#JUSTBENICE ISN’T ALWAYS EASY

Just be nice. When you’re working to build relationships, you can never go wrong by showing some basic respect, decency and empathy. It’s pretty easy to be nice when the sun is shining, you’re in a good mood, and you’re surrounded by people whose company you enjoy. But being nice can be hard work when you’re frustrated, angry or dealing with someone with a very unfortunate personality. Navigating those moments is never easy, but with a bit of effort you can emerge with your reputation intact and maybe spark a new relationship in the process.

Read more

HIRE FOR PASSION, TRAIN FOR SKILLS

Then…

– Listen to them, and make sure you take actions that let them know you are listening. Every human being needs to feel that their contributions are appreciated and that their opinion matters. Otherwise work is a mindless drudge with no purpose (other than a paycheck), and the employee has no emotional connection to the work they do or the company that employs them.

Read more

INSTEAD OF “CREATING” VIRAL MOMENTS, LOOK FOR REAL-TIME INFLUENCE OPPORTUNITIES

Look at big corporate brands, and you’ll find plenty of businesses paying millions to cultivate influence by creating the next viral moment. Good luck. The impulse is understandable, but the tactics leave much to be desired. Obsessing over “the big one” all too often means missing out on the smaller moments of influence that really matter and you do not have to wait for. Viral moments were not named in haste. They’re called viral because they happen quickly and without notice, grow exponentially, and are very difficult to control for any business caught up in the wave.

Read more

Customer Experience Versus Just Experience: Why The Difference Is Key To Brand Relevance

 

pasted_image_10_17_16__7_52_am

Customer experience aka CX is one of the most important trends changing business today. And, experts believe that it represents the next big competitive advantage for companies that invest in it. But what is customer experience exactly? It’s one of those terms (and movements) that is defined and interpreted differently depending on who’s talking about it within the organization. But without a common appreciation for customer experience and what it represents to customers, not just our view of them, our CX efforts may not be as effective as we think.

Read more

ENGAGEMENT: HOW MAKING MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS LEADS TO BRAND LOYALTY

Transactions, conversions, closing the deal. All good stuff in the grand scheme, but not what we should be focusing on when building sustainable relationships with customers. The problem is that when a transaction is the only goal, there’s little focus on keeping the customer coming back for more. Ten different people who make one-and-done transactions with your business may look the same in a spreadsheet, but one person who makes ten purchases over time is a much better indication that you’re doing something right.

Read more

DON’T BLAME SOCIAL MEDIA FOR LESS FACE-TO-FACE INTERACTION

I’ve been reflecting for a while on an article from MediaPost, which outlines some of the ways social media and online culture have changed the way we interact face to face. The upshot, based on a study by the British government, is that we’re making fewer in-person visits than we used to. They’re called “social visits” in the study, which is a perfect name given the subject we’re about to tackle.

Read more

#RETAILRELEVANCY… EXPECTATIONS, ENGAGEMENT, AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Retail Relevancy has never been more… relevant. In part one of my conversation with my friend and business partner John Andrews, we touched on Alexa, Amazon, and the evolving way that consumers experience retail. In part two, we’re continuing that conversation, and digging into how the modern retail experience (when it’s done right) should empower both employees and customers to engage on a human level. Let’s dive into some of the highlights:

Read more

ARE YOUNGER GENERATIONS DICTATING THE PATH OF INFLUENCER MARKETING?

No matter how you slice the demographics, young people hold a lot of sway on social media. They influence social conversation, establish trends, and tend to help social sites thrive when they show up in large numbers. Part of this is the power of numbers. According to Pew Research, 82 percent of US adults age 18-29 actively use Facebook, though the 65+ demographic is no slouch at 48 percent. However  a recent study highlighted by MediaPost suggests that one in three young social media users qualify as influencers.

Read more

NO MATTER WHERE TECH TAKES US, CUSTOMERS STILL NEED A HUMAN TOUCH

If you’re aiming for omni-channel excellence, or simply looking to thrive on your channels of choice, don’t forget about the human side. In fact, it should be your first priority. With every new trend and communication channel comes new opportunities to connect, so it’s natural for marketers to seek out the most promising tools for the job. The challenge is that every trend has an expiration date, and it’s too easy to sacrifice the fundamentals in favor of the hot, new tool with an unknown shelf-life.

Read more