Posts tagged ‘business model’

March 10, 2010

Client Case Study: Coffee Fest

This past weekend Chalkboarder headed over to Meadowlands NJ to provide social media coverage of Coffee Fest’s first of three 2010 tradeshows. We were fortunate to meet some truly outstanding people within the specialty coffee and tea industry, from growers and suppliers, to roasters, coffee/tea shop owners and baristas. There seemed to be a fair number of folks attending who were planning to open a coffee/tea house.

Coffee Fest NYC Barista Competitor Megan's Signature Drink

Our mission at the Show was to journalize – to capture as much of the activity as we could to share with the friends of Coffee Fest and hopefully – that they would then share the high energy of Coffee Fest with their communities.

We’ve got some blogging to do – some retrospectives of the show. We were able to capture a large number of videos, create a Youtube Channel for Coffee Fest and engage a lot of the attendees and exhibitors through Twitter.

You can find all the videos over here at Coffee Fest Youtube, search the Twitter archives by using the hashtag #coffeefest, and stay tuned for the blog postings over here on Jeffrey Kingman’s Leaf & Berry Blog.

February 20, 2010

Small Biz Social Media

I’ve become really fascinated with how small independent businesses can take advantage of emergent social web tools. Much of my professional experience has been in the non-corporate world (except for Ritz Carlton, Hyatt, GTE Sprint, and some early career positions); independents generating less than $5 million in annual revenues.

The growth challenges posed to independents are, I believe, much more difficult than that for larger organizations. With larger organizations comes economies of scale. The independent organization manager has so many more hats to wear and not nearly the time or educational resources available.

How can these organizations take advantage of the new tools of the social web? The social web research firm Wetpaint/Altimeter found that organizations with total social media engagement were able to grow their businesses by 18%. It’s no secret that the social web offers organizations opportunities, but these players aren’t able to afford the market rate for social media strategists and community managers ($100/hour and $60/hour respectively).

**Please do not think you can conduct good social media by hiring a kid with a large Facebook account – that will FAIL miserably.

How does an independent restaurant, inn or coffee house effectively compete against the multi-units in social media? This question has been rattling around my brain for the past six months and I think there is a minimum of three answers:

Do It Yourself.  Doing it yourself offers the operator complete control. It also means significant time in learning effective strategies, tools and methods. In addition, it means significant time involvement in maintaining your social media activities (production, distribution, monitoring, engagement).

Outsource To A Large Firm. Outsourcing to a large firm can be attractive because of the automation offered in distribution, monitoring and analysis. In addition, you don’t have to invest time and money in learning effective strategies, tools and methods.  The disadvantage is that your organization will still have to do the content production and the engagement, requiring your time and attention.

Hire A Small Professional Creative Company. I posit that this is the best option for the independent small business. The creative company brings all the resources for production, distribution, monitoring and engagement – crafting and executing a sound and highly individualized strategy. Time requirement for the organization is minimal, requiring meeting in person or through technology for the creative professional to gather some raw content and give reports/feedback. It’s personal and accountable.

I’m going to forecast here that 2010 will be the year we’ll see an explosion of small creative social media providers catering to small business. Market rates will be reasonable, ball-parking in the $500 to $1000 per month range. With small business being the backbone of the American economy, I believe these social media providers will become the norm.

January 27, 2010

Brave New World

Illustration by Kathy Boake

A great article on how foodservice and hospitality operations can use social media, written for the Canadian hospitality industry by author Lesley Young for Foodservice World Magazine.

FH 01 10_BraveNewWorld

She quotes our CEO Jeffrey J Kingman in several places.

December 31, 2009

2010 Is About Meaningful Content

Written for and cross-posted on FohBoh.com. I’m one of ten front-page contributors to FohBoh – the largest social network for the restaurant industry with over 13,000 members.

There’s been tens of thousands of conversations this past year about social media:

  • what is it,
  • how do you quantify ROI,
  • how can you compare it to traditional marketing/advertising,
  • what is the role of traditional PR/Marketing/Ad agencies with it,
  • how do you use it, and,
  • what is the most effective strategy?

Have you figured it all out?

I haven’t – social media is extremely dynamic, fluid and changing all the time. I read the leading social media theorists (Mashable.com, Paul Barron, Amanda Hite, Chris Brogan and numerous others) constantly; every day. While I’m not an expert and never want to be called a guru, I am most definitely a proponent, a social media evangelist and power user, both for my business and on behalf of some of my clients.

There’s been a number of pronouncements in the past few weeks – predictions – of what 2010 will bring for marketing, public relations, advertising and social media. I’m here on the last day of 2009 to share my distillation of these predictions with you.

The End of Traditional Marketing & Advertising (Static Announcements)

Let’s face it – have the marketing/advertising/PR strategies of the last forty years worked for you over the last two years?

  • Is running a newspaper ad every week with a coupon really working for you?
  • Is running a thirty second radio ad like a used car salesman begging people to “come on down” really working for you?
  • Is the static “brochure” of a website really working for you?
  • Is getting listed on the restaurant page of the newspaper working for you?
  • Are the menu pages in the Yellow Book working for you?
  • Is your direct email campaign really working?
  • How results-satisfied are you with text messaging the special on hot wings and draft beer?
  • Did placing an ad in the State Visitors Guide really work for you?
  • Did making that 60 second video ad for the local cable network really pay off?
  • Are static messages (think: flyers/coupons/etc) on Facebook and Twitter working for you?
  • [for the major multiunits] Did that 30 or 60 second major network ad really build relationships in your local communities?

I could go on. It seems there’s countless means to market and advertise a static announcement to the public. Is it really working for you?

2010 Equals Content

Your customers want to believe you are in community with them – for their needs, desires and wishes. Are the traditional strategies listed above really demonstrating how much you value your customer?

So how can you communicate with your customer dynamically, meeting their needs and desires?

  • Listen to them
  • Comment on their messages – sincerely
  • Let them produce content toward you
  • Don’t get defensive
  • Keep the mantra simple: It’s Not About You : It’s About Your Customer

Paul Barron and I had a conversation last week about the landscape of marketing, advertising and the social web. In an excellent post titled “Real Time Search could impact restaurants – big time!” on his blog Social Coco, Paul states “The point is that real-time is consuming the web in terms of new content that was not there just a few short years ago. This new content will impact restaurants in a big way as consumers not brands post videos, blogs, tweets, wall posts and podcasts more about their restaurant experience. And guess what all this will come up in: real-time search!”

John Jantz, in an article titled “Small Businesses Will Simply Become More Naturally Social” (cross-posted on Social Media Today and Duck Tape Marketing), states: “Social media activity and behavior can help facilitate communication and connection with your entire collaboration universe: prospects, customers, suppliers, partners, and employees and as such should be freed from the limited thinking.”

Free Stuff

We all like free stuff in this industry – free samples from the sales rep, free food and goodies from the tradeshows, etc. The old saying “free is a very good price” is part of our weekly vernacular. How many of you like free positive publicity?

Why not encourage your customers to share their life-stories with you through social media? Maybe a customer’s son or daughter videotaped the parents wedding anniversary dinner at your place. Perhaps a kid on the local baseball team is a regular customer – ask him for an interview that you can share. Take a couple pictures of your favorite businesspeople around town – share them through social media:

“My friend Joe at Zeke’s Auto knows more about foreign cars than anyone else I know. (picture link on web of Joe)”

What I’m suggesting is to use your marketing/advertising efforts to build community instead of standing on the street corner bull-horning the nightly special.

The 24 to 48 Hour News Cycle

I’m not saying never talk about your business – I’m saying make the community needs of your customers take priority in your marketing/advertising. I’m saying that even large multi-units can do this – by being meaningfully engaged in local community through social media.

You have the opportunity to create a localized 24 to 48 hour news channel that benefits and build community. And when you talk mostly about others, when you put others first, when you give to the community – it will reward you.

People will respond – and they will love the occasional story from your crew! You – as restaurant owner, as chef or line cook, as general manager, bartender or waiter, hostess or dishwasher – have the opportunity; the right even… or perhaps responsibility, to connect community together – just as much as the minister, town council member or fireman.

Tell your community’s stories first through your messages and your stories last. People will notice. Make your message revolve around your customers, not you.

Blogpost Fluff: Top 2009 Facebook Statistics

Facebook currently boasts over 350 million users

50 percent of Facebook users log on in any given day

Each day, 35 million users update their status

55 million status updates are posted each day

2.5 billion photos are uploaded to the site each month

3.5 million events are created each month

There are more than 1.6 million active Pages on Facebook

Over 700,000 local businesses maintain active Pages on Facebook

Users

The average user has 130 friends on the site

On average, users spend more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook

The Like button is used on 9 pieces of content on average each month

25 comments are written by users on Facebook content each month

Most users are member of at least 12 groups

International

About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States

Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application

December 31, 2009

custserv 02 :: Customer Service Follow-Ups

#custserv 02 :: Customer Service Follow-Ups

Transcript from The Customer Service Dialogue on Twitter

Please join us weekly every Tuesday at 9pm EST by following #custserv

:::::::::::::

JeffreyJKingman Starting Now: Customer Service Follow-ups Discussion on Twitter w/@MarshaCollier: come share your experiences at #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier are you here? #custserv

JeffreyJKingman The Customer Service Dialogue. Every Tuesday night at 9pm EST w/best-selling author @MarshaCollier on hashtag #custserv

MarshaCollier RT @JeffreyJKingman: Now: Customer Service Follow-ups Discussion on Twitter w/@MarshaCollier: come share your experiences at #custserv

Ramon_DeLeon RT @JeffreyJKingman: The Customer Service Dialogue. Every Tuesday night at 9pm EST w/best­selling author @MarshaCollier on hashtag #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Customer Service Dialoge: Tonights topic for 12/29: Customer Service Follow Up #custserv #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Welcome everyone.. Marsha, could you just give a quick intro of yourself? #custserv

MarshaCollier Thanks if you’ve come by for our #custserv chat tonight @JeffreyJKingman – whats tha first question..?

