Hairstylists, Marketing & Customer Service

Cape Canaveral
Image by Goldmund100 via Flickr

What can a hairstylist teach us about marketing?? I just read this article from MarketingProfs, and more than one light bulb went off! Marketing Is So Much More Than Promotion: Just Visit My Hairdresser . Besides the title of the article, reading it was more like an epiphany….what would happen if we started putting the customer first.

Ok, honestly not much of an epiphany, more like a trip back to the basics.  When we begin to position ourselves and our business from the eyes (or perspective) of the ones we serve, we can truly evaluate the picture.  It’s almost like looking in the mirror.  Sometimes we avoid it because we aren’t happy with what we see; sometimes we look past it because we want to see more than is really there; why not look directly at it and discover what the mirror truly reveals.

Your business is a reflection of you.  Why not strive to be your best at all times?!

Moving past the reflection, you have to also make time for strategy.  It’s easy to jump into the work…but what are you working for?

Create a few definitions with the following questions:

Self-Focused

1. Who am I? What am I known for?

2. Who do I want to be?

Client-Centered

3. Who is my ideal client? Where can I find them?

4. What will make my client come back (stay)?

5. Am I providing the service my client needs? (Am I meeting my client’s needs?) How do I know?

6. Will my client refer me to their friends?

Business-minded

7. Do I have processes in place to attract & retain both clients and employees?

8. Do I have a clearly defined sales goal? business goal?

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Moms Online – Shopping, Blogging, Networking

I just finished reading a quick synopsis of a report/study done by Neilsen on the power of moms online.  It is of no surprise to me that many of us hardworking mothers have the time to engage with each other across the web.  From sharing stories of daycare and doctor visit experiences, to exchanging recipes and favorite online shopping spots or coupons, and even promoting our businesses – there is a great bond that we share with millions of others.  Can you think of a better way to express yourself to someone who understands you?

Though not surprising, the numbers in the brief report (found here) are definitely eye-opening.  The report is a great enforcer of the power in numbers, and an interesting depiction of the segmentation of moms.  Yielding an incredible center of influence, Power Moms, aged 25-54, make up over 19% of the active online population.

With this information of course comes more targeted ‘mom’ marketing from a number a streams.  But with our track record of experience…I am sure we can handle it.  Take a look at the report, I am going to read more and post later – but tell me what you think…

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Skittles and Your NonProfit

The following is a comment I posted on the NetWit’s ‘Think Tank’ blog in response to a post written by Frank Barry. The post is about the recent social “experiment” by Skittles. This topic I am sure has been blogged about to no end. Originally I wasn’t interested in creating yet another post about it…but I am sure you would agree there are some points of learning to pull from this exercise. Please read Frank’s blog post first to understand the context of my comment below. I will end by saying one more thing…you can’t fly if you don’t first spread your wings...

Skittles.
Image via Wikipedia

Frank, great post! I totally agree with Rowan, this method

doesn’t fit with every non-profit…nor does it fit with every

brand or corporation. Mars tried this with Skittles versus anyone of their other brands. This was a test of the market, and by any measurement it could have been a sheer success. We unfortunately don’t have the honor of knowing which element they were looking to test.

On a global level…brand awareness/visibility and brand engagement are the central themes that can be measured. Those two areas also present a starting point for any non-profit. Sure any non-profit can do a quick constituent survey to find out what people close to them feel/view about the organization… but for those with a larger than community-based reach, or those looking to gain traction…why not think outside the survey box and find a way to gauge a larger base. Often times people are either not aware of an organization at all, or are unsure of exactly what the organization does, and what it could mean to them. This type of social experiment helps create that understand and potentially rally more people around an organization’s cause (see brand awareness & engagement). I will throw in the disclaimer that a campaign such as the Skittles campaign does take some time and labor (something many organizations won’t have the resources to dedicate to)…but again, this type of “out of the box” thinking can stir a small scale social experiment easily manageable by the smallest of non-profits.

Originally posted as a comment by Nishland on Kintera Think Tank using Disqus.

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A Lesson in Customer Service

Service is as service does.

Being the only service provider in an area does not give a company freedom to slack on customer service. Sure competition requires the company to be on their best to win a customer’s loyalty, but being the only game in town means that you can still practice

No Cell Phones at Leland Inn Liquor
Image by John Kannenberg via Flickr

a little service hospitality to keep the customers happy and so employees, particularly front line employees don’t have to deal with irate customers and varying attitudes.

When providing a service to clients, whether internal or external, there are certain rules that should not be broken. Customer service representatives typically are the first impression of a company, therefore should not:

  • chew gum while talking to a client
  • talk, attempt to talk, or even access their cell phone while client facing
  • have conversations with their colleagues while serving clients
  • speak negatively about a client/customer to another client/customer
  • fail to address the customer in some manner

Service is as service does.

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Lesson in Customer Service #2

Rapid Response.

Being prepared with a quick and courteous response to your customer or client can win a lot of hearts and smiles.  Every customer/client likes to know they are valued. Once upon a time we interpreted a customer’s response and repeat visit as satisfaction with our service.  As people’s tastes and wants have grown over the years; so have the business owner’s methods to capture, better understand and attempt to meet their customer’s desires.

The basic premise…rapid response.

In the 21st century, we want to know, and we want to know now!

Even the President adapted to our new culture need to “be the first and always in the know” by utilizing an expansive customer relationship management (CRM) model during his campaign.  Many have blogged about the success of his campaign and method of delivery.  See one of the posts about the President’s CRM here. The author, Ericka Morphy wrote about Obama being on the cutting edge during his campaign, and even now in office.  So far, people seem to be happy with the new design of the official White House blog and open access to information.  The ‘game’ has changed.

Now what are you and your organization doing to be more transparent and open to your customer/clients? Are they aware they have access to you?  Can they count on hearing from one of your quick and courteous representatives in their time of need?

Rapid response. It’s not a new trend…it’s been here all the time.

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