Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ category

Spring Into Your March Marketing with these Savory Days!

March 1st, 2012

There’s a tasty marketing idea for each of March’s 31 days. Some days have a few extra. What can you come up to spring into your March marketing? I like Potato Chip Day on March 14th. Have customers post photos of crazy looking chips on your Facebook Page or Pinterest, Twitter or Flicker.

Being a California gal March 21st as California Strawberry Day sounds like a fun marketing promotion. Have a recipe contest with your customers.

What promotional ideas can you come up with for March with the days below? Let me know in a comment. I’d love to hear about your plans.

Week 1

March 1 – National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day
March 1 – National Fruit Compote Day
March 2 – National Banana Cream Pie Day
March 3 – National Cold Cuts Day
March 3 – National Mulled Wine Day

Week 2

March 4 – National Poundcake Day
March 5 – National Cheese Doodle Day
March 6 – National Frozen Food Day
March 6 – White Chocolate Cheesecake Day
March 7 – National Crown Roast of Pork Day
March 7 – National Cereal Day
March 8 – National Peanut Cluster Day
March 9 – National Crabmeat Day – My Mom loves crabmeat!
March 10 – National Blueberry Popover Day

Week 3

March 11 – National Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day
March 12 – National Baked Scallops Day
March 13 – National Coconut Torte Day
March 14 – National Potato Chip Day
March 15 – National Peanut Lovers Day
March 15 – National Pears Helene Day
March 16 – National Artichoke Heart Day – I’d like to see a marketing campaign – Ideas?
March 17 – National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day

Week 4

March 18 – National Oatmeal Cookie Day
March 19 – National Poultry Day
March 19 – National Chocolate Caramel Day – Oh, I’m thinking of Sees Candy!
March 20 – National Ravioli Day
March 21 – National French Bread Day – I love it with butter! Yummy!
March 21 – National California Strawberry Day
March 22 – National Water Day – Stay healthy, what other ideas?
March 23 – National Chip and Dip Day
March 23 – National Melba Toast Day
March 24 – National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

Week 5

March 25 – National Lobster Newburg Day
March 25 – National Pecan Day
March 26 – National Waffle Day
March 26 – National Nougat Day
March 27 – National Spanish Paella Day
March 28 – National Black Forest Cake Day – Check out Madonna Inn’s version! Delicious!
March 29 – National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day
March 30 – National Turkey Neck Soup Day
March 31 – National Clams on the Half Shell Day
March 31 – National Tater Day

Social Media – Where Your Customers Know Your Name and You’re Glad They Came!

November 21st, 2011

 

Do you remember that sitcom Cheers about the some regular bar goers and their favorite bar? Whenever a certain guy came in everyone hollered his name. “Norm!” He came in so often the staff and customers all knew him by name. Even the show’s theme song was about going to a place where everybody knew your name was was glad you came.

 

If you’re wondering what all this is about I’ll explain. When you use Social Media for your business you can extend what I call the “Norm” Factor online. You can great customers who post regularly on your Facebook wall. Thank your customers for positive reviews and testimonials. You can even use Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to have special offers available for your social network. By offering your customers a personal touch through Social Media they can get the “Norm” factor feeling anytime not only when they visit your business in person.

 

Here are four tips to creating your own “Norm” factor using Social Media

 

  • Start conversations:

 

Sam the bartender would ask Norm and the other regulars about their day when they came in for a drink and they would tell him. He would listen attentively and over time they all became good friends. The customers knew Sam the bartender really cared and that’s why they kept coming back to his bar instead of buying their drinks elsewhere.

 

Social Media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allows you to chat one on one with clients/fans and at the same time share the conversation with hundreds or thousands of interested parties who want to see how much you care about your customers needs.

 

Ask questions and find out what your fans really need or want. Then give it to them.

 

  • Listen to the conversation:

 

You can listen to your customers and provide advice and solutions using social media just like the bartender on the show offers patrons advice. And just as the bartender knows the drinks of his regulars you can know what products and services your regulars like and let them know of upcoming improvements or discounts.