JeffreyJKingman I’m Jeff: CEO of Chalkboarder.com. We do relationship engineering B2B and B2C both on/offline; former Exec Chef 9X across USA #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q1: What industry do you think is the worst/best in customer service followup? #custserv

HRMargo #custserv is there a radio feed that goes along with this chat or is it mere twitter stream convo?

awakeningaimee RT @MarshaCollier: RT @JeffreyJKingman: Now: Customer Service Discussion on Twitter w/@MarshaCollier: share your experiences at #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @HRMargo It’s a twitter-dialogue. Welcome in! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman CustServ Q1: What industry do you think is the worst/best in customer service followup? #custserv

MarshaCollier @HRMargo you can follow along in a search for #custserv

JeffreyJKingman All are welcome to participate in Twitter-dialogues – feel free to shoutout. #custserv

MarshaCollier Q1: also, follow up with food vendors. Ever notice supermarkets & drug stores just try to sell and don’t care about you? #custserv

MarshaCollier Q1: Tee hee, auto repair! I drove for a couple of months with no oil cap! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Marsha, was there a first part to your tweet? #custserv

MarshaCollier @Shennee_Rutt Hi there, join in! to #custserv

MarshaCollier @ToddDavidMehl We’d love your comments, please hashtag #custserv at the end so everyone can see them

JeffreyJKingman Q2: What is the worst example of customer service followup you have experienced? Everyone can chime in on questions.. :)) #custserv

MarshaCollier OK, whoever made the comment about Virgin America needing a bar and deleted.. very funny #custserv

awakeningaimee RT @MarshaCollier: Q1: mobile phone providers & I hate automated systems. Calling insurance companies is up there. #custserv

MarshaCollier @awakeningaimee I’ve found I get better service with mobile phone providers when I go into their store. Like night and day #custserv

awakeningaimee Q1: mobile phone providers & I hate automated systems. Calling insurance companies is up there. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q2 What is the worst example of customer service followup you have experienced? Everyone can chime in on questions.. :)) #custserv

awakeningaimee @MarshaCollier agreed #custserv I think healthcare & medical insurance is pretty bad from a insider view.

Shennee_Rutt @MarshaCollier If a company you had a bad customer service experience with righted the wrong, I would say that is a good thing! #custserv

MarshaCollier Q2: I’m with @awakeningaimee in insurance companies. They make you stay on hold F O R E V E R #custserv

MarshaCollier Seriously, are you being shy? I know you’re there – you al DM’d me #custserv

MarshaCollier @awakeningaimee DOctors can be lousy customer service people too.. not keeping a schedule by booking too many patients #custserv

awakeningaimee Q2 I would say doctor’s office that cared more about verifying insurance than taking an emergency patient #custserv

MarshaCollier @Shennee_Rutt Exactly, a bad customer experience gives a company the chance to shine by correcting #custserv

rewardfeedback #custserv – Q1 – Restaurant, mechanic shops, hotels, spas… in that order…LOL

MarshaCollier @awakeningaimee DOn’t you think doctors should do that before your appointment? Good point! #custserv

Shennee_Rutt @MarshaCollier My trick to avoid being on hold for long periods of time is to keep hitting 0, until I talk to a human beiing. #custserv

wrw_usa Q2 yup agree on insurance companies and most doctors (non boutique) offices #custserv

JeffreyJKingman My worst experience was a pizza shop at an OH airport #custserv

MarshaCollier @rewardfeedback Can you gice specifics? You’re right though. Most retail establishments don’t care once you walk out the door #custserv

Ramon_DeLeon @MarshaCollier Some biz make it hard 2 really Rave abt Awsum Service when all u get is a touchtone phone survey on receipt #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q2 When I got home I emailed a complaint to the company and copied to entire city council. #custserv

MarshaCollier @wrw_usa I HATE my insurance company. But I’ve found if you have a good agent, they can smooth thing a bit #custserv

MarshaCollier @Shennee_Rutt Hitting 0 doesn’t always work .. its all about disrespecting the customer’s time #custserv

SeattleTallPopp @JeffreyJKingman Would love to see you discuss #custserv best practices.

awakeningaimee RT @MarshaCollier: @awakeningaimee Our office is pedi-cardiology. We refer out sometimes. Unfortunatley a lot of docs r about $$ #custserv

anniesgoathill RT @MarshaCollier: @Shennee_Rutt Exactly, a bad customer experience gives a company the chance to shine by correcting #custserv

rewardfeedback Being at a Denny’s for breakfast – the server forgot my toast. I asked for it & he yelled “need toast for the cow at 14” #custserv

wrw_usa @MarshaCollier indeed; let them work a little for that commission #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q3: What could companies customer service dept discussed have done differently? #custserv

MarshaCollier @awakeningaimee I’m addressing doctors in my new book, interviewed a few. Got some good tips for making patients feel more cared #custserv

awakeningaimee @Shennee_Rutt I do that too #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @SeattleTallPopp: @JeffreyJKingman Would love to see you discuss #custserv best practices. ::: Future topic in next couple weeks 🙂 Hiya!

MarshaCollier @JeffreyJKingman LOL, Dominos always burns a thing crustr pizza – they never get it right #custserv

MarshaCollier @wrw_usa Exactly, that is what insurance agents are for – let them EARN their money #custserv

SeattleTallPopp @JeffreyJKingman What’s the topic this week? #custserv

LindaSherman Q1 best/worst industries for #custserv follow up. I think “worst” industries are where companies have a chance to distinguish themselves.

MarshaCollier RT @rewardfeedback Denny’s for breakfast – the server forgot my toast. I asked for it & he yelled need toast for the cow at 14 #custserv

MarshaCollier @rewardfeedback Lovely – restaurant people take note what goes on with the customers! #custserv

awakeningaimee @MarshaCollier excellent. Let me know if you want talk to Andrew or I can help In any way. I do my best to see to the patients. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier This was not a Dominos, but much smaller chain. On-site mgmt #fail. Got a gift cert in the mail for $25 #custserv

wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman if they don’t have a blog, participate in Twitter or FaceBook, or monitor Yelp ratings; let em RIP! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @SeattleTallPopp: @JeffreyJKingman What’s the topic this week? #custserv :: This week is Customer Service Follow-ups

MarshaCollier @anniesgoathill But how many actually follow up and make things right? I will tell you that #FedEx does! they listen #custserv

rewardfeedback There needs to be more measurement of service activities and tangible benefits to customers for giving feedback #custserv

MarshaCollier @LindaSherman Thanks for joining, you must have some horror stories considering all your travels #custserv

MarshaCollier BTW @LindaSherman was the CEO of Club Med Japan #custserv

SkagitIMS #custserv to me is when you call the Ning Corporate office you get at least an answering machine to report a TOS violation (cont’d)

SeattleTallPopp @JeffreyJKingman I got new tires a couple years ago. Firestone called TWICE to make sure I was happy. #custserv

Rieva Providing stand-out customer service is a great way for small business owners to stand out. #custserv

MarshaCollier @wrw_usa Yelp has become a significant force. If a restaurant isn’t following the posts they loose ­big time #custserv

wordsdonewrite I had a bad experience at Baskin-Robbins when I went 4 my free bday ice-cream. Manager yelled at me. Called corporate to complain. #custserv

MarshaCollier @awakeningaimee Let’s DM afterwards and we can talk about it! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Let’s repeat Q2: What is the worst example of customer service followup you have experienced? #custserv

MarshaCollier @Rieva absolutely – and that means ALL BUSINESSES. Anyone who takes $ in exchange for anything #custserv

SkagitIMS #custserv cont’d – like the one of a nasty website on Ning calling for more Lakewood & #eatonville terror attacks on heroic cops. (END)

MarshaCollier I have found that most businesses use Facebook in a pretty self serving manner, @wrw_usa do you have good examples? #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @wordsdonewrite How did corporate respond? #BaskinRobbins #custserv

wrw_usa ClubMed could teach most companies about customer service #custserv

MarshaCollier @SeattleTallPopp Have you been let down by a business? #custserv

SeattleTallPopp @JeffreyJKingman Publishers send me books. Most memorable? Handwritten note w/ book & a follow up e-mail. Much appreciated. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @SkagitIMS Did Ning.com reply? #custserv #eatonville

MarshaCollier @SeattleTallPopp That’s an amazing tribute to Firestone tire – was it a local store? #custserv

rewardfeedback I don’t understand why any customer is willing to wait until after they’ve left to be contacted. Real-time solutions are best. #custserv

Ramon_DeLeon @Rieva I call it ‘Deliver the WOW’ #custserv

MarshaCollier @wordsdonewrite Are you serious? that’s outrageous. No more Baskin Robbins (at least at that location) #custserv

Rieva Just had a horrible Christmas shopping experience ordering from Sears’ Web site. Completely unsatisfactory response. #custserv

wordsdonewrite Listened to my story. Said they’d tell owner (it was a franchise). RT @JeffreyJKingman How did corporate respond? #BaskinRobbins #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q4: How many people did you tell about the negative experience and how (face2face, email, socialweb)? #custserv

wrw_usa @rewardfeedback agree which is why if brands aren’t monitoring real time customer experience (Twitter) they’re not doing it right #custserv

awakeningaimee @MarshaCollier Boston Market, had a bug in creamed spinach. Called & they acted like I wanted a handout. Worst #custserv

MarshaCollier @SkagitIMS If a web business waits too long on on TOS violations, they will end up in total disrepute #custserv

MarshaCollier @wrw_usa How so? #custserv

wordsdonewrite I blogged about it 2 feel better! RT @MarshaCollier R U serious? Outrageous. No more Baskin Robbins (at least at that location) #custserv

wrw_usa @MarshaCollier Agree; Yelp is a growing local market force to watch #custserv

MarshaCollier RT @brooksbayne: @MarshaCollier PF changs does a good job with facebook, imo.

