone.
  • Politeness costs nothing and gains everything.

To that I would personally add:

  • Everyone’s time has the same value – be punctual and never assume a colleague or friend is less busy than you.
  • Be courteous to family, friends, colleagues and strangers – say good morning; give a compliment; smile at someone on the street.

I also decided to weigh in with a youngster’s take on manners.  While my 10 year old was unaware of the Slater JetBlue fiasco, he did have some interesting responses to my questions on manners:

What are manners?

A. Manners are what you use to be nice to other people and let them know you are a good person.

What is courtesy?

A. This means you are aware of other people and not yourself all the time.

How do you show consideration?

A. Don’t say words that would hurt people’s feelings. Listen to them. Then when they are done you speak and you say thank you if they say something about you that you like.  Also holding doors and asking people how their day is is nice to do.

Do you think adults and kids treat each other with respect?

A. I think most people respect each other most of the time, but, it’s human-nature to ignore someone or say something mean once in your life.

Uh oh…but you apologize right??

A. Yes, you can say sorry and make it up to them with a smile.

So what has happened to manners or at least having the dignity not to act so rashly in front of an audience of onlookers?  Perhaps, the increased acceptance and need to document every moment of our lives via online and social media plays some role. Perhaps workers feel compelled to vent and unleash frustrations publically when they might otherwise have handled the indiscretions privately because they are more likely to get a response from their boss or peers. Or perhaps some aren’t as concerned with their public image as their public relations or media relations counterparts. What are your thoughts? Please share your ideas with me and the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers. 

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 *Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce

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Relationships and Referrals: Making the Most of Your Two Most Important Business Assets

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Valerie Simon

Early on in my career I received a phone call from a client who began the conversation with, “Hey Valerie, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine…”

I very much enjoyed and respected this client and was thrilled that he wanted to introduce me to his friend. In my mind I fantasized about his intentions. Perhaps we would all go out for dinner, or maybe he was setting me up on a date… my thoughts were interrupted by the words “director of corporate communications” and “in charge of media monitoring.” My heart began to pound as I realized what was happening. I was getting my first referral!

Today I regularly receive such phone calls, but the thrill has yet to go away. While Relationships and Referralsreferrals add up to quantitative results of your efforts to build relationships, they also offer bona fide proof that your relationship is one of trust and confidence (Cue Sally Fields, “They like me, they really like me!!!)

In order to earn new business, you’ll need to invest both time and resources and maximize your opportunities in the most efficient manner. Below are 5 steps to help you become more strategic in your relationship building and increase the number of referrals you receive:

1. Perform a SWOT analysis. Identify your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and then clearly identify the organizations you are targeting. As you consider different prospects and prospect categories, evaluate the customer needs against your analysis. Brad Douglas, vice president of sales and marketing with Shipley Associates, offers some excellent considerations to help you better assess your opportunities for targeting the right customers.

2. Determine the influencers you need to reach. As mentioned in this post from the Harvard Business Review, you may think you know the decision maker, “the one that is described in the RFP or articulated by those who actively participate in the formal decision-making process.” However, there are often key influencers within the organization who carry informal power as it relates to your opportunity. Take the time to uncover and develop those relationships.

3. Utilize ALL of your current relationships. While most organizations have a sales team or business development group, I am a firm believer that everyone in an organization, regardless of title or department, should consider themselves a member of the sales team. If you are proud of your organization and even if you are not (though you may want to ask yourself why are you working there?), it is your responsibility to help your company grow. Communication and collaboration between the sales team and other departments is essential. Beyond your organization, consider your vendors, partners and affiliates, clients, industry contacts, and even personal networks. If you aren’t actively using LinkedIn it is a great place to start organizing and expanding your network.

4. Ask for the referral! It is interesting that many people shy away from asking for a referral when they need/want it. Consider what’s stopping you. Are you afraid of creating an uncomfortable or potentially annoying situation? If yes, then that is good because it means you are thinking about and potentially being considerate of the person you wish to ask. And that is what distinguishes a “pushy salesman” from a friend you want to help. So be professional to and respectful of the person you are asking, their relationship, and their reputation. But don’t let that stop you from asking. After all, if you have real relationships, qualified targets, and a product/service you believe in, the person you’re asking should have no issue referring you and the person you’re introduced to will soon be thanking your friend for making the introduction.

