Recently I had the chance to speak with JoAnna Brandi about her participation in the NACCM: Customers 1st Conference coming up November 16 ‘ 19, 2008 in Anaheim, California at the Disneyland Hotel. In our podcast, we talk about what JoAnna is most passionate about in her work. We also take some time to talk about her past experiences at the NACCM conference, as well as what she’s looking forward to this year. Listen here
This is posted on behalf of JoAnna Brandi. It is co-posted on the Customers 1st Blog and JoAnna Brandi blogs. As soon as the rain from Tropical Storm Fay passed yesterday I rushed down to the beach. I had been away for over two weeks and I missed my favorite spot. Breathing in the sea air renews me, so even when windy or cloudy, I take my walks at the beach. And windy it was. I tucked my ipod deep in my pocket and put my sunglasses on to keep the sand out of my eyes. It’s my habit to walk against the wind on the walk out, so the walk back is a little easier. It didn’t take long to notice that a lot of beach was gone. The storm had done some damage, and perhaps eighty feet or more of beach washed out to sea. I drank in the fresh air after two days of being stuck indoors during the storm, at first all I was feeling was gratitude for being able to have nature so close to home. But shortly I started thinking about a client. Their customer base in one sector of their business is eroding, and has been for a while. I know my training and my message is powerful, but I wondered. Would it begin to turn the tide? When over time you cut cost by cutting service it begins eroding the trust your clients had. Growing by acquisition builds the customer base up again (just like the beach did over the past few months following terrible storms a few months prior to that.) But when scrupulous attention is not paid to the culture and how to deal with customers of the ‘former’ company, over time, we see erosion. The world is changing. The customer is changing. They have the power. When they start talking out loud and on the internet, the jig’s up. All organizations need to take a closer look at what they are doing to stem erosion. If you didn’t have a good relationship with the customer when they left (because like everyone else, they’re cutting back a bit) you certainly won’t be able to win them back when the financial weather changes again. Marketing and advertising dollars don’t buy trust, they buy interest. You can’t buy trust, you have to earn and build it. What builds trust is consistently doing the things that make the employees and customers feel valued, special and important. It happens easily. Even to me. We all tend to take our customers for granted. Erosion. It’s a sign. Time to build up the dunes. If you’d like to see more of Joanna Brandi’s blogs, visit JoAnna Brandi’s Blogs. You can also find out more by visiting her Customer Care Coach website. Joanna Brandi will be a keynote speaker at this year’s North American Conference on Customer Management, and has already been profiled on our Customer 1st blog. Stay tuned for her posts on the Customers 1st blog!
This is posted on behalf of JoAnna Brandi. It is co-posted on the Customers 1st Blog and JoAnna Brandi blogs. I got a call today from Lori Pappasino at Lord & Taylors. Was she upset! She read the blog entry about my experience there and I’ve got to say took it real personally. She apologized. She listened. She apologized again. She felt badly and I could feel it. She told me about her efforts at L&T to create positive customer experiences. She expressed regret that they had failed Mom and I. I explained (how could I not) that perhaps if this had been another store, perhaps if this had been one of the discount chains, or even one of the other department stores, that I wouldn’t have felt nearly so bad. But after all this was Lord & Taylors ‘ the ‘special’ store of my youth. The Lord & Taylors of special dresses and first suits and ladies’ lunches ‘ I had a higher expectation. And so the gap appeared to be so huge because this venerable old institution owed me (and Mom) more. It compounded my insult and made it feel even worse. After all, it’s all about the feelings. She got it. In fact ‘ she got it all. She understood my point of view as a customer and as a professional in her field. She even went through (she didn’t know this) most all the steps I teach to deal with and upset or angry customer. She listened, she let me vent, she empathized ( so well, I think I want to take her to lunch) she restated the problem to make sure she really understood, she told me what she was going to do to make sure it would never happen to another customer, she offered a letter of apology to my mother with a small ‘atonement’ (my word, not hers) she thanked me for my business and told me how valuable I was and that she wanted to earn our trust once again. She really got it. Congratulations Lori ‘ you ‘Wowed’ me with your recovery skills. She explained how the whole company is now going through retraining in customer service behaviors. I’ll bet I make it to the ‘Here’s how not to do it’ section of that training. Good. Stories are memorable. They are asking the question in their company, ‘What are we going to do differently’? I couldn’t help myself, I offered a few suggestions. It’s a great question and one that everyone should be asking! One thing is for sure ‘ if she teaches everyone in the company what she knows about ‘recovery’ skills, they’ll be well trained. In case you want a little poster for your wall to remind you of those steps ‘ we’ve posted it here LINK for you or anyone you think might need it. Enjoy. Practice. Prosper. If you’d like to see more of Joanna Brandi’s blogs, visit JoAnna Brandi’s Blogs. You can also find out more by visiting her Customer Care Coach website. Joanna Brandi will be a keynote speaker at this year’s North American Conference on Customer Management, and has already been profiled on our Customer 1st blog. Stay tuned for her posts on the Customers 1st blog!