 

I know when I go to my favorite gas station the employees are happy to see me and ask me about my day. They notice if I haven’t been by in a while. I let them know I’ve been out of town. Same thing happens at my credit union and my favorite restaurant. Something similar happens on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedInwhen I post comments about businesses I like or have an interest in.

 

  • Encourage brand loyalty:

 

You can reward frequent customers in a variety of ways while keeping them interested in your postings. Post tips on and have a Customer of the Day or Week. Encourage them to share their stories. Have contests and let your customers post photos showing how much they enjoy your products. When a rival bar would compete against Cheers Sam the bartender would rally his regular customers to help him win. The customers were happy to support their favorite bar and did whatever they could to show they loyalty.

 

  • Get personal:

 

Let prospective customers see that you would provide the “Norm” factor online and in person. Your customers aren’t numbers they are people you are happy to serve and you want to get to know them by name. You can be more personable by sharing your community activity on social media. Let you customers know about your favorite non-profits, share your employees of the month, post snippets of info about your hobbies or pets to keep it personal. Share the same stuff you would talk about face-to-face but on a wide scale. Everyone knew the bartender was a former baseball player and loved sports. They also new about his beloved car which I think was a Corvette. Let your customers know about you and give your business personality.

 

Use your social media to make your business the place everyone wants to go because you care enough to know their names!


 

 

 


 

October has a Cornucopia of Marketing Ideas!

October 2nd, 2011

 

 

Looking for Marketing Promotion Ideas for October? Check out the wide variety of days. Healthy ideas, not so healthy and fun food day ideas. October 22nd is National Nut day. What kind of nutty ideas can you come up with for your Marketing promotions?

 

First Week:

October 1 – World Vegetarian Day – Have customers share recipes on Facebook

October 1 – National Homemade Cookies Day [I love baking cookies!]

October 2 – National Fried Scallops Day

October 3 – National Caramel Custard Day

October 4 – National Taco Day

October 4 – National Vodka Day – Great promotion for Night Clubs, Sports Bars and Restaurants

October 5 – National Apple Betty Day

October 6 – National Noodle Day

October 7 – National Frappe Day

 

Second Week:

 

October 8 – National Fluffernutter Day

October 9 – National Dessert Day – Have people post their Favs!

October 9 – National Moldy Cheese Day

October 10 – National Angel Food Cake Day

October 11 – National Sausage Pizza Day

October 11 – World Egg Day

October 12 – National Gumbo Day

October 13 – National Yorkshire Pudding Day

October 14 – National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day – EWWW!

October 15 – National Mushroom Day

October 15 – National Chicken Cacciatore Day

October 15 – National Roast Pheasant Day

 

Third Week:

October 16 – World Food Day – Promote a feed the hungry food drive!

October 16 – National Liqueur Day

October 17 – National Pasta Day

October 18 – National Chocolate Cupcake Day

October 19 – National Seafood Bisque Day

October 20 – National Brandied Fruit Day

October 21 – National Apple Day

October 21 – National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

October 21 – National Caramel Apple Day – Yum! Have them for your customers!

October 22 – National Nut Day

 

Fourth Week:

October 23 – National Boston Cream Pie Day

October 24 – National Bologna Day

October 24 – Good and Plenty Day

October 25 – National Greasy Foods Day

October 26 – National Mincemeat Pie Day

October 26 – National Pretzel Day – Do a mailer with mini bags of pretzels.

October 26 – National Pumpkin Day

October 27 – National Potato Day

October 28 – National Chocolate Day – Here’s my favorite day!

October 29 – National Oatmeal Day

October 30 – National Candy Corn Day

October 31 – National Candy Apple Day

 

Shape Up Your Marketing Promotions for May!

April 25th, 2011

Are you straining your brain for promotional themes for May? No need for a mental muscle pull. Here are some fun ideas to kick start your May sales.