5. Beyond ABC’s… ABH. While I certainly understand and appreciate the need to “Always Be Closing,” my personal philosophy is to “Always Be Helping.” In sales, and perhaps maybe in life, your reputation is everything. So be the person you want to be perceived to be – whether or not it meets an immediate business goal. In this case, that person is one who is helpful and informative and acutely aware of the needs and goals of his/her clients, prospects, colleagues, friends and family. In other words, take every opportunity to add real value and help them achieve their goals.

How are you making the most of one of your most precious resources – your relationship with others? Do you find it easy to ask for referrals and network when needed? What tips would you add to the list? If you are having trouble, what do you think is holding you back? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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Social Media: The New Solitaire?

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

by Denise Giacin*

Flickr Image: The Progressive

Flickr Image: The Progressive

Lately I’ve been struggling with the social media paradox – is it good or is it bad? I use social media because it encourages me to be, well, social. You can keep in touch with your aunt halfway across the country, you can check out photos of your recently married ex-boyfriend (ah-hem), you can stay on top of current news stories, and you can even rant or rave about practically anything and cyberspace is forced to “listen.” Networking is also another plus for social media. One of my friends recently told me how he actually used Facebook to help out a friend who was laid off. The news came up in his Facebook feed, he contacted his friend for a resume and emailed it to a PR firm he knew was hiring. His friend was rewarded with an interview and an opportunity that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.

All of this sounds good, so what’s the bad? Well, there is a lot of question and doubt regarding social media in the professional world. For one, some companies are hesitant to learn about these tools and apply them to their strategies. Instead, they are blocked, strictly forbidden, and grounds to send you packing in the event that you’re caught sneaking a peek at your Twitter feed.   

I recently attended a BDI conference called “Social Convergence and The Enterprise” and my mind is overflowing with all these thoughts on social media. Paul Hernacki, chief technology officer from Definition 6, boggled my mind with his perspective on social media in the workplace. He advised that we “stop blocking things internally.” Whoa! Wait, there’s more. Hernacki pointed out that while public relations, marketing, and communications departments should guide your company as your “official voice” this alone won’t be as successful as getting your organization involved as a whole.

This, my friends, is genius. Case and point: I tried to explain to my dad, who isn’t familiar with social media, what “liking” something is on Facebook. You should have seen the blank stare on his face.  My point is, how can you expect your employees to understand the power and impact of social media if they are not allowed to be actively involved?

At the same conference I also had the pleasure of listening to Jenny Dervin, director of corporate communications for JetBlue Airways. When speaking of social media, her words “you are being watched” hovered over the conference room. After all, the conference was being broadcast live over the web and we were all watching a live Twitter feed (#BDI) of our comments.  Dervin went on to further explain JetBlue’s use of YouTube and their blog “Blue Tales” as part of their strategy for taking a crisis situation head on. How much more authentic can you get than having the founder and former CEO of JetBlue Airways, David Neeleman, deliver an apology over YouTube? Kudos to JetBlue for picking up on the fact that consumers are involved in social media and for using this medium as a way to interact.

When your employees know what is being said on social media sites or how this medium is being used to promote a product, service, or idea it can only help your company. For example, if I worked at a major automobile manufacturer I might find it interesting to know that Ford is promoting the 2011 Explorer by unveiling it first on Facebook. In fact, the Ford Explorer fan page reached their goal of 30,000 “likes” so Ford will now give away a brand new Explorer! Clearly, Ford understands Facebook and the users who frequently use it.

I’m not suggesting that your employees should do nothing but surf the web all day, but there should be a balance. Encouraging your employees to understand social media and to use it wisely is an important tactic for any business plan. There are a lot of studies discussing whether or not social media decreases productivity at work. In my opinion, before social media it was Solitaire, before Solitaire it was “the water cooler.” There are always going to be distractions. If an employee is consistently not doing their job they shouldn’t be an employee of yours.  Not doing your work is a choice you make, regardless of how easily accessible any distractions are.

Social media gets people talking. If you want to be a part of the chatter, don’t block social media, incorporate it.  I’m sure you have many thoughts on this controversial topic and we’d love to hear them. Share your thoughts with the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. How does your company feel about using social media internally? What ways have you utilized this social media phenomenon? How do you monitor social media?

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*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

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