Monday, January 26, 2009

Social Media… the rules are pretty much the same as “being social” at the company “Christmas Party”

My father used to tell us, “Engage your brain before engaging your mouth. Once those words are loose you can’t get them back.”

I can remember people getting a little looped at company parties and saying things that they wished they “could get back.”

My father’s advise is wise if you’re talking to people at company parties or meetings, but also when you are using the new “social media” to communicate. Stop and think. If it’s on the Internet, it’s there for everyone to see. Do you really want everyone to see it?

I see high school and college students putting information on sites such as Facebook that makes me extremely nervous, and not just because someone dangerous might use the information to “get them.” Potential employers (even years from now) may happen on something they posted. “Mary Jane is a ____ and I would sure like to see ____ happen to her.” Suppose Mary Jane’s father is the head of HR at a company this student has targeted in a job search.

But it’s not just the high school and college students that need to be careful. You have to read this blog entry on a real “social” gaff by an account executive at an extremely large PR agency to get my drift…

So, if you’re going to be social, engage your brain before engaging your fingers!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Excellent Customer Service... A way to win in a bad economy

This week's guest phlogger is Carmen Brown, vice president and "fun goddess" for Imagery Marketing...

Are you a business owner? Do you want to know how to WOW your customers all the time? Maybe you are just a manager, but your job is important to you. One of the ways that a business can gain a competitive edge is to offer better customer service than competing businesses. There is an old saying, "If you treat someone well they will tell one person, but if you treat them poorly they will tell 10". This is very true and here are some customer service tips that will help your business excel at treating customers well.

First, a couple of general things that make customers feel like you care. You should always have someone greet your customer within 30 seconds of entering your business. This is a rule of thumb for all businesses. Also, never talk about what you cannot do for your customer. Always talk about what you can do for them.

If your business is very telephone-oriented or if there are telephone conversations at all, make sure to use the customers name periodically during the conversation. This makes them feel comfortable and it personalizes that experience for them. Also, always smile while you are talking to them because it effects the tone that you use. You should also thank them at the end of each conversation because everybody likes to know that their business is appreciated.

When you are dealing with an irate customer, you should always let them speak until they have finished. Interrupting them is rude and will only irritate them further. You should also offer to do anything within your power to make the situation better and to assure them that they are appreciated. It is important to make sure they are happy when they leave your building so that they will not only come back, but also so they do not talk about your business negatively to friends.

Customer service tips also include going the extra mile by sending out thank you cards to customers, finding out about birthdays and anniversaries and sending out cards with coupons or small gift certificates for those days. If you run a company that makes large sums of money off of each or some of your customers, then gift baskets for Christmas and things of that nature are very much appreciated. The goal is to go above and beyond what the other guy might do for your customer so they will not leave you for them.

Imagery Marketing & Research Consultants, Inc. has been providing customer service training for over 5 years and can customize an affordable customer service program for your employees. Contact us for details and rates.

Carmen Brown, VP-Fun GoddessImagery Marketing & Research Consultants, Inc.

It is a good investment to spend resources to retain existing customers. Your best customer is your current customer.-- David Cottrell

  • By the way, we're looking for guest phloggers. If you would like to add your voice to our little blog on marketing, advertising, public relations, or just business in general, email your submittal and a short bio to

Monday, January 5, 2009

Business Lessons I Learned from My Dogs

In honor of "Marley & Me", I thought I'd let you in on the business lessons that I learned from my dogs (the current one and those who have gone on to doggie heaven):
  1. No matter how small you are, act like a BIG Dog.
  2. Always be loyal to the ones who fill your food and water bowls.
  3. Greet people with a happy wag.
  4. Once you sink your teeth into a project, don't let go until it's done.
  5. Protect your territory.
  6. Protect your people.
  7. Don't bark unless there is a real need.
  8. Be patient with people. They don't always understand what it is you want.
  9. Don't leave a mess where people can step in it.
  10. Howling all night at the moon only wastes energy.
  11. You're not a squirrel, so don't chase after them. They can climb trees and you can't.
  12. Stay clear of cats. They have claws.
  13. If you get scolded, don't sulk. Just get on with life.
  14. If you don't expect anything from anyone, you'll never be disappointed; and if you get something, it's a treat.
  15. Try to make people laugh every now and then. They'll love you for it.
  16. Sniff things out before jumping in all the way.
  17. Take time to play.
  18. Take time to nap.