How to Respond to Negative Social Media Comments

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Would you say you deliver superior service to your customers? 80% of companies think they do. But guess what? Across the board, only 8% of their customers agree.

Ouch! Most of us are clearly out of touch and have a lot of work to do when it comes to recruiting an army of “Raving Fans.” Getting feedback on our customers’ experiences is critical, and now more than ever, social media provides just the platform to get the inside scoop on what people are experiencing – good or bad.

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4 Branding Ideas You Can Learn from Virgin Airline

Virgin airlines

We’ve been talking about the customer service practices of large, successful organizations that you can adopt, no matter the size of your business. What can you learn from Virgin America Airline?

Named one of Fast Company’s top-10 “Most Innovative Companies” in 2015, Virgin America has built a standout airline with its snazzy service, active social network, and a corporate personality fun enough to generate an in-flight safety music video that went viral.[1] Continue reading

Chick-fil-A: Courtesy Counts in Life and Business

cow costumeChick-fil-A stands out in the fast food world with their humorous cow commercials, Cow Appreciation Day (wear a costume and get free food), a reputation for healthier options, Sundays off for employees, and—my personal favorite—Chick-fil-A sauce.

You don’t have to read The Wall Street Journal every day to know that Chick-fil-A also leads the pack in best business practices, as well, receiving accolades this year in customer service and customer experience.

Just like your mother taught you, Chick-fil-A knows that courtesy matters, from the tableside service politely offered when your hands are full to the handiwipes available just outside the play area.

But how does a company build a culture of courtesy that keeps customers coming back? And what can organizations like yours learn from the creators of the chicken sandwich? Continue reading

How to Build a Raving Fan Base: 3 Tips from Amazon You Can Start Doing Right Now

Raving FanKen Blanchard, author of the book Raving Fans, states, “If you really want to ‘own’ a customer, if you want a booming business, you have to go beyond satisfied customers and create Raving Fans.”

Raving Fans essentially become salespeople for you.

Amazon has perfected this idea but your camp or school doesn’t have to be a corporate giant to benefit from this idea.  Continue reading

Is The Customer Always Right?

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The motto of “old-school” customer service was “The customer is always right”. It is usually credited to Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London in 1909, to compel employees to give customers good service and to convince customers that they would get it at his store.

Taken to an extreme in our day, many customers believe this motto to be a constitutional right. It has been badly abused and is being abandoned by many companies who realize that trying to meet the needs of everyone is a costly and ineffective way to meet the needs of those who truly want, need and value their services.

For example, Author Alexander Kjerulf tells the story of a frequent Southwest flier who complained after every flight. After repeated attempts to appease her, her final grievance (about the sportiness of the flight attendants’ uniforms) was forwarded in desperation to the CEO, Herb Kelleher, who immediately wrote back, ‘Dear Mrs. Crabapple, We will miss you. Love, Herb.’”

4 Ways “New-school” customer service is different:

1. It’s targeted to the customers you want to keep

In terms of ROI, customers who are “not right”—for your camp—are simply too expensive, time-consuming and exhausting to try to keep.

At the same time, camps’ target market is MOM. She means business and you HAVE to keep up with her! There’s a fine line here that must be understood.

2. It’s relational

Connect with customers in all the venues where they’re speaking, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Share your various opinions and passions about kids and camps on your blog and social media. They want to know you care about their kids and their values, not just about your bottom line. They want to know you.

3. It’s about asking the right questions

Prioritize questions like “What do they want and need at search time/registration/drop-off/mid-camp/pick-up/after camp?” as much as “How can I increase my enrollment?”Creative questions lead to creative solutions to your customer’s desires, expectations, and problems, which will ultimately affect enrollment numbers.

4. It’s about offering value beyond your actual camp or clinic

  • Doing business with companies that give back to the community is important to today’s moms.
  • Offering statistics or thought-provoking, informative, interesting or humorous material on your blog or Facebook page about camp experiences, children’s needs, or current trends will keep them connected throughout the year.
  • Texting or tweeting reminders will help them keep up with important camp tasks and deadlines.
  • Making camp or class registration, payment and release-form completion as easy as possible eliminates stress for moms

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, may have defined a better motto for our time: “Start with the customer and work backwards.

What is your customer service motto?