I’m really liking May 6th as “National No Diet Day”. Might be a little outrageous but Athletic Clubs could use this as a get fit promotion. Celebrate No Diet Day then come in and start your fitness routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle not just and endless series of failed diets.

May 11th as “National Eat What You Want Day” can work for restaurants, candy shops, bakeries, ice cream parlors and even grocery stores.

May 23rd is “National Taffy Day”. Watching those taffy pulling machines is fun. Maybe you can rent one and have it in your store for a special sales promotion. Get the summer season started of with “National Grape Popsicle Day” on May 27th.

Check below for even more marketing ideas for the entire month of May.

First Week of May:

May 1 – National Chocolate Parfait Day
May 2 – National Truffle Day
May 3 – National Raspberry Tart Day
May 3 – National Chocolate Custard Day
May 4 – National Candied Orange Peel Day
May 4 – National Orange Juice Day
May 5 – National Chocolate Custard Day
May 5 – National Hoagie Day
May 5 – National Oyster Day [Seafood restaurants need to use this day.]
May 6 – National Crepe Suzette Day
May 6 – National No Diet Day [Yippee! Have a party for your clients.]
May 7 – National Roast Leg of Lamb Day

Second Week of May:

May 8 – National Coconut Cream Pie Day
May 8 – National Empanada Day
May 9 – National Butterscotch Brownie Day
May 10 – National Shrimp Day
May 11 – National Eat What You Want Day [Love this day!]
May 12 – National Nutty Fudge Day
May 13 – National Apple Pie Day
May 13 – National Fruit Cocktail Day
May 14 – National Buttermilk Biscuit Day

Third Week of May:

May 15 – National Chocolate Chip Day
May 16 – National Coquilles St. Jacques Day
May 17 – National Cherry Cobbler Day
May 18 – National Cheese Souffle Day
May 19 – National Devil’s Food Cake Day
May 20 – National Quiche Lorraine Day
May 20 – National Pick Strawberries Day [Make it a family event.]
May 21 – National Strawberries and Cream Day

Fourth Week of May:

May 22 – National Vanilla Pudding Day
May 23 – National Taffy Day
May 24 – National Escargot Day
May 25 – National Brown-Bag-It Day [Good for lunch presentations.]
May 25 – National Wine Day
May 26 – National Blueberry Cheesecake Day
May 26 – National Cherry Dessert Day
May 27 – National Grape Popsicle Day
May 28 – National Brisket Day

Fifth Week of May:

May 29 – National Coq Au Vin Day
May 30 – National Mint Julep Day
May 31 – National Macaroon Day

Be sure to leave a comment about which days you plan to use in your marketing promotions.

7 Tips for Dealing with Complaints Posted on Your Fan Page or Twitter Profile

December 30th, 2010

I’ve heard people worry about using social media because they aren’t sure how to handle negative comments or bad reviews.  They’ve heard some nightmare situation where an unfounded complaint was posted on a review site or someone’s Facebook Wall and the business spent days in an ongoing dialogue refuting the complaint.

Consider social media networks as an extension of your customer service. Here are some tips in dealing with negative reviews and comments posted online:

  1. Be sure to thank the person posting the negative comment or review for sharing their concerns.  Companies can appear indifferent or hostile when faced with a negative comment.
  2. Always reply to negative posts. It shows you are interested in their experience with your company. Let everyone see you have great customer service by posting a timely response.
  3. Don’t get into an online argument for any reason. Always be professional and civil no matter how inflammatory the individual’s comment or review may be.
  4. Be quick to provide an apology when dealing with a negative review. You are sorry they had a bad experience.
  5. Fix the problem and explain the steps you’ve taken to make the fix. Address the issue in a timely manner before you give the person reason to post further complaints due to your failure to respond to the complaint.
  6. Don’t obsess on a bitterly negative review. You don’t want to sound defensive or make a bad situation worse. Do your best to fix the problem and then move forward. Focus on keeping your regular customers happy and encourage them to post positive reviews. This will balance out any negative posts that prospective customers see. If they read on bad review out of 50 good reviews they’ll know it was an unusual occurrence.

