Archive for ‘Client Services’:


Top BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Posts in 2011 – Numbers 20 to 11

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

iStock_000010469879XSmallAs 2011 winds to a close, no year would be complete without a wrap-up list of some kind. In that spirit, we are counting down the 20 Top BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas posts in 2011. In today’s post we will be highlighting numbers 20 to 11.

Did your favorite Fresh Ideas posts make the list? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know.

20. The Art of Storytelling

19. PRSSA National Conference Speed Networking PR Student Questions

18. How to Speak C-Suite

17. Disappearing Act: 10 Brands That May Not Be Around in 2012

16. The New York Women in Communications 2011 Matrix Awards

15. When a Hashtag Leads to Help: PR Tips from #BlueKey

14. Zappos, 24/7 Customer Service in the Internet Age

13. Oscar’s Social Media Fever

12. Snooki’s Appearance at Rutgers – Good PR or Poor Reputation Management?

11. Poll Results: Should PR Interns Pitch the Media?

Business IS Personal – Five Tips for Effective Client Relations

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Kelly Mulholland*

In business you commonly hear the phrase, “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.” While this saying may signify that there is nothing wrong with playing competitive games professionally, it’s impossible to argue that business isn’t personal. Businesses have always had to be personal with their clients – though the tactics by which they reach their audiences and the modes by which they build and maintain relationships have certainly changed over the years.

@emorgenstern: It's all about the people. Always.

Even so, fundamental techniques still need to be put in place to ensure high levels of client satisfaction. Here are the 5 most useful ways I have found that help to build client rapport overtime:

1. Use the client’s name when speaking to them: It not only ensures the client feels that you are listening but it also helps you remember with whom you are speaking.

2. Don’t delay communication: Haste doesn’t always make waste. Bad news never has good timing, but it definitely doesn’t get better with time. If you see issues, contact the client immediately acknowledging you are working with your team to resolve the issue. You want to keep your client informed regularly, so that all parties involved know when the job is complete.

3. Educate your client while educating yourself: A client may not know when to ask for help. Taking the time to coordinate your schedule for training sessions can help provide them with the information they need to do their job more effectively and keep you and your organization informed of service features and product improvements that your clients want to see based on their feedback.

4. Don’t rely on just email to communicate: In AdAge’s “How In-person Meetings and Phone Conversations Will Save Your Client-Agency Relationship,” Judy Neer discusses how we shouldn’t rely on one form of communication with clients. While email has many benefits, such as sending documents, a lot can get lost in translation. Make a habit of picking up the phone if you are playing email tag with the client. Take your client to lunch, coffee or even write a handwritten letter. (You can also see my colleague Denise Giacin’s blog post for further details on email etiquette.)

5. Over-deliver, under-promise: Never promise a client something you have hesitations about delivering, otherwise you risk ruining your credibility and trust. In other words, manage the client’s expectations.

What customer relationship management tools do you find most useful? How are you putting the personal back in your client relationships? Please share your tips here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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Bio: Before joining the BurrellesLuce team in 2011, Kelly interned at CondeNast’s Glamour magazine as an editorial intern to the senior style writer and was an editor of her college newspaper. She received a B.A. in Behavioral Science and Business, Society and Culture from Drew University with honors. After graduation, she worked as a sales associate at Nordstrom and took a month off to travel abroad throughout Europe. In Kelly’s free time, she enjoys traveling, fashion, reading, bringing awareness to Breast Cancer, running 5Ks, baking and social media. Twitter:@miss_mulholland Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: Kelly Mulholland

Marketing through the Web: How Information is Power

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Kelly Mulholland*

Flickr Image: Jeffrey Beall

Flickr Image: Jeffrey Beall

There are three ways consumers use the web: they search, browse and buy. Most organizations increase their site’s traffic by adding searching tools and enhancing SEO. While this helps people answer their initial question of “what,” it doesn’t necessarily go the extra step and encourage them to browse or buy.

However, if positioned correctly, encouragement to go beyond just the initial search can be helpful to the consumer… at least when it comes to expanding their knowledge and possibly influencing their buying decisions. Today’s consumers, want a site to tell them something they didn’t think to search for or think they might want/need. In the process, they may be persuaded to take some action and possibly lead to a conversion or sale based on the resources you provide beyond the original search.   

Search Mode- Provide the consumer with what they know they want
When a prospective customer is searching a site they almost always have an overall notion of what they want, but perhaps not all the details or at least a vague idea of the need they want to fulfill. This is where websites that utilize the search toolbox plug-in (usually located at the top of a webpage) come into action. The client wants to be able to search their product and be given substantial results.

For instance, when I simply type in the search box “scarves” at ShopBop—a luxury clothing retail website and BurrellesLuce client—I get an overwhelming list of over 200 results. The search function on the site even makes my quest easier by providing suggestions of related searches much the way Google or Bing might.

Browse Mode- Provide detailed information
With a list generated, a prospective buyer shifts into browse mode. What’s important here is how much information is provided—the customer wants to know more about their prospective purchase in the most organized fashion possible, no pun intended. Generated reviews from other customers should be at complete view coupled with suggestions. This will help the consumer differentiate one product’s value from another. It is also most helpful to provide organizational tools for the client to be able to sift through all the search results.