JeffreyJKingman @Rieva Let’s talk after; I can point you to Sears customer fix-it dude. Ever seen blog on ‘Sears Killed My Dog’? #custserv

Rieva @Ramon_DeLeon not enough businesses know how to or care about “delivering the Wow” it’s a shame #custserv

awakeningaimee RT @JeffreyJKingman: Q4: Probably 1 to 5 #custserv

wrw_usa @awakeningaimee sad commentary on Boston Market #fail #custserv

SeattleTallPopp @MarshaCollier Biz books tout Dell’s legendary service. Bought my laptop & proceeded to spend HOURS on their help line. #custserv

MarshaCollier @Ramon_DeLeon Delivering the WOW had its day – customers demand more than WOW. They need to be respected #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @SkagitIMS: @JeffreyJKingman No they haven’t to TWO e-mails #custserv DM me for an e-mail to send details. (ning.com)

MarshaCollier @Rieva What happened with #Sears? #custserv

SeattleTallPopp @MarshaCollier Definitely a disconnect between Dell’s reputation and the actual customer experience. #custserv

RayJGordon Q2 Lufthansa at Frankfurt Airport – they wouldn’t let me make an emergency collect call to American Express to get new flight #custserv

MarshaCollier If you can’t keep up, @JeffreyJKingman posts the chat feed in a couple of days – look for the link­#custserv

Rieva @JeffreyJKingman I haven’t seen it. That would be great, I am still really annoyed. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @RayJGordon Did you complain to Lufthansa? #custserv

rewardfeedback I don’t want vendors to have my personal info to reply to my experiences. Anonymity is king in my book! #custserv

SeattleTallPopp RT @MarshaCollier @SeattleTallPopp That’s an amazing tribute to Firestone tire -was it a local store? #custserv Yes, local.

wordsdonewrite Here’s the full story of my Baskin-Robbins experience. Blogging can be therapeutic! http://tinyurl.com/y8oh48c #custserv

MarshaCollier @wrw_usa #FedEx saw my pain, responded on Twitter immediately, but I was too annoyed to repeat, they followed up 2 days later! #custserv

awakeningaimee @JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier seen the new Domino’s ad where the address customer feedback? Even the CEO kinda brilliant. #custserv

wrw_usa @MarshaCollier can direct you to a physician that built his practice exclusively via Yelp & social media #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @MarshaCollier: @Ramon_DeLeon Delivering the WOW had its day – customers demand more than WOW. They need to be respected #custserv

SeattleTallPopp @MarshaCollier RE: Firestone. Their customer service was stellar from the moment I walked in the door to their follow up. #custserv

wrw_usa @MarshaCollier you can also use TweetChat or Twazzup http://bit.ly/8eOjxV for feeds #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @awakeningaimee I saw that this morning via @paulbarron: It’s a good move on Dominoes part #custserv

awakeningaimee @wrw_usa I’d like more info on building doc practice thru social media #custserv

rewardfeedback what if you received a valuable coupon for giving a business your thoughts anonymously DURING the experience? Rocks, right? #custserv

MarshaCollier RT @awakeningaimee: #BostonMarket, had a bug in creamed spinach. Called & they acted like I wanted a handout. Worst #custserv <hope they see

RayJGordon @JeffreyJKingman vehement complaints to supervisors at airport face2face – alas, to no avail! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman I will post a transcript of the Customer Service dialogue late tomorrow on hashtag #custserv

MarshaCollier @SeattleTallPopp That’s good to hear. I’ve heard that lately they’ve improved their service #custserv

awakeningaimee @MarshaCollier never got take out from there again #custserv

MarshaCollier @Rieva Did you see @JeffreyJKingman’s tweet? He’ll hook you up w #sears #custserv

SeattleTallPopp @JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier @Ramon_DeLeon Delivering WOW isn’t the challenge-­delivering WOW throughout your organization is. #custserv

Ramon_DeLeon @Rieva What a Biz needs 2 do is educate it’s customers on it’s products and make it FUN ordering it. This can help prempt issues #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Portland OR had a customer service #fail when e-coli discovered in public water (communications) #custserv cc: @MayorSamAdams

Rieva @MarshaCollier it just didn’t seem to matter to them, even when I said there’d be one very unhappy 10 yr old #custserv

awakeningaimee RT @JeffreyJKingman: @awakeningaimee I saw that this morning via @paulbarron: It’s a good move on Dominoes part #custserv ((totally agree))

MarshaCollier @RayJGordon Wonder if Lufthansa is on Twitter. That’s outrageous! #custserv #fail

JeffreyJKingman @RayJGordon Did you contact Lufthansa corporate after? #custserv

Rieva @MarshaCollier yes, thanks, saw it #custserv, very appreciative

MarshaCollier We only get what we stand up for. If we don’t insist on quality service, as consumers we won’t get it #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q5: What is the best example of customer service followup you have experienced? #custserv

SeattleTallPopp @MarshaCollier I have had outstanding customer service at Sears auto service as well. Drive 10 miles out of my way to go there. #custserv

awakeningaimee RT @MarshaCollier: We only get what we stand up for. If we don’t insist on quality service, as consumers we won’t get it #custserv ((agreed)

Ramon_DeLeon @Rieva @garyvee Makes Ordering Wine Fun…I make ordering Pizza Fun. I will b in LA for #Gravsum in Feb. #custserv

Rieva @Ramon_DeLeon But Ramon, not enough businesses have owners like you, who really care about customer happiness #custserv

MarshaCollier @Ramon_DeLeon I might suggest quality content and engagement. #custserv about

wordsdonewrite I don’t think gov’t thinks it has customers! RT @JeffreyJKingman Portland had #custserv fail when e-coli was discovered in public water.

LindaSherman @JeffreyJKingman Would love to give examples of excellent #custserv. I found Q1,2 and 4 but can’t find Q3. Could you please repeat?

SkagitIMS RT @MarshaCollier: We only get what we stand up for. If we don’t insist on quality service, as consumers we won’t get it #custserv

karla_porter when companies start 2 c negative trends they must act rather than waiting for chickens 2 fall from the sky #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @LindaSherman Q3: What could the companies discussed have done differently? #custserv

LindaSherman Sorry – there it is RT @JeffreyJKingman: Q5: What is the best example of customer service followup you have experienced? #custserv

awakeningaimee RT @JeffreyJKingman: Q5: What is the best example of customer service followup you have experienced? #custserv ((AAA after I got right peep

Rieva @Ramon_DeLeon oh maybe I’ll meet you there #custserv

hackmanj RT @MarshaCollier: We only get what we stand up for. If we don’t insist on quality service, as consumers we won’t get it #custserv

Shennee_Rutt @MarshaCollier I agree! Speak now, or forever hold your peace. #custserv

MarshaCollier @fail_watch I think public utilities are often some of the worst offenders. They really DO own their custoemrs #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @wordsdonewrite I think some govt agencies “get” #custserv: others don’t or stick head in sand.

MarshaCollier @Ramon_DeLeon Will you teach my local Dominos how to make the thin crust – pretty please? #custserv

TheJackB RT @MarshaCollier: We only get what we stand up for. If we don’t insist on quality service, as consumers we won’t get it #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @karla_porter: when companies start 2 c negative trends they must act rather than waiting for chickens 2 fall from the sky #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @Shennee_Rutt: @MarshaCollier I agree! Speak now, or forever hold your peace. #custserv

MarshaCollier @hackmanj What’s your biggest complaint? #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @karla_porter too many organizations have fear of negative feedback; it’s time to embrace your fear, C-Levels on down #custserv

wordsdonewrite Yes. Some do. RT @JeffreyJKingman: I think some govt agencies “get” #custserv: others don’t or stick head in sand.

awakeningaimee @JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier I tend to get what I want. Realizing that u might need to speak to someone else helps. #custserv

Ranker_com So true. RT @MarshaCollier: We only get what we stand up for. If we don’t insist on quality service, as consumers we won’t get it #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @SeattleMaven: @JeffreyJKingman Hotel called me to tell me I’d left an item – and shipped it w/ no charge! #custserv

wordsdonewrite I know, right? Don’t offer a promotion if you can’t honor it with a smile! RT @SkagitIMS: 😦 that’s mean of people #custserv

MarshaCollier Good employee relations: RT @KFIAM640 news anchor Aron Bender got married ithis afternoon. It was webcast. We webcasted his gift. #custserv

karla_porter @JeffreyJKingman very true! If you don’t manage your reputation the public will.. #custserv

Ramon_DeLeon @Rieva Checkout what we are doing at a National Level to address quality concerns http://www.pizzaturnaround.com #custserv

JeffreyJKingman (RT) Q5: What is the best example of customer service followup you have experienced? #custserv

MarshaCollier @SeattleMaven That’s awesome #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @Shennee_Rutt: what I mean is if you are a unhappy customer, and never speak up, You will not have resolution to said issue. #custserv

MarshaCollier @JeffreyJKingman In this country we have gotten used to being abused, and to accept less than we deserve for our money #custserv

karla_porter @JeffreyJKingman Q5: Intuit -15 min after an online purchase they called to offer me walk through instructions/answer Q’s. #custserv

MarshaCollier RT @Ramon_DeLeon: @Rieva Checkout what we are doing at a National Level to address quality concerns http://www.pizzaturnaround.com #custserv

kenmoir Top-notch post from @Seiden on what makes truly great #custserv – why it’s rare & what each of us can do about it: http://bit.ly/7Rj5oq

JeffreyJKingman So recognizing that emcee-ing this dialogue has me why out in front, I’ll ask our last question of the night #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q7: What best-practice suggestion do you have for any customer service department? #custserv

rewardfeedback But many people fear repercussions – if a business knows you can twitter, they can too. The embarrassment keeps them quiet #custserv

wrw_usa @awakeningaimee see http://bit.ly/8iU2pL & Yelp ratings http://bit.ly/65AUyl #custserv *DM me for more

JeffreyJKingman RT @karla_porter: @JeffreyJKingman very true! If you don’t manage your reputation the public will.. #custserv

Rieva @JeffreyJKingman 1of the best: Nordstroms. When I lost my $20 Nordstrom bucks & didn’t use it, they sent new certificate #custserv

LindaSherman Q5 My fave #custserv for ’09: Allen Edward Appliance Repair; My Plumbing Doctor; Ed Little Auto Service: professional, prompt, right price

JeffreyJKingman RT @karla_porter: Q5: Intuit -15 min after an online purchase they called to offer me walk through instructions/answer Q’s. #custserv

MarshaCollier @karla_porter #Intuit FTW! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @Rieva: 1of the best: Nordstroms. When I lost my $20 Nordstrom bucks & didn’t use it, they sent new certificate #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @MarshaCollier: In this country we have gotten used to being abused, and to accept less than we deserve for our money #custserv

SeattleTallPopp @JeffreyJKingman I was dining at the Herbfarm & my camera died! @Herbguy (owner) loaned me his & then uploaded the photos for me. #custserv

rewardfeedback Best advice is constant touch points with the consumer and consistent measurement to ensure quality across all segments #custserv

awakeningaimee @wrw_usa Ty #custserv

MarshaCollier @Rieva Major stores should keep serial numbers on those. Good to hear #custserv

SkagitIMS I got good #custserv when an indented collectable by an eBayer got a full refund before it was shipped.

karla_porter @MarshaCollier oh yeah. thought it was my mom, I was pleasantly surprised! Said, “If you ever need us we’re here for you”. Whoa.. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @rewardfeedback: But many people fear repercussions – embarrassment keeps them quiet. Meaning customer embaressment? #custserv

wrw_usa RT @JeffreyJKingman: @karla_porter 2many organizations have fear of negative feedback; time to embrace your fear, C-Levels on down #custserv

MarshaCollier RT @rewardfeedback Best advice is constant touch pts w the consumer & consistent measurement 2 ensure quality across all segmnts #custserv

rewardfeedback and make customers feels appreciated and encouraged to provide feedback whether good or bad #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @SeattleTallPopp Dining at the Herbfarm & my camera died! @Herbguy (owner) loaned me his & then uploaded the photos for me. #custserv