This is posted on behalf of JoAnna Brandi. It is co-posted on the Customers 1st Blog and JoAnna Brandi blogs. I’ve just left the Estee Lauder counter in Lord & Taylor’s. I’m shaking my head. Lauder is having one of their special offers ‘ buy $39.50 worth of product and get a free gift. My Mom uses their products and like most people loves the free gift. This time (very clever) you get to customize the gift. You get to pick from two color palettes (warm or cool) and a choice of daytime or nighttime creams. We walked over to the relatively small counter where there three (count them ‘ three) sales people. Not one of them noticed us nosing around. I had to ask ‘Are you having a special offer today’? ‘Yes.’ ‘Uh ‘ can you tell us a little about it’? She gave us a brief description, nothing exciting at all in her voice, and void of some important details. My Mom, recovering from a broken hip, and leaning on a cane said great ‘ I need some powder. The young later brought out the powder and stated that the powder cost $29.50. ‘Okay,’ A moment of silence and then I got it ‘ it was probably not enough to qualify for the gift. So I needed to move the conversation along to the next level I guessed. ‘And what do we need to spend to get a gift’? $39.50 More silence and one of those glances that suggested that perhaps we were interrupting something very important that she needed to do. It was momentary, but my body picked it up. Now my Mom picked up the ball. She looked at me and said, ‘Need anything’? ‘I really could use a lipstick.’ ‘Okay.’ And then, nothing. ‘Where ARE your lipsticks’? I asked, really wanting to bolt out of the store screaming. ‘Over there.’ And so I climbed over a cart that was blocking the way, and then moved it out of the way so my Mom might make her way around the road block too. I quickly picked a lipstick. Now it’s time for Mom to pick the components of her gift ‘ the young lady asked my not-hearing-too-well Mom. ‘Do you want warm or cool colors’? Not knowing what she was getting into, or what the young lady meant she picked one. When I brought to her attention after seeing the colors that she wasn’t going to like the beige lipstick we asked the young lady to switch it. What resulted was a deep sigh and look of distain. Had I been there alone, it would have been the moment of truth, where I either told the truth about what I was seeing or left the store, but I stayed for the rest of the transaction. To my utter amazement, after we paid, the woman looks up and says in a somewhat convincing voice, ‘Thank you so very much. I really appreciate your business, thanks for coming in today.’ The amazing part ‘ she said it all while maintaining a scowl on her face. It made me feel quite ill, it was that strange. Next time you express appreciation ‘ please remember to inform your face. If you want to learn more about inspiring the kind of culture that would NEVER (I repeat NEVER) produce this kind of behavior join the experts at this year’s North American Conference on Customer Management where we’ll be teaching you how to make the customer really FEEL like #1. If you’d like to see more of Joanna Brandi’s blogs, visit JoAnna Brandi’s Blogs. You can also find out more by visiting her Customer Care Coach website. Joanna Brandi will be a keynote speaker at this year’s North American Conference on Customer Management, and has already been profiled on our Customer 1st blog. Stay tuned for her posts on the Customers 1st blog!