Shopbop does a great job at this. First, I can see “More from Scarves /Wraps” and also descriptions about the designer and the item itself. I have the capability to see how other customers rated each scarf. I also have the option of organizing my products in “Wish Lists” and “My Likes/Hearts” giving me time to consider my purchases without fully committing myself to placing the product in “My Cart.” I can sort the scarves with drop-down options by designer, size, color, and price. These categorizations are an aid to a consumer who might be inundated with an overwhelming amount of data.

Buyer Mode- Be your customer’s personal researcher
Now that the customer has browsed all the data, they have finally chosen the best product for them. While they may be done researching, that doesn’t mean the work of the service provider should end there. In fact, it is now your job to take on a new role: personal researcher. As Tara Gessinger, states in this Online PR Media blog post on Online Public Relations: Building Personal Relationships with Customers in the Digital Age, you need to keep the online conversation with your clients going through email as you would in real life. For instance, provide future recommendations based on previous purchases to the client. After I browse ShopBop or make a purchase, I receive an e-mail weeks later suggesting clothing that I might like based on my past shopping experiences.

Sites using this type of search and browse capability are designed to work for people who research and take a period of time before making a committed decision. In today’s market, researched buyers are becoming the norm and the buying cycle is changing. The impulsive spendthrift is a dying species. Marketers need to be a step ahead of the curve. Web marketing should not be about gimmicks to get attention from a prospective buyer – today’s savvy consumers will see through this. Instead it is about understanding the keywords that buyers are using and then positioning campaigns to engage buyers to webpages full with the content they want (or never knew they wanted). 

How are you using search capabilities on your website to influence visitor action? What are some of your favorite search features provided by your favorite sites?

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Bio: Before joining the Burrellesluce team in 2011, Kelly interned at CondeNast’s Glamour magazine as an editorial intern to the senior style writer and was an editor of her college newspaper. She received a B.A. in Behavioral Science and Business, Society and Culture from Drew University with honors. After graduation, she worked as a sales associate at Nordstrom and took a month off to travel abroad throughout Europe. In Kelly’s free time, she enjoys traveling, fashion, reading, bringing awareness to Breast Cancer, running 5Ks, baking and social media. Twitter:@miss_mulholland Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: Kelly Mulholland

Lane Sutton, Kid Critic, Dishes on Social Media at PRSA. (Video Interview w/ Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce)

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Transcript –
JOHNA BURKE: Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce and I’m here at the PRSA Connecticut event on social media. I’m joined by Lane.

Lane, will you please introduce yourself?

LANE SUTTON: Sure. I’m a 14-year-old social media coach and entrepreneur for diverse types of businesses.

BURKE: Lane, you just did a presentation about social media. Can you tell us a couple of the key takeaways in working with the youth today via the channels of social media?

SUTTON: Definitely. So no broadcasting, OK? So we’re in the era where PR releases do not work on social networks. And now we need to engage and listen and have bigger ears out there. And then also customer service is a huge differentiator for PR in that what–that’s what sets companies apart from each other. And lastly, PR has been used so much. You know, it’s all about analysis and things. So some great tools to do that would be Hootsuite, Social Mention and journalist tweets.

BURKE: And to show that Lane is very well rounded, he has a pretty exciting announcement. What’s your new position at school when you’re not out public speaking, Lane?

SUTTON: I’m treasurer for student government for my freshman class at Framingham High School.

BURKE: Excellent. Congratulations, Lane.

SUTTON: Thank you.

Creating a Successful Elevator Pitch

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Lauren Shapiro*

iStock_000013177296XSmall“So… what does your company do?”

How many times have you been asked this question? What is your response? Whatever it is that is your elevator pitch… the 15 second – schpeel (or the amount of time it would take you to ride an elevator) you give to someone who has no idea what you or your company does. It is a simplified, condensed version given in layman’s terms to explain the complexity of your inner working knowledge of the industry and your organization. The goal of the elevator pitch is to leave the listener with not only an understanding of your company/service but with some excitement and curiosity.

According to an article on MoneyWatch.com by Robert Pagliarini, “An elevator pitch isn’t about cramming as much information into a minute as possible. A well crafted elevator pitch is much more about finesse. It should evoke emotion more than thought.” 

 Elevator pitches are used more often than you may think! They are used at the initial stages of selling (whether you realize it or not), during networking events or just in passing. But what are the key components of an elevator pitch? According to Pagliarini, an elevator pitch must contain the following elements:

  1. A “hook.” Grab the listener’s attention with either a question or statement that gets them interested and wanting to know more about your clients, products, or services.
  2. About 150-225 words. Keep your pitch short. Remember, this is an elevator ride not a plane ride.
  3. Passion. If you talk with gusto and excitement… they will also be excited!
  4. A request. When finished with your pitch, be sure to exchange business cards and request a time to discuss in more detail.

The key to an elevator pitch is to be confident. This is your job, your company and your industry… you know what you are talking about! 

Do you have any tips to share about elevator pitches?

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*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