LindaSherman Q7 As with the Ritz Carlton give every employee the authority to do what it takes to take care of the problem. #custserv

Rieva RT @MarshaCollier: In this country we have gotten used to being abused, and to accept less than we deserve for our money #custserv

wrw_usa YES!! RT @karla_porter: @JeffreyJKingman very true! If you don’t manage your reputation the public will.. #custserv

MarshaCollier @SeattleTallPopp Good to hear good service from @Herbguy – is he very active on Twitter? #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @rewardfeedback: Constant touch points with the consumer and consistent measurement to ensure quality across all segments #custserv

awakeningaimee RT @JeffreyJKingman: Q7: What best-practice suggestion do you have for any customer service department? #custserv (try to be them)

MarshaCollier @SkagitIMS That’s what eBay should be about #custserv

SeattleMaven @SeattleTallPopp No where near the fanciest I’ve stayed at, but stellar lost-and-found service!! #CustServ

SeattleTallPopp RT @MarshaCollier @SeattleTallPopp Good to hear good service from @Herbguy – is he very active on Twitter? #custserv –> Yes, very active.

rewardfeedback @JeffreyJKingman Absolutely. Sears calculates for every one customer that complains 26 others do not. That is scary. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @LindaSherman I worked for old Boston Ritz in mid 90s – so true. They ‘get’ it. #custserv

MarshaCollier @JeffreyJKingman I think we are often afraid to speak up. (like the waiter will spit in my food) #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @MarshaCollier: I think we are often afraid to speak up. (like the waiter will spit in my food) #custserv

MarshaCollier Q7: Best practice for Customer service? be human, respect everyone who walks in your door. DO that every day! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @rewardfeedback: Absolutely. Sears calculates for every one customer that complains 26 others do not. That is scary. #custserv

MarshaCollier @JeffreyJKingman The Ritz employee may be more devoted than at Dennys? #custserv

SeattleTallPopp RT @TheGourmetGirl In this country we have gotten used to being abused & to accept I disagree.

SkagitIMS RT @MarshaCollier: @SkagitIMS That is what eBay should be about #custserv 🙂

MarshaCollier RT @rewardfeedback Sears calculates for every one customer that complains 26 others do not. That is scary. #custserv

LindaSherman @MarshaCollier It’s always easy for me to dig up where I have had good #custserv because I yelp them. http://lindasherman.yelp.com

rewardfeedback @JeffreyJKingman RT – now imagine the middle aged and seniors who do not have technology avail to use and are fearful #custserv

karla_porter Q7: custserv reps in dept shuld b on the same page & attend customers w/ uniformity quality shudnt vary shud always b excellent #custserv

cbruemmer RT @MarshaCollier: RT @rewardfeedback Sears calculates for every one customer that complains 26 others do not. That is scary. #custserv

MarshaCollier @LEXXtech99 Wouldn’t it be nice if everything worked that way? #custserv

SeattleTallPopp @TheGourmetGirl Of the hundreds of transactions you encounter on a regular basis, how many are truly bad? I bet..not many. #custserv

Ramon_DeLeon While Tweeting #Custserv I got a Surprised FREE Cookie with my @dunkindonuts coffee….Good Karma

Desdemona_ @MarshaCollier: @LindaSherman @JeffreyJKingman Fun list you guys have going! .. #custserv

PrixFixeOnline @JeffreyJKingman I used to be afraid to speak up – now not so much. 😉 #custserv

MarshaCollier If humanity is taken into account, perhaps some employees can think out of the box to give good service? @karla_porter #custserv

wrw_usa @MarshaCollier and must read ‘the Cluetrain Manifesto’ http://bit.ly/4vanYq #custserv

rewardfeedback @SeattleTallPopp but sadly so few excite me. I’m a valuable marketer just waiting to sell your product for u #custserv

MarshaCollier @Ramon_DeLeon Wonderful! So is the service in a @DunkinDonuts retail location? I’ve never been #custserv

wrw_usa RT @Ramon_DeLeon: While Tweeting #Custserv I got a Surprised FREE Cookie with my @dunkindonuts coffee….Good Karma **SWEET!!

JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier RitzCarlton told new hires (1995) that they spend $30K & 6 mos to train. They empower employees to fix NEthing #custserv

karla_porter @MarshaCollier training is key – scripts are guidelines but reading them like robots is awful! #custserv

MarshaCollier @PrixFixeOnline Has speaking up worked for you with businesses? #custserv

MichelFalcon You know it! RT @Rieva: Providing stand-out customer service is a great way for small business owners to stand out. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @rewardfeedback: RT – now imagine the middle aged and seniors who do not have technology avail to use and are fearful #custserv

TheGourmetGirl RE http://bit.ly/5mFcxa @SeattleTallPopp Now THAT is customer service! #custserv

MarshaCollier @JeffreyJKingman Yes, The Ritz lets their employees have leverage, go the extra mile? think out of the box! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @SeattleTallPopp For me? ~5 to 10% of all my transactions could be much better customer service #custserv

SeattleTallPopp @JeffreyJKingman Of the hundreds of transactions you encounter on a regular basis, how many are truly bad? I bet..not many. #custserv

awakeningaimee @JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier thanks 4 the #custserv tweet chat

JeffreyJKingman RT @_Desdemona_: @MarshaCollier: @LindaSherman @JeffreyJKingman Fun list you guys have going! .. #custserv ::: Thank you! Every week 🙂

JeffreyJKingman RT @PrixFixeOnline: @JeffreyJKingman I used to be afraid to speak up – now not so much. 😉 #custserv

MarshaCollier I hope you’ll all join in again next week – we’ll have a different topic! #custserv

wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier Thanks for TweetChat! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @MarshaCollier: I hope you’ll all join in again next week – we’ll have a different topic! #custserv

karla_porter @SeattleTallPopp @JeffreyJKingman most of my custser interactions are acceptable few are exceptional =) #custserv

LindaSherman @Rieva So agree. Nordstroms has firmly held on to outstanding #custserv for years. It really feels good to shop there.

MarshaCollier I can’t wait to read the entire stream. So many good comments on #custserv this week

MichelFalcon Exceptional #custserv provided from your “front lines” MUST be celebrated. If not, it’s like winning the Stanley Cup w/o the trophy or ring

PrixFixeOnline @MarshaCollier It’s been hit and miss really, works well when at a restauraunt at least in my case. Retail…it’s a crap shoot. #custserv

karla_porter Ditto! RT @wrw_usa: @JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier Thanks for TweetChat! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Thank you all for joining in #custserv this week! I’ll post the transcript by tomorrow night and message the url on #custserv

SeattleTallPopp RT @TheGourmetGirl RE http://bit.ly/5mFcxa @SeattleTallPopp Now THAT is customer service! #custserv cc @herbguy

SmallBizMuse RT @MarshaCollier @rewardfeedback Sears calculates for every one customer that complains 26 others do not. That is scary. #custserv

MarshaCollier Also thanks to @PrixFixeOnline @_Desdemona_ @SeattleTallPopp @cbruemmer @SkagitIMS #custserv @TheGourmetGirl @SeattleMaven @Rieva #custserv

Rieva @JeffreyJKingman Thanks you and @marshacollier #custserv

LindaSherman @mollierosev Many Yelpers write long detailed reviews. I yelp only when I’m delighted or mad, I make my point and I’m done. #custserv

karla_porter @JeffreyJKingman it would be fantastic if you included Twitter user names to so we can follow others ­thanks! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @MichelFalcon That’s an excellent statement too long to RT :))) #custserv

MichelFalcon When companies like @zappos and @amazon say there is a direct correlation between #custserv and revenue growth we should all listen!

SeattleTallPopp @karla_porter I agree, few are exceptional. Think most fab #custserv experiences are due to an individual rather than the organization, no?

hackmanj @MarshaCollier Definitely over-promising and under delivering. I much prefer the opposite. #custserv

Rieva @LindaSherman Yes @Nordstrom has figured out that taking care of its customers keeps us coming back #custserv

dadekian Really outstanding: RT @SeattleTallPopp RT @TheGourmetGirl RE http://bit.ly/5mFcxa Now THAT is customer service! #custserv cc @herbguy

karla_porter @SeattleTallPopp most def! Regardless of exceptional policies if the employee doesn’t deliver well it doesn’t reflect #custserv

wrw_usa Twazzup feed for #custserv chat 2nite: http://bit.ly/8eOjxV

Ramon_DeLeon @MarshaCollier I am a regular there and it was thru the Drive Thru…She said Happy New Year @dunkindonuts #custserv

JeffreyJKingman The transcript includes names of those sending the message during the dialogue (removing date/time and reversing the chronology) #custserv

MarshaCollier Sorry if I missed anyone CU next week? #custserv TY @kenmoir @wordsdonewrite @TheJackB @hackmanj @Shennee_Rutt @fail_watch @RayJGordon

TheGourmetGirl @MarshaCollier Enjoyed jumping in on your #custserv topic tonight, thanks to @SeattleTallPopp for the intro.

wordsdonewrite @MarshaCollier Really enjoyed your weekly #custserv Twitter chat! Until next week…

JeffreyJKingman @Ramon_DeLeon Dunkins is good coffee; excellent brand development – but I learned I had to be specific in ordering #custserv

Ramon_DeLeon @JeffreyJKingman Goes back 2 my earlier comment-Biz needs 2 educate clients on products and How 2 order #custserv

PrixFixeOnline @MarshaCollier Wish I hadn’t been so late to the discussion. 🙂 #custserv

JacobNahin RT @MarshaCollier: Q7: Best practice for Customer service? be human, respect everyone who walks in your door. DO that every day! #custserv

LindaSherman Fun chatting with you tonight @MarshaCollier @JeffreyJKingman @rieva @_Desdemona_ @mollierosev @kjonesphd @karla_porter @wrw_usa #custserv

Ramon_DeLeon @JeffreyJKingman I am such a @dunkindonuts regular that via Drive Thru all I have to do is say “YES”

Rieva @JeffreyJKingman thank you Jeffrey, it was quite informative & really fast-moving #custserv

karla_porter @JeffreyJKingman on the contrary, it was very well done, thank you! #custserv

Ramon_DeLeon When @needgraphics get AWESOME #custserv he Video Blogs it. I have held the camera on occassion for him. http://bit.ly/73Pini

PrixFixeOnline @JeffreyJKingman No problem, to bad I was a tad late to the party. Forgot 9 meant EST. llol #custserv