This is posted on behalf of JoAnna Brandi. It is co-posted on the Customers 1st Blog and JoAnna Brandi blogs. Ever had a song playing in your head? ‘I’m so excited; I think I like it’.’ Okay, I know, I’m dating myself. But I have to admit the sound of that song has been in my head since I got off the phone with Amanda Powers who is the conference director for this year’s North American Conference on Customer Management. She spent an hour with me on the phone walking me through the agenda ‘ they’ve made major changes ‘ based on feedback from attendees, of course, and the conference ‘ the 6th annual ‘ looks like it could be the best ever. They’ve expanded on things people wanted more of and cut back on things people thought there was too much of, and it’s shaping up really nicely. It’s finally in a new location ‘ Anaheim California. I’m not only excited because the conference looks good. I’m excited because I’m the chairperson and get an opportunity to be involved at a whole new level. I don’t know why they picked me, but I am sure glad they did. I’m doing a workshop AND getting the honor of introducing the keynoters. I can’t wait until November to get involved, so I’m starting this week to discover more about the topics, the speakers, and Disneyland (where we are going to get a change to ‘swarm’ the magic kingdom.) Yeah, I like it. I can’t wait to meet Kevin Carroll the Author of Rules of The Red Rubber Ball whose keynote is titled ‘Rediscovering Play: Bringing Fun and Passion to Your Work and Your Life. ‘ Kevin ‘ I am so ready. You can expect that over the next few months I’ll be sharpening my blogging skills (it’s about time isn’t it?) and spreading the excitement of the conference every chance I get. And you can be sure that I’ll be first on line to hear the Rob Maruster, the Senior VP of JetBlue Airways speak on ‘Bring Humanity Back to Air Travel.’ Yoo-hoo Rob, can we talk? Check it out http://www.iirusa.com/naccm/event-home.xml If you’d like to see more of Joanna Brandi’s blogs, visit JoAnna Brandi’s Blogs. You can also find out more by visiting her Customer Care Coach website. Joanna Brandi will be a keynote speaker at this year’s North American Conference on Customer Management, and has already been profiled on our Customer 1st blog. Stay tuned for her posts on the Customers 1st blog!
We’d like to introduce you to our newest guest contributor, Joanna Brandi. She’ll be co-posting with the Customers 1st blog. Here is her most recent post from her Customer Care Goddess blog. I’m headed for the airport. Again. I can’t say I love travel, but like many, I make the best of it. On the trip home from Indiana last week I was stuck ‘ literally ‘ in the window seat between a very large (and angry) man next to me and the one in front of me who reclined himself into my lap. I guess when Delta put in those few extra rows (and took away leg room) they forgot to change the pitch of the reclining seat. Oh the joy of travel! I thought I might have a glass of wine to celebrate the success of the workshop I’d just delivered, but I was pinned in so tightly I couldn’t get my arm to the floor to reach my purse. Cranberry juice please! The man next to me vibed negativity. My guess he was mad because he was stuck in the middle and spread his unhappiness whether he opened his mouth or not. The flight attendant wasn’t too pleasant and that made it worse, but what came first? When he called her ‘toots’ I chose to close my eyes and visualize how beautiful the beach would be at sunrise the next day. Breathe deeply. I didn’t realize until I got off the plane that despite my best efforts, I’d been holding my breath. Getting off the plane never felt so good. When stuck in situations like that I do think people should make every effort to be as pleasant as possible. No one likes flying any more, why make it worse? The plane ride home was on my mind when I wrote my tip yesterday ‘ rather than ‘how to’ give great service I offer tips on how to get great service. We all need to practice what we teach. Take a look at my Customer Care Tip here If you’d like to see more of Joanna Brandi’s blogs, visit JoAnna Brandi’s Blogs. You can also find out more by visiting her Customer Care Coach website. Joanna Brandi will be a keynote speaker at this year’s North American Conference on Customer Management, and has already been profiled on our Customer 1st blog. Stay tuned for her posts on the Customers 1st blog!
With the North American Conference On Customer Service approaching, we would like to begin to introduce you to the speakers we will have this year at our event. This year, NACCM will take place from November 16 ‘ 19, 2008 in Anaheim, California at the Disneyland Hotel. Today, we’d like to introduce you to JoAnna Brandi. JoAnna Brandi is currently the CEO & Publisher for Customer Care Coach. JoAnna Brandi started her career with CPM Media, where she was responsible for helping to create a multi-million dollar Direct Market Services profit center, building the first database, and on-line customer care system. After leaving CPM in 1990, she opened her own business which has successfully built on the principles that she had learned. Some of the main insights that JoAnna shares through a bi-weekly online magazine ‘Customer Care Tip’, which she authors, are on the topics of positive psychology in business.She has written three books: ‘Winning at Customer Retention, 101 Ways to Keep ‘em Happy, Keep ‘em Loyal, and Keep ‘em Coming Back‘, ‘Building Customer Loyalty ‘ 21 Essential Elements in ACTION‘, and ‘54 Ways to Stay Positive in a Changing, Challenging and Sometimes Negative World‘. In addition she was a contributing author to ‘Inc. Guide to Superior Customer Service’, and ‘Best Practices in Customer Service’. To learn more about JoAnna Brandi visit her blog and read more of her musings. Meanwhile click on this link to see a video found her company website depicting her in action. We invite you to come see JoAnna Brandi at NACCM as she presents her workshop on Sunday, November 16th, The Positive Leader. Be sure to look for another speaker’s profile next week.