6 Reasons Your Customer Service Needs Twitter

Kevin Stirtz of AmazingServiceGuy, writes six reasons why you should implement Twitter use in your customer service.

1. It will bring you closer to your customers.
2. It will make you smarter.
3. It can put you ahead of your competitors.
4. It’s cool.
5. It’s free.
6. It’s new.

Stirtz expands on his reasoning at his original post, which we encourage you to read.

If you are or aren’t using Twitter, how do you think the micro-blogging technology with enable businesses to better connect to their customers?

NYTimes Appoints Social Media Editor

The New York Times‘s has social media editor, Jennifer Preston (NYT_JenPreston). The newly appointed position seems to be an attempt by the old media stalwart to embrace the changing tide (if not a little late) of social media and its impact on news. According to MediaPost, It’s nice to sit back and think, well, maybe the paper is trying to embrace social media, taking the view that it needs to run with the bulls or be trampled — no matter how debased it might make the Gray Lady seem. But the truth is, that the move is probably damage control on a few fronts. First, the reporters and writers were already out there tweeting away. The Guardian, on Ms.Preston’s experience says, Preston has impressive experience in traditional journalism both as a reporter and editor, most recently heading up the Times’ regional weekly sections. However, while her profile and experience internally at the Times might be high, she has almost no profile in social media journalism circles.

As a social media professional, what do you think Preston’s appointment will mean for new and old media?

Take Your Customer to Work Day

If you haven’t noticed, today is Take Your Customer to Work Day. This post does a great job of discussing why it is important to open up your doors and invite customers into the workplace to meet employees and better understand how your business works.

Bringing your customers to work builds trust, and it also demonstrates the respect your company has for your customers. Customers get to know the company better and the company gets to knows its customers better as well. It’s a win-win!

So invite your customers to your shops and stores!

Cashing in on Twitter

For those looking to make extra cash on twitter, Tweetbucks might be your answer. This post on TechCrunch discusses how this startup is hoping to make money for users of Twitter and other social networks. Here’s how it works, Tweetbucks offers thousands of online merchant that offer referral fees, all you have to do is select a product and Tweetbucks will shorten the affiliated link for you. These links can then be added to Facebook status updates, tweets, and friendfeeds.

What’s the likelihood of this catching on since this will most likely be viewed as spam?

TMRE 2009 Keynote: Steven Sturm

Toyota: Continuous Improvement Through Research

Steven Sturm
Group V.P., Americas Strategic Research & Planning & Corporate Communications
Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

Steven Sturm is Group Vice President of Americas Strategic Research and Planning and Corporate Communications for Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA), the holding company for Toyota’s North American sales, engineering and manufacturing operating units. Mr. Sturm is responsible for corporate strategy and planning, strategic research across the Americas, and image research. He is also responsible for corporate advertising and marketing communications, as well as media and investor relations.

Prior to joining TMA, Mr. Sturm was Vice President, North America Planning for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., where he developed strategies for North America and the Western Hemisphere in support of sales, supply objectives, and trade issues.

Sturm served as President and General Manager of Toyota Logistics Services (TLS), Inc., a subsidiary of TMS, where he was in charge of Toyota and Lexus vehicle delivery to dealers, new vehicle processing and accessory installation, Toyota Transport operations, manufacturing parts logistics operations, and the export of North American-produced vehicles to overseas destinations.

Since joining Toyota in 1981, Mr. Sturm has held management positions in parts development, U.S. accessory development, product development, and market/price planning for the Toyota Division. He also was the national distribution, logistics, and sales planning manager; corporate sales planning manager; and corporate marketing manager for the Lexus Division. In addition, Mr. Sturm held the positions of Vice President, New Era Business Project, and Vice President, Marketing, for the Toyota Division.

Prior to his career at Toyota, Mr. Sturm was a Marketing Manager for Hunt-Wesson Foods and a Product Manager for Standard Brands.

Mr. Sturm received an MBA from NYU Stern and a BS in economics from the City University of New York.

Thanks to NYU for their biography of Mr. Sturm.

Free Webinar by MarketTools: Quality Research on a Budget

There are a lot of online survey tools available these days that allow you to do one-off research projects for next to nothing. While these inexpensive tools are relatively fast and easy to use, they don’t always yield quality results on which you can base important decisions. Why compromise? There are ways to do quality research without breaking the bank. Let us tell you how.

Join us to hear how your peers are doing high-quality research on very limited budgets. Our panel of experts will discuss their experiences and provide real-life examples of how they’ve been able to do it. During this one-hour webinar you’ll learn:

  • Five simple guidelines for doing quality research
  • How a panel can reduce your research cost and improve quality
  • What companies are doing to deal with ‘professional’ survey respondents
  • When is it a good idea to call in the experts
  • And much more’

Mike Waite

Chris Schroll, Senior Manager Strategic Research & Analysis, Wolters Kluwer
Pat Merrill, Founder/General Partner, Merrill Research
and other research leaders from Fortune 500 firms

Register below, make sure to mention priority code MWS0025BLOG

NACCM Customers 1st 2009 Full Conference Details Just Released


I’m excited to announce that the 7th annual NACCM Customers 1st 2009 Conference full program details have just been published. It’s taking place Nov. 2-5, 2009 at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak in Phoenix, Arizona. NACCM Customers 1st is the most comprehensive customer-centric conference covering everything customer strategy under one roof. Speaking companies include Dell, FedEx, Southwest Airlines, Marriott International, Mastercard Worldwide, Travelocity, Zappos.com, JetBlue Airways, CIGNA, The Hartford and many more. The event has over 40 sessions, 45 corporate practitioner speakers, 3 Chief Customer Officers, 2 Chief Marketing Officers, 2 Chief Experience Officers and 5 visionary authors…the program is more hands-on and results driven than any other customer event.

For more information and to download the conference brochure, visit www.iirusa.com/naccm. The earlier you register, the more you save. Register today to save $400.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback on the event. I may be reached at apowers@iirusa.com.

I hope to see you there!

All the best,
Amanda Powers
Senior Conference Producer
IIR, NACCM Customers 1st Team

Everyone Works in Customer Service

John Caddell of PennLive.com, has a theory. He thinks that in order to do a proper business, everyone involved in an organization should participate in customer service.

Caddell writes, “EVERYBODY works in customer service. Think of it. Rather than a group of ground-down reps fielding all the complaints and questions, everybody takes a turn. It could be perhaps 10-15% of everyone’s job–4-6 hours a week. Computer-aided telephony systems & CRM systems easily support flexible staffs of work-from-home agents and could manage the shift of calls from agent to agent.”

Would it “fly” in the American corporate business structure? If everyone is working for the same goal–wouldn’t the business succeed?

Customer service is such an important job, perhaps we should spread it around

Market research in a recession

In a recent article at The Harvard Business School, they look at seven steps to reduce the impact of minimized spending when it comes to market research.

They are:
1. Stay focused.
2. Enlist trusted partners.
3. Value experience and judgment.
4. Seize opportunities overseas.
5. Go online with a dash of skepticism.
6. Don’t cut across the board.
7. Keep an eye on the new consumer.

Read in-depth about the steps here.