SEONOW RT@MarshaCollier RT @rewardfeedback Sears calculates for every one customer that complains 26 others do not. That is scary. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @kjonesphdNice to meet you! Here’s a transcript of last week’s #custserv : http://wp.me/pARSa-7I

awakeningaimee @JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier loved the tweetchat on #custserv

LaurelKaufman RT@MarshaCollier: Q7: Best practice for Customer service? be human, respect everyone who walks in your door. DO that every day! #custserv

davemammen RT @MarshaCollier: Q7: Best practice for Customer service? be human, respect everyone who walks in your door. DO that every day! #custserv

ToddDavidMehl @MarshaCollier – very simple – Treat people they way you would like to be treated…

JeffreyJKingman RT @ToddDavidMehl: @MarshaCollier – very simple – Treat people they way you would like to be treated… #custserv

Partyaficionado Gr8 #custserv @fourseasons RT @Twitter_Tips The Greatest Twitter Hotel Service Story Yet: http://j.mp/73kbhQ #eventprofs #hotel

paulbarron RT @JeffreyJKingman: RT @ToddDavidMehl: @MarshaCollier – very simple – Treat people they way you would like to be treated… #custserv

Rieva @LindaSherman yes it was. thanks for the conversation #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @Rieva I just emailed the author of http://bit.ly/5cALh3 w/partial transcript of our #custserv & asked him to forward to his SEARS contact

msgatoradr Chatting online with #custserv is so much easier than calling and waiting on hold. I can multi-task!

hackmanj @JeffreyJKingman Happy to participate in #custserv

brandondud @THE_REAL_AG best part is I was calling them back over account fraud. They took my call second time but damn. #custserv

SkagitIMS Well @NING did the right thing. The site in question is now down. Thanks @MarshaCollier & #custserv :-). Job well done. #eatonville

SearsHTS @Rieva Sorry re: your Xmas Sears.com Pls DM with your contact info We can help you. #custserv @JeffreyJKingman @Steveology @chalkboarder

MarshaCollier @SkagitIMS Very good to hear about @NING perhaps the #custserv chat helped a little

MarshaCollier @LEXXtech99 We could only hope. Pls join us next Tues 9pEST for #custserv – love 2 have your insights during the chat

SkagitIMS @MarshaCollier Sure did, hero :-). #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @JeffreyJKingman: @Rieva Sears just tweeted you! :))) #custserv cc:@SearsHTS

Rieva @SearsHTS @JeffreyJKingman Thanks, impressive turnaround time #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Sorting out the results from last night’s #custserv: Sears replied in 10 hours to one story. That’s what I’m talking about: resolution!

December 24, 2009

#custserv 01 :: Comment Cards

#custserv 01 :: Comment Cards

This is a transcript from The Customer Service Dialogue on Twitter: Tuesdays at 9pm EST on hashtag #custserv. This transcript is from 12/22 and the topic was Comment Cards. ~ Jeffrey

Co-hosted by Marsha Collier and Jeffrey J Kingman

The Customer Service dialogue on Twitter. Weekly at 9 pm Eastern; follow #custserv

#custserv is a weekly dialogue covering different aspects of the customer service experience, both on and off-line.

12/22 :: Transcript :: Comment Cards
Tonight’s topic is the use of comment cards in service businesses; do comment cards work?

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::

JeffreyJKingman Co-hosting a dialogue on customer service (Twitter: follow
#custserv) w/Marsha Collier, Amazon.com’s best-sell author of eBay for Dummies

JeffreyJKingman In 15 minutes the dialogue on comment cards begins. Follow
#custserv to discuss your feelings on Customer Service w/co-host
@MarshaCollier

gypsytrading Hmm.. like this? #Custserv

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman I think I am lost.. not sure I get how this
works.. #Custserv

JeffreyJKingman @gypsytrading perfect! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Another Lurker in #custserv (cc: @socialsonya,
@gypsytrading) – :)))

JeffreyJKingman Just a warning to all you lurkers in #custserv tonight:
Immagonnacallyouout, but then take the mic back 😉

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman so is this about the restaurant cards>? or any
customer service? #Custserv

JeffreyJKingman It’s about comment cards (on and off-line) in any industry.
#custserv cc:@gypsytrading #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Four minutes and counting. Tonight’s Customer Service topic:
Comment Cards #custserv

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman got it.. #Custserv

JeffreyJKingman Again, an apology to all my followers: co-hosting w/bestselling
author of eBay for Dummies a twitter chat on customer service #custserv

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman why are you apologizing? #Custserv

JeffreyJKingman Ok – let’s see if @MarshaCollier is with us.. Marsha – you here?
#custserv

MarshaCollier @JeffreyJKingman Here I am! Let’s get #custserv started!

wrw_usa RT @JeffreyJKingman: Four minutes and counting. Tonight’s Customer
Service topic: Comment Cards #custserv

scuffersteakvt Am I on time for the comment card chat? #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @gypsytrading for the quantity of tweeting I will be doing in the
next hour plus 🙂 #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Good evening everyone! Thank you for joining us tonight on
#custserv. Marsha, can you intro yourself to the folks? #custserv

ChefMaxient RT @ScanMonkeys: Would you rather have 100 customers who buy
once or 1 customer who buys 100 times? >> 1 customer buys 100 times!
#custserv

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman ahh.. no worries. 😛 good topic.. #Custserv

JeffreyJKingman @scuffersteakvt Yeay! You made it! #custserv

waitersworld #custserv Paul Paz of WaitersWorld onboard for this event… I think!
🙂

MarshaCollier @ChefMaxient Good point, that answer should be written in granit.
Thank you #custserv

waitersworld #custserv do we have a preset of quesitons to begin with?

JeffreyJKingman @waitersworld Hi Paul, Welcome to the Customer Service
dialoge! #custserv

socialsonya RT @JeffreyJKingman: Another Lurker in #custserv (cc:
@socialsonya, @gypsytrading) – :))) <– not lurking so much 😀

scuffersteakvt Never actually been in at start of a Twitter chat before – what’s
protocol? #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier Can you introduce yourself Marsha? #custserv

MarshaCollier @JeffreyJKingman Oh, heck, I’m an author, radio host and
working on a new business book for Wiley on Customer Service (a fan of
#custserv)

gypsytrading @2woofers nah.. back and forth.. come over to twitterchat.com and
type in #custserv.. join, good conversation

MarshaCollier (check my Twitter bio) #custserv

JeffreyJKingman I will intro Marsha and myself, then ask peeps to intro
themselves, then have generalized questions for you all #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Marsha is the best=selling author (Amazon.com) of eBay for
Dummies with over 1 million copies sold, as well #custserv

MarshaCollier @scuffersteakvt Jeff will ask questions, and we throw out answers
in the form of a discussion.. #custserv

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman Shh.. I am not talking, just listening. :))
#Custserv

wrw_usa @scuffersteakvt play nice? #custserv

JeffreyJKingman I’m Jeff, former Exec Chef 9X across the US; CEO/Founder of
Chalkboarder.com #custserv

mommysbazaar @gypsytrading I am there also but back and forth #custserv

MarshaCollier @gypsytrading Thank you – twitterchat.com is an excellent way to
follow along #custserv

JeffreyJKingman People – feel free to intro yourselves if you like :))) #custserv

gypsytrading @mommysbazaar good.. wanted to listen in #Custserv

socialsonya RT @gypsytrading: @JeffreyJKingman Shh.. I am not talking, just
listening. :)) #Custserv <– Me too @gypsytrading 😀

JeffreyJKingman Tonight’s topic (part of a now-weekly customer service
discussion) is on Comment Cards; in any industry #custserv

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier welcome, all new to me.. so I will just sit in corner
and be quiet. 🙂 #Custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q1: As a consumer, do you believe paper comment cards are
worth it to fill out? #custserv

wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman Owner operator of Wedding Ring Workshop USA
#custserv

gypsytrading can anyone answer? #Custserv

JeffreyJKingman Anyone can jump right in and please do :)))) #custserv

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman I think it depends on the questions on the card,
if they are not well thought out, then no #Custserv

MarshaCollier Q1 Sometimes yes, sometimes no, If I feel strongly about service
one way or the other – I always fill out #custserv

waitersworld #custserv Customers in general are familiar with the written
comment card service but not as willing to participate

iTweetMeat Q1 Not really. I think they’re seldom read (or action’s taken), and I
really only fill them out when I’m really fired up #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @wrw_usa Welcome to our little chat on customer service!
#custserv

gypsytrading @iTweetMeat That happens to, I have seen alot, but again I think it
depends #Custserv

MarshaCollier Q1: That’s what I mean. AN emotional response on the service
makes one fill them out @iTweetMeat #custserv

wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman Q1 absent other feedback yes; tho seem quite
archaic in web2.0 world #custserv

scuffersteakvt Q1 Yes if I have very good/bad exp., or expect some love back in
some form – coupons, bday, etc. But only if I care about bus. #custserv

wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman TY a first timer #custserv

waitersworld #custserv I agree with ItMeat

JeffreyJKingman Q1 (followup) so there is a perception of ?? by the consumer?
#custserv

waitersworld #custserv “Emotional response” is certainly a motivator

MarshaCollier Q1: Filled one out at Chateau Marmont about abysmal service, they
stopped me as I was leaving & offered drinks in the bar. Nice. #custserv

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman whats important, where we are, what the
product is.. ect #Custserv

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier lol..well that works. 😛 #Custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q2: As a consumer, have you ever wanted to fill comment card
out, but felt it would not be read? #custserv

MarshaCollier Q1: I think the perception – especially when there is a follow up, is
that the establishment cares #custserv

iTweetMeat Q1 If at restaurant, I tend to reflect impression of svc with tip I
do/don’t leave, if attributable 2 server (vs comment card) #custserv

MarshaCollier Q2: Absolutely, especially in mail order, but also in some
restaurants. If they act like they don’t care – why bother? #custserv

JeffreyJKingman LOL It just struck me that this sounds like a comment card
format for the questions (self-critique) #custserv

iTweetMeat @MarshaCollier re: follow-up, more to do w/ management?
#custserv

gypsytrading @iTweetMeat I think that applies anywhere, in any business.
Success shows. #Custserv

MarshaCollier Q2: Yes, a lot of the responsibility is in the server’s hands and their
attitude #custserv