If the issue is too involved send the person a direct message on Facebook or Twitter. You can even ask for the customer’s phone number so you can contact directly.  In the past, when I’ve had issues with my web hosting services tech support scheduled a phone appointment to deal with my customer service and technical concerns.

The point is to be proactive and have a person designated to handle customer service issues that come up through your social media profiles.

How Marketers Are Using Social Media

December 12th, 2010

Are you using social media to market your business? Why not? Check out what marketers are doing. Twitter and Facebook are the top social media tools. Are you using them effectively?

Everybody’s Doing It: How Marketers Are Utilizing Social Media In 2010
Flowtown – Social Media Marketing Application

How to Get a Lifetime Customer and How to Lose One Forever

May 24th, 2010

I had my car smog checked a few weeks ago. When I got ready to pay I was given a list of things that needed fixing on my car. This was a surprise to me because a few months ago when I had work done there were no problems. I was told I needed my brake fluid changed, my alignment done, new spark plugs, a new brake light, a new license plate tag light and a few other things. I was puzzled and suspicious especially when I wasn’t given an estimate of prices to make the repairs.

Oh, let me say I went to this new place after the business I had been to a few months ago closed down and had their phone number forwarded to the new place. I was shocked that an automotive repair shop that had been open for years closed suddenly and with no notice to customers. I hadn’t received a postcard, letter, email or phone call that my repair shop was no longer going to be servicing my car.

Hmm, poor marketing could be a huge reason why it went out of business. I also hadn’t received a time to get your oil changed notice and my car was overdue for an oil change. Another failure to communicate with customers. In the past I’ve received repeated postcards from places for months that I only went to once and didn’t like their service and so never went back. Yet this place that I liked, didn’t keep up any continued contact about regular maintenance on my car.

Maybe I should’ve noticed this before hand but I hate getting my car serviced so I don’t think about it unless I have to travel out of town then I start thinking of checking out my car. I don’t want to end up stranded somewhere because I failed to get my car checked out. I have friends who’ve had that happen and then been at the mercy of out-of-town auto repair shops.

This new shop sent me a thank you card which I thought was good follow-up and then I got a letter about the supposed needed repairs. Again with no cost estimate enclosed which aroused my suspicions again. I also got a coupon for what seemed like outrages prices for an oil change and tune up.

I decided to ask a friend who worked as a Fleet supervisor about this list of repairs. After explaining the list he gave a derisive laugh and said I likely didn’t need any of those things done and to see a mechanic of his recommendation.

He told me it sounded like this auto repair shop where I had the smog check done at was trying to make some easy money off me. I didn’t like that at ALL! I called the first shop he told me about and scheduled an oil change. I figured this should tell me what problems I really have by seeing someone new.

At this shop I mentioned up front my car shimmies at higher speeds. Immediately the manager said I needed my wheels balanced and recommended a local tire store to do the work. I noticed he didn’t say I needed my wheels aligned and was willing to refer me to another business whose niche was tires and balancing tires, etc. I was happy to be doing business with the shop already and they hadn’t even started working on my car!

When I came back to pick up my car I found out the only new problem was the replacement of the license plate tag light which cost me all of $1.94. Who knows what the nefarious smog check place would’ve charged me for it. I even asked if anything else was wrong with my car. I was told it was in good working order and reminded to have the balance done at the tire shop.

Wow! What a huge difference. An honest mechanic willing to refer me to other businesses. This was even better than frequent mailers. I could trust this business to take care of my car and not over charge me. They may not know it but they have a customer for life. Finding a mechanic you can trust is vital especially for a woman.

In the past I’ve had auto repair shops try to rip me off because I’m a woman and not very car savvy. One thing they didn’t realize is I have male friends that I ask questions before getting new repairs done. That has saved me hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars. Plus I keep all my repair receipts so if some dishonest mechanic tries to sell me a repair I’ve already had done I can point it out and save myself money. And let me tell you it has happened more than once over the years!