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier and if they don’t care, I don’t go back #Custserv

waitersworld #custserv Q2 Yes… but rather than waste my time I just don’t
come back

scuffersteakvt Q2 – Yes. And am always surprised when there is actual follow-up.
#custserv

iTweetMeat Everyone supply their comment (card) to Jeff afterwards 😀
#custserv

MarshaCollier As a business owner, responding and following up is very important,
otherwise why bother #custserv @gypsytrading

scuffersteakvt Q2 @marshacollier I think it’s still true that service is #1 reason
people do/don’t return. #custserv

gypsytrading @iTweetMeat lol #Custserv

iTweetMeat Q2 Many times. More frustrating when they’re out of comment cards
(that sends mixed msgs, tho) #custserv

wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman Q2 always; rarely if ever complete #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Toward Q2 – I never fill them out. I don’t trust paper comment
cards. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q2: @iTweetMeat I agree – if you know they have the cards,
and you don’t get one #fail #custserv

MarshaCollier Q2: Crappy food can also be a factor @scuffersteakvt #custserv

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier I agree, but shows in success, if your running a
business well, getting tips, feedback, all that, shows.. #Custserv

MarshaCollier Q2: Yes! Important – perhaps draw attention to the comment card
when it’s given to the customer? #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Bonus Question Q2-A: Are you hesitant to provide your
email/contact info on comment cards (security)? #custserv

MarshaCollier Q2: Give me a customer card on a little plate w candy #custserv

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier That would work. #Custserv

iTweetMeat Q2-A I suppose, yes. I want to be anonymous (esp if the comment is
negative) #custserv

MarshaCollier Q2-A: To seriously fill out a comment card, you need to be willing to
get involved, so I always give info (Google voice #) #custserv

scuffersteakvt Q2 Bonus @jeffreyjkingman – Do you mean as person filling out
or business who creates card? #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q2 Marsha, that would show they give the system a priority, no?
(on plate w/candy) #custserv

waitersworld #custserv As a waiter I have always provided a comment card to
every table with the invitation, “Here’s your chance to get even!”

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier This is common business sense, if you know your
business and customers, don’t need card #Custserv

MarshaCollier RT @gypsytrading: if you’r running a business well, getting tips,
feedback, all that, shows.. #Custserv #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @scuffersteakvt Meaning as a consumer do you put your
email/phone, etc on comment cards? #custserv

wrw_usa LOL RT .@waitersworld: #custserv As a waiter always provided a
comment card to every table w the invitation, Here’s your chance to get even!

MarshaCollier Q2: Making customer comments (e.g. #custserv ) a priority is of
utmost importance in my book #custserv

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier ty~ 😛 #Custserv

MarshaCollier @waitersworld Get even? maybe not. #custserv

scuffersteakvt Q2 Bonus: Yes, willing to put phone/email – if I want/expect to hear
back or get something. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @waitersworld somehow I doubt w/your waiter experience you
actually made that statement (get even).. :)) #custserv

wrw_usa @gypsytrading precious little ‘common sense’ in service businesses;
we’re Americans and don’t serve well! #Custserv

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier yeah. not get even.. they spit on food..lol..
#Custserv

waitersworld #custserv I thiik customers are reluctant to fill out comments cards
as they don’t care for any confrontations. They came in to have fun not

JeffreyJKingman Q3: Do you ever use social media to submit comments to a
business? #custserv

MarshaCollier @gypsytrading I worry about the spitting on food myself
sometimes. #custserv

waitersworld #custserv They come in to have fun not argue with the house

gypsytrading @wrw_usa lol..maybe I am not American then,(did say that?) but
agreed, some people should not be in service industry #Custserv

MarshaCollier @wrw_usa Common sense has been pretty lost these days. Part of
the purpose of this chat is hopefully to bring some back #custserv

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman q3 I did this morning on twitter @Wachovia!
#Custserv

wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman Q3 yes, makes it so much easier. #custserv

waitersworld #custserv “Get even”… It’s like good joke… it’s all in the delivery!
🙂

scuffersteakvt Q3 Yes, but often not publicly. Small town, small business
community. #custserv

MarshaCollier Exactly. In any service establishment, making a fun experience for
the customer should be on par with Quality. (i.e. Apple Stores) #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q4: Have you ever received a response from a comment card
you filled out? #custserv

mommysbazaar @MarshaCollier part of the problem is common sense is pretty
subjective, what makes sense to me my not make sense to others #Custserv

JeffreyJKingman Very interesting. RT @scuffersteakvt: Q3 Yes, but often not
publicly. Small town, small business community. #custserv

iTweetMeat Q3 Depends on the account(s) I’m using! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman I never spit on the food! RT @MarshaCollier: @gypsytrading I
worry about the spitting on food myself sometimes. #custserv

waitersworld #custserv “some people should not be in service industry” that’s a
continuing problem as service is the #1 complaint for many many years!

iTweetMeat Q4 I’ve been called one time #custserv

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman lol… good to know. 🙂 #Custserv

MarshaCollier Q3 Complained about FedEx on Twitter, they emailed me an address
But after previously being on phone for an hour, It was worthless #custserv

iTweetMeat Q3 Anyway, yes, I’ve used SM to direct comments to a business
#custserv

wrw_usa @MarshaCollier a very worthwhile intention. #custserv

gypsytrading @mommysbazaar that;s true.. also.RE common sense #Custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q5 Do you trust that cards provide companies with valuable
feedback? #custserv

MarshaCollier @gypsytrading What happeend w Wachovia? #custserv

mommysbazaar Q3 I will for something positive but not a negative #Custserv

connectingwomen @MarshaCollier what is #custserv? is it still going on?

MarshaCollier @waitersworld Agreed, service & sales careers are just that.
CAREERS for those who enjoy dealing with people #custserv

MarshaCollier @mommysbazaar I believe there is some level of commonality to
all people, no? #custserv

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier twittered for GuruOfSales he had problem with
accounts, and #Custserv #fail.. he changed banks #Custserv

MarshaCollier @connectingwomen yes, please join in. This is a weekly discussion
about customer service. Just hash #custserv

mommysbazaar when that mess with Tdbank not crediting deposits happened it
was all over twitter but to me the venom was counterproductive #Custserv

connectingwomen @MarshaCollier Great! how long does this going on?
#custserv

waitersworld #custserv Q5 Yes comments from customers in any form are
impportant

MarshaCollier Q5: Giving valuable feedback is up to the customer. Saying that your
service or merchandise sucks isn;t enough #custserv

scuffersteakvt Q5 Big question. No. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q6 Ever felt frustrated that you filled out a card and got no
response? #custserv

iTweetMeat Q5 Provided someone doesn’t go through the cards first, yes, they
may offer valuable feedback. Does employee card sorting happen? #custserv

gypsytrading @mommysbazaar I think when it is blown up, like that, I agree,
counter productive, but letting them know your unhappy is not #Custserv

MarshaCollier @mommysbazaar Good point. When you are angry, venom is
counterproductive. “you attract more flies w honey” #custserv

scuffersteakvt Q6 Yes! #custserv

waitersworld #custserv From my od mentor, Bob Farrell, “Service IS Sales!”

JeffreyJKingman @iTweetMeat Q5 Yes to a small degree. If card is collected by
server who gave bad service (spitballs) #custserv

wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman spit + food = a bad visual! #custserv

MarshaCollier Q5: Shouldn’t customer service cards be given to a specific person
as they are collected? Otherwise, it’s too random #custserv

scuffersteakvt @mommysbazaar Have you read Dooce’s experience with her
washer? Interesting & instructive. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman RT @scuffersteakvt: Q6 Yes! Can you expand w/example?
#custserv

MarshaCollier Worth repeating! RT @waitersworld #custserv From my old
mentor, Bob Farrell, “Service IS Sales!”

JeffreyJKingman @scuffersteakvt Can you get us a link to Dooce’s experience?
#custserv

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier Q5 yes, If that is the business practice, then should
go to senior management #Custserv

wordsdonewrite @MarshaCollier I just wrote a blog post about customer service,
so I’m enjoying your tweets! http://tinyurl.com/y9fkqlm #custserv

MarshaCollier RT @wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman spit + food = a bad visual!
#custserv

waitersworld #custserv @ITweetMeat Yes employees do intercept comment
cards to glean any complaints on service. That skews the info to mgmt

hianthony My dad always said “you attract more (bees) w honey” … and it works.
Recent #custserv experience with Apple, kindless paid.

mommysbazaar @MarshaCollier agreed theres some level of commonality but
customer service expectations R also based on personality & experience #Custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q7 As a consumer – how would you prefer a business receive
your positive/negative comments? #custserv

MarshaCollier Q5: Or go to a designated #custserv employee

scuffersteakvt @waitersworld #custserv So right! Front line staff = sales force.
Good businesses empower and respect.

waitersworld #custserv “Spit in food” Ok… you guys saw the moving WAITING.
Yes it does happen but it is certainly in the minority.

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman Q7 by repeat business #Custserv

MarshaCollier @scuffersteakvt Please tell us about Dooce’s experience
#custserv

iTweetMeat @MarshaCollier I read “designated #custserv employee” and
immediately thought of airlines #custserv

wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman F2F, via web or social media, comment cards in very
last order #custserv

MarshaCollier True that. Respect. Absolutely. Customer service is about respecting
your employees AND your customers #custserv

mommysbazaar @JeffreyJKingman Q7 my pediatricians office sends surveys to
the house I actually like that as a why to express + and – of care #Custserv

MarshaCollier @hianthony Tee hee, your dad & I think alike! #honey #custserv

hianthony iMac rebate never arrived. Meanwhile, new model was released. Apple
issued refund of unopened Mac & coupon toward new one. #custserv

scuffersteakvt #custserv Dooce had terrible problem w/ washing machine, new
baby, became desperate. Top mommyblogger & couldn’t get call answered …

MarshaCollier @waitersworld Interesting point. I guess initially, it’s in the
employees hand to pass the card on #custserv

youthsportsmark Totally Agree RT @MarshaCollier Worth repeating! RT @waitersworld #custserv From my old mentor, Bob Farrell, “Service IS Sales!”

JeffreyJKingman RT @wrw_usa: @JeffreyJKingman F2F, via web or social
media, comment cards in very last order :: I like that! #custserv

MarshaCollier @waitersworld Never ming the movie Waiting – how about Fight
Club. ICK #custserv

MarshaCollier @youthsportsmark Welcome to #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q8 As a business: what % of your total customers return
comments (via cards or other means)? #custserv

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier gotta run, this going on next week? thank you for
having me.. interesting #Custserv

MarshaCollier @scuffersteakvt and? #custserv

scuffersteakvt #custserv … began Tweeting in frustration, venting, much venom.
At first told no repair was available for 6 wks, but somehow her 1M …

MarshaCollier Had a similar experience with Palm on my new Pre @hianthony – it
was replaced without question #custserv

gypsytrading @JeffreyJKingman Thank you for invite.. gotta run, have a great
evening~ Merry Christmas if I don’t see you~ #Custserv

wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman dinner time; thanks for hosting chat! #custserv

gypsytrading @MarshaCollier Merry Christmas if I don’t see you~ #Custserv

scuffersteakvt #custserv … 1M followers reading her bad exp. resulted in phone
call with VP, parts shipped overnight, AND washer given to local shelter.

JeffreyJKingman We have four more questions on Customer Service topic of
comment cards for tonight. #custserv

MarshaCollier RT @iTweetMeat I read “designated #custserv employee” and
immediately thought of airlines

JeffreyJKingman @gypsytrading Merry Christmas! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @wrw_usa Merry Christmas! #custserv

MarshaCollier @gypsytrading We hope that #custserv will be a weekly chat.
Thanks for contributing

wrw_usa @JeffreyJKingman one last thought; if biz is NOT monitoring brand
convo on Twitter; they ain’t doin; it right! #custserv

MarshaCollier @scuffersteakvt But not everyone had 1M followers. every
customer should be respected #custserv

MarshaCollier RT @wrw_usa If biz is NOT monitoring brand convo on Twitter;
they ain’t doin; it right! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Q9 As a business, is your comment/feedback system providing
ROI? #custserv

MarshaCollier @JeffreyJKingman Wish we had the answer to #8! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Intriguing! RT @MarshaCollier: @JeffreyJKingman Wish we
had the answer to #8! #custserv

MarshaCollier RT @groby as a customer, I’m only willing to give feedback to
businesses that actually care and try to improve #custserv

MarshaCollier @2woofers Just do a search on #custserv and hashmark your
comments the same

mommysbazaar @2woofers the hash tag is #custserv

iTweetMeat Q8 In our small shop, about 50%. And it’s all F2F. #custserv

MarshaCollier @gypsytrading Every Tuesday 9p EST #custserv

scuffersteakvt @marshacollier Exactly! But shows that that can be what it takes
to get business to respond to complaints. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Does anyone have a method for calculating the return of
comments vs total customers that is effective? #custserv

hianthony @MarshaCollier That’s good to know about Palm’s #custserv. Have
heard that they “get it” on product development side too.

waitersworld #custserv running tally of guest counts fromPOS matched against #
of Ccards

MarshaCollier @hianthony Interesting that Sprint has improved their #custserv
immensely too. It’s why I’m writing my book. Respecting customer = sales

JeffreyJKingman Folks – our last question tonight: What topics would you like to
see in weekly #custserv? #custserv

connectingwomen RT @MarshaCollier @gypsytrading Custserv Every Tuesday
9p EST #custserv

MarshaCollier RT @JeffreyJKingman What topics would you like to see in weekly
#custserv? –

mommysbazaar @MarshaCollier I think that is one of the big things I notice in
online selling, many sellers do not respect their customer based #Custserv

SkagitIMS RT @MarshaCollier: RT @groby as a customer, I’m only willing to give
feedback to businesses that actually care and try to improve #custserv

waitersworld #custserv What are the top 5 Facebook Page applications and how
are they used for business?

MarshaCollier RT @waitersworld #custserv running tally of guest counts
fromPOS matched against # of Ccards

scuffersteakvt #custserv Interested in discussion re: right ways to get customer
feedback. (Or does manner matter as much as follow-up?)

MarshaCollier @SkagitIMS Wish you’d found us earlier, winding down now. Pls
join us again next week at 9p EST w hash #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier # of books shipped vs # comments received?
#custserv

MarshaCollier @scuffersteakvt Personally, I think the follow up is the key.
Perhaps that could be the topic @jeffreyjkingman #custserv

waitersworld #custserv WaitersWorld off line. Merry Christmas & Happy New
Year!

MarshaCollier @waitersworld oooo – I like that (also currently writing twitter &
Facebook For Seniors) #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Cust Service Tidbit: UrbanSpoon gives more than double weight
to a negative comment for restaurant reviews #custserv

iTweetMeat @JeffreyJKingman I’d like to know strategies to educate those
providing the #custserv, i.e. servers knowing more about the menu #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @MarshaCollier Should we make Customer Service FollowUp
the topic next week? #custserv

mommysbazaar on comments I find on forums and things like that #Custserv

MarshaCollier @JeffreyJKingman Problematic. My publisher & their website get
most of that. Perhaps I could get a rep 2 join chat cc @jennylwebb #custserv

MarshaCollier RT @iTweetMeat @JeffreyJKingman I’d like to know strategies to
educate those providing the #custserv, i.e. servers knowing more about menu

MarshaCollier @JeffreyJKingman Let’s work that out. Thank you everyone for
participating in the first ever #custserv chat. Hope to see you next week!

hianthony @MarshaCollier Respect equaling sales is the right formula. Many folks
willing to pay more, knowing positive #custserv awaits.

JeffreyJKingman Marsha and I will follow everyone who participated tonight if you
want to DM later (give us a little time to do follows, please) #custserv

MarshaCollier @mommysbazaar Thank you. I hope we’ll see you next week. This
was interesting #custserv

MarshaCollier True! RT @hianthony Respect equaling sales is the right formula.
Many folks willing to pay more, knowing positive #custserv awaits.

JeffreyJKingman I hope everyone got a little something from tonight and want to
give huge thanks for playing our first #custserv sandbox 🙂 #custserv

mommysbazaar @MarshaCollier yes it was, sorry I missed the beginning of it
#Custserv

MarshaCollier @hianthony RESPECT is the theme of my upcoming #custserv
book for WIley. Funny you should say that.

JeffreyJKingman The entire dialogue is available for your use later by searching the
hashtag #custserv. #custserv

JeffreyJKingman I’ll make sure there is a permanent and full transcript available
later and will post the url to #custserv tomorrow morning. #custserv

ebayinkblog Bummed I missed the #custserv discussion. @MarshaCollier I’ll try
and join in next week.

JeffreyJKingman Thanks so much for joining @MarshaCollier and I tonight for discussion of Customer Service: Comment Cards! #custserv

scuffersteakvt Thanks @marshacollier & @jeffreyjkingman! #custserv

JeffreyJKingman @scuffersteakvt Thank you! #custserv

mommysbazaar @MarshaCollier ,@JeffreyJKingman – thanks so much it was
an interesting conversation #Custserv

mommysbazaar @ebayinkblog glad to see you are you on the mend? #Custserv

hianthony @MarshaCollier Good luck with the #custserv book! Look forward to
reading it. When is it due out?
JeffreyJKingman #custserv comment cards must be filled out in triplicate and
mailed by certified mail (please include only good comments) #snark #custserv

JeffreyJKingman Allright ya’ll Thank you so much for being in here with us… Merry
Christmas!! 🙂 #custserv

MarshaCollier @hianthony I’m writing it now. If you have any interesting tidbits to
add, PLS let me know. Hope to see you back in #custserv next week

hianthony @MarshaCollier Will do. It’s my first time seeing #custserv. Is it
9pm-10pm ET on Tues?

JeffreyJKingman @hianthony #custserv is weekly Tuesdays at 9pm Eastern.
Hope you enjoyed!

hianthony Good $ebay #custserv story: RT @BW EBay’s Last-Minute Delivery
Push http://bit.ly/925qlO

MarshaCollier Yes, please join us again, was a great chat. RT @hianthony It’s my first time seeing #custserv. Is it 9pm-10pm ET on Tues?

December 17, 2009

Debate About Customer Contact and Feedback Systems

Debate About Customer Contact/Feedback Systems

Social Web, Email, Paper Comment Cards, Tableside and Blogs

Technology is completely changing the game for service industries. You would not be reading this post two years ago if it weren’t for the atomic explosion of the social web.

I believe paper comment cards are dead. They have zero value today. For reasons enumerated by several sources here in FohBoh and my own observations, I declare the paper comment card an archeological relic of an earlier age. If you are still using paper comment cards, you’re a dinosaur.

I also believe there is limited functionality communicating with customers via email. Do you really think a customer is going to provide their email address to you – just so you can send them advertising and marketing? My email inbox is flooded with relevant content: Clients, Peers, LinkedIn discussions, about twenty different Smart Briefs, Peter Shankman’s Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and my favorite blogs that I want to see; not to mention the tweets I want to save. I don’t have time to open your advertising and marketing junk (especially if I opened it once before and that is what it was).

Blogs that are written well, contain intriguing imagery or video with compelling content, are informative of the life of your business (meaning your people, your passions, where you source your materials, or what fun-filled special event is happening) are going to interest me. I’ll probably follow you – either by RSS feed or asking you to directly email me with it. I know it’s a blog. I know that you’ve put time into it. It’s succinct, relevant and visually compelling.

But I’m here today to argue something tried and true. Visiting tables. You know this works. Just as you know that if the POS system fails, you can always write chits.

I wonder how many operators keep old-school blank ticket pads in the office for that emergency?

There’s no more effective customer contact and customer feedback system than the owner or manager spending time on the floor visiting tables. Chatting up regulars and greeting new faces is the simplest, easiest and most direct personal contact an operator can implement to build relationships and get feedback, discover customer concerns and let the customer know how much you appreciate their business. It’s at this point that gaining effective feedback happens, whether that is verbal communication or using digitally based survey collection/reward systems.

Now Immagonna give you a twist, before I give the microphone back to ya.

The social web, with it’s different networks like Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon etc., is virtual tableside. Customers find it much easier to “friend you” through social networks than they do to give you their email. They find it much easier to post comments on restaurant search sites, than they do to (risk their security) provide you their email. And you get to draw them into conversations. Just as there is a virtual front door to your restaurant – there’s a virtual tableside chat waiting for you.

If you want examples of this, go follow Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill on Twitter (@Rick_Bayless) or Ron Zimmerman of the Herb Garden ($190 pp dinners) on Twitter (@Herbguy). They’ve been doing it for a year. The customer feedback they receive is astounding.

Over on Facebook, search out the Boston restaurant Myers & Chang – they do it as does Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse in NorthamptonMA (owned by a socialmedia rockstar).

These case studies prove that restaurants across the dining option spectrum use social media to engage existing and new potential customers by visiting tableside – virtually – and on the floor.

Do you disagree with any portion of this post? I’d love to hear it and debate you…

An interesting find:

A few days ago I received a tweet sharing a 20 minute video by the Executive Editor of WIRED magazine, Kevin Kelly, titled “The Next 5,000 Days On The Web”. Did you know that the web is only 5,000 days old now? That’s only thirteen years. We’ve only had email for less than fourteen years. We’ve only had Facebook since 2004. We’ve only had Twitter since 2006.