Don’t business people realize the fastest way to lose a customer is to rip her off? And the quickest way to get a lifetime customer is to be honest and trustworthy? This is especially important when marketing to women. Women value relationships and trust is vital in relationships.

Cheat me out of even a nickel one time and you’ll never see me again. Be honest and I’ll do business with you for years and years.

Oh and I went to the tire shop and since I had purchased tires there before they balanced my tires for free. Now my car drives smooth like frosting on a cake! Sweet!

Check Out these Resources if You Market to Women

May 11th, 2010

If you are trying to sell to woman you need to do some research. I found a few links you need to check out as you plan your marketing promotions.

If you want to find out if your website content markets effectively to women check out our Website Diagnostic Review. Direct Marketing Rx will do a Site Content Audit to see if your web marketing message is selling to your target marketing. Get started in two easy steps. Read about it at “Is your Web Content Earning or Burning Money?” or Contact Us directly for help now.

Wonder Branding
by Michelle Miller provides news & views on the female customer. Check out her post about The New Demography of Motherhood. The post discusses the change in age range for mothers and the impact cultural differences will have on your marketing campaigns.

Mashable
has a great article about marketing to women read it here: 10 Musts for Marketing to Women on Facebook.  My favorite point – Listen! Women like to have their needs heard and met. You can do it with the right marketing.

She conomy
is a guy’s guide to marketing to women. Check out some quick facts about marketing to Boomer Women.

Adweek Media
has a downloadable pdf report you can find here: The Family CFO.

Find out what women really want.  Knowledge about your target market can only enhance your marketing campaigns and increase response rates.

Last Minute Ideas for Getting Business during Tax Season

March 29th, 2010

Most dread the April 15th deadline to file taxes. But you can turn it around and help your customers relax and making money too!

Have an “EZ” Discount – Use the tax form numbers as promo codes when ordering for example 1040EZ.  If you have a product you can price at $10.40 you can offer the special price good on April 15th only.

“Enjoy Your Refund” Promotion – Have a special sale for your customers who filed their taxes early and are ready to spend the cash the got back.  Have a follow-up sale a few weeks later for the people who filed at the last-minute and won’t have their refund by April 15th. Offer it to early birds too and get them spending twice.

Relieve the Stress of Paying the IRS –   Offer special coupons for a spa day, special dinner or box of chocolates. Encourage your customers to have a relaxing treat of their choice on April 15th.  Send an email to your best customers to get them spending. Or even entice new prospects to your business.

15% off Discount – Make April 15th a positive date not a bad one by offering 15% off purchases made.   Send out a quick email or post on your blog about the special discount only available until midnight on April 15th and pick up some extra sales on a potentially slow business day.

Use these last minute ideas to bring in extra sales on Tax Day April 15th.

Meanwhile enjoy this YouTube video of the Taxman by the Beatles while you come up with your own April 15th Tax Day promotions:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y2XLIitX8o&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b]

Bad Customer Service Equals Bad Word of Mouth

March 17th, 2010

If you give your customers the run around when they have a problem you could be ruining your reputation. Think of Kevin Smith and his outraged tweets when he was kicked off Southwest Airlines. Good customer service could’ve dealt with the situation in a way that left Mr. Smith happy with the airline.

That’s not the only story of bad customer service. Musician Dave Carrol’s guitar was broken by United Airlines and it took months to get any kind of resolution.

It’s been almost two years and his YouTube video is still getting hits. United made a poor customer service choice they won’t forget. Neither will anyone else with this music video written by a customer done wrong.

Even though he made follow up videos describing the resolution this original one is forever out there showing all potential customers why they should avoid an airline with bad customer service. Treat your customers with respect and avoid bad word of mouth that lingers forever on the Internet.

Why not give your customers such great service they make a video about the experience.