December 10, 2009

Social Media Marketing in the Restaurant Business – Guest post by Justin Levy

“I’m often asked about the story of my little steakhouse, Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse, in Northampton, MA. It’s not often that I write about our full story. Well, recently I was asked to contribute a case study to the WOMMA Metrics Guidebook. I thought it may provide for an interesting read for you and may give you some insights or be helpful to you for application into your industry. Once you’re done reading, or even before you start reading, make sure you download the WOMMA Metrics Guidebook.” Justin Levy

This is a guest post by Justin Levy. His background:

Justin Levy is General Manager of New Marketing Labs, a new media marketing agency as well home to the Inbound Marketing Summit events, Inbound Marketing Bootcamps and a host of other educational events. In this role Justin helps businesses navigate the unknown seas of new media marketing including how to use social media tools, blogs, community platforms, and listening tools to drive business value. If you’d like more information about how Justin can help your business, please contact him.

When not busy with New Marketing Labs, Justin is Partner and General Manager of Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse, located in Northampton, MA. To learn more about Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse, please visit our About section. To share his food expertise, Justin also blogs at Prime Cuts where he teaches his readers kitchen techniques, how to cook, how to grill and shares innovative recipes.

Justin regularly speaks to groups and at events about his successes in driving revenue using new media with his steakhouse. You can find Justin at many different social media, marketing and tech events, conferences and meetups. If you’re interested in having Justin speak at your next event, please check out his Speaking Page.

In general, restaurants have a few main ways that they typically market their business: You can run ads in the local grillnewspapers, buy radio spots, have television commercials produced, and grab prime billboard locations. All of these marketing tools will help gain a restaurant visibility and exposure. They’re part of most restaurants’ marketing toolboxes. But, these marketing tools don’t help when an increasing number of eyeballs are turning to Google as their primary source of information.

When my best friend and now-partner, Joseph Gionfriddo, purchased Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse, the extent of the restaurant’s web presence consisted of, essentially, just a copy of the menu. Joe was spending most of the marketing budget on local newspapers and radio spots. The restaurant was struggling to survive even though the food that Joe prepared was some of the best I, and everyone else that came through Caminito’s doors, had ever tried.

Recognizing an opportunity to lower our marketing budget and use the web as the primary tool to drive more bodies through the front door, I approached Joe with the offer of a partnership. My primary responsibility: create the strongest presence, both offline and online, for Caminito, in as short of time as possible.

We immediately sketched out a 12-month strategic marketing plan that included:

* A complete revamp of the website.
* Developing an online presence through social networks, a blog, and a video blog.
* Creating a listening station that allowed us to monitor for conversations across the web about us, our restaurant, our competition and our industry.

Since many of these tactics provide for solid SEO, as part of our goals, it helped us to gain several thousand links in Google and other major search engines. As our online presence became stronger and we developed a more engaged community, we began to rank for prime keywords that we targeted as being important for our restaurant to drive business through search results.

Our take: if prospective customers ran searches for restaurants in the area while making a decision of where to dine and our restaurant dominated the front page of Google, they would be more likely to visit Caminito. Though we had made the decision to decrease our traditional marketing spend by approximately 80% we still continued to run local newspaper and some radio spots. Since not all of our customers use the Internet to do their research, it was important to us to continue to use these avenues to reach our customers. We also contacted each of the newspapers, other print publications, radio and associations to negotiate for digital advertising options, linkbacks on their websites, logo, bio and/or menu publishing.

The first month of this strategy being in play we saw a sales increase of 20% as compared to the same month the previous year. Over the past almost two years we have maintained an increase in sales every single month as compared to the same month the previous year. Additionally, we have finished each year approximately 20-25% up in sales as compared to previous years.

As time has continued, we have tweaked our strategic marketing plan but still maintain the above tactics. This has helped to continue to create conversations, both online and offline. To measure the continued increase in online conversations we use a combination of Google Alerts and Twitter Search. While this does create some duplication, it ensures that we never miss any conversations happening around us, our brand, our competition, or our industry. We monitor offline conversations through anecdotal interactions we have with our community and inferred through the continued increase in new customers and increased sales.

To further guide decision-making we also measure everything from the number of comments we receive on a blog post, to the number of hits on a video, the total number of subscribers, where those subscribers come from, how and where our blog and video posts are shared, who shares them, the level of engagement we have, the number of conversations that are started and tons more. The challenge is keeping up with all of this data flowing in and bringing it all together to analyze our overall online impact.

As a result of the measurement systems we have in place the impact of online and offline conversations is clear to us. Online conversations help to further our online brand, increase conversations, improve search rank for evolving prime keywords, demonstrate and expertise in the food industry, create new opportunities, and increase sales. The offline conversations translate to word of mouth marketing that helps to drive increase and repeat sales.

December 3, 2009

Restaurant Websites: Where Creativity Goes To Die

Restaurant Websites: Where Creativity Goes To Die
by Zachary Adam Cohen on November 30, 2009
Originally Posted on Zachary Adam Cohen

The Agony and Pain of Restaurant Websites

Smooth Jazz? Flash? Impossible Navigation? Incredibly Long Loading Times?

The current state of restaurant websites is pathetic. Haven’t we had enough of this? Why do restaurants think they can get away with putting up a brochure of their offerings and expect their customers will respond by flocking to their establishment? In a city like New York, with thousands of dining options, it is simply not enough to broadcast your service to a sophisticated public. Even in smaller cities and towns with far fewer options, restaurants are failing miserably to adapt to the realities of how consumers spend their money today.
Let’s Take a Look at Why

The 20th Century is why! All one had to do was broadcast, hire some P.R. people, get the word out and hoped and prayed that the customers started flocking.

Not anymore folks! American’s get a bad rap for being lazy, apathetic gluttons who watch too much TV and lack any real culture. Silly I say! Social Media is changing that perception right quick! And more importantly, it’s changing the truth about Americans.

American consumers are quickly becoming a discerning sophisticated consumer. Part of this is due to the recession. We are all going through a phase of re-prioritizing just what it is we REALLY want to spend our money on. And what we want to spend our money on is places, products and people we believe in, that we feel connected to, that we feel we have a stake in.

Social Media makes this all possible. We can now communicate directly with the brands and businesses that get, or could potentially get, our spending money. And it’s all public. No more ruses, no more telephone hangups, no more poor customer service. Why not? Cause when you piss off a customer these days, they can get you back. They can Twitter it, they can post a youtube video, they can blog about it.
What Do Restaurants Need To Excel in Social Media?

First thing’s first, you need a blog. There are so many stories to tell. Who are they? WHY are they? What motivates the chef, the servers? Give me a narrative damnit. I want your food but I also want your story. Restaurants are one of the few remaining places that we go to truly disconnect. To be with our loved ones, our friends, our family. We get to connect in real life after SO much connecting online.

But I want to do so in a place that has captured me with their story. And you can’t do that without a blog. Start one, make the time to learn the basics and start sharing. You will quickly find a lot of people willing to share your story. You’ll find your natural constituency. Are you a Nouvelle Mexican spot in Boerum Hill? Well, talk Mexican food. Share stories about authentic Mexican ingredients. For the Chef: Write a post about any stage work you did in Mexico or Spain or wherever! Who trained you? What did you learn?

Where does your food come from? Talk about your vendors, the farms and middlemen that get the product you serve? Talk about the menu, how was it created? What inspired this dish or that? Give us some context. You don’t have to give away every little secret. We still like to be surprised. But give us something!

Oh, and can we please get your social media links? Every website in the world has their social media links proudly displayed on their website. And you don’t? I know 14 year old Indonesian scam artists who have better designed websites than you do. Oh and btw: you got ripped off royally on your site.

And tell us who is doing the twittering? Is it a host? What’s her name? The Chef? The PR Firm? Let’s get some transparency people.

How Can You Use a Blog To Entice Customers?

As I am known to do, I asked Twitter AKA The Hive Mind about this today. One user, a new friend name John True suggested letting blog readers know about special “off the menu” items. This is a fantastic idea. Every so often the restaurant could end a blog post with an “Easter Egg.” Basically, they could leave a clue telling readers (or twitter followers) about something special going on. This a great way to make your readers feel their are privy to something special. And it’s another creative way to convert readers to customers.

What about letting blog readers, or Facebook Fans, or Twitter followers get first dibs on any special events? And what about video? And Pictures?

Start a YouTube channel, get a Flip HD camera and start interviewing regular customers. Is someone coming by once a week? Get him or her on tape to tell us why? What draws that customer back? Maybe we’ll feel the same way. Are testimonials so hard to produce? Stop relying on a big media dinosaur to come to your rescue. Yes, The New York Times is still important, and hopefully always will be, but for the most part, the impact of professional critics is nominal. If 20 food bloggers love you, and 5 critics don’t, guess who wins? It ain’t the critics. No one trusts them anyway.

Zac is a friend active in social media services in NYC and a VERY accomplished food blogger with the award-winning blog Farm To Table: The Emerging American Meal

November 6, 2009

Are your servers making spitballs of “bad” comment cards?

Do your restaurant managers get every comment card guests fill out? Are waitstaff trashing the bad comment cards? Do you have an effective means to capture guest contact info via “opt-in”?

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Rewarding Feedback – a phenomenal new consumer-focused product that was invented with the primary focus of driving revenue to restaurants, gaming establishments and service firms.

This unique process collects guest experience data at the time of the experience in exchange for coupons for a future visit. The Rewarding Feedback process replaces the need for paper surveys, online questionnaires, telephone follow-ups and even mystery shopper services. The process provides the opportunity for the business to obtain feedback on every customer interaction (rather than the typically low volume of feedback results currently received by conventional means).

The standard restaurant implementation has the on-site hostess present the guest with Rewarding Feedback equipment to complete a quick survey at the end of their meal. Upon completion of the survey, the data is analyzed instantly. The guest receives a valuable coupon, regardless of the survey results, but if the guest experience has been satisfactory, a second coupon is provided to the customer to share with a friend. If the guest experience has been deemed less than satisfactory, on-site management is notified of the problem immediately, thereby allowing the establishment to “save” the relationship with the guest, before they get their bill. Coupon types and expiries can be varied, depending on the marketing campaign established.  In addition, you can market the coupons to other organizations – creating additional revenue.

What makes the Rewarding Feedback process so valuable is that it allows every establishment to collect real-time, actionable data while at the same time turning the consumer into a valuable marketing resource on behalf of the business.
Our reporting portal allows management resources to review individual establishment results or compare results from a single establishment against others in a defined region and/or chain.

For more information visit Rewarding Feedback.