Tag Archives: naccm 2009

NACCM 2009: Creating a Customer-Centric Social Media Strategy that Works

Business owners want to jump on the social media bandwagon but just don’t know where to begin. Becky Carroll, founder of Customers Rock!, believes you must have a strategy to engage in social media today. In her presentation today, “Putting Together a Customer-Centric Social Media Strategy that Works: Deciphering the Hype from Reality“, she discusses how to put together a customer centeric social media strategy that works.
Why consider social media? Carroll says because your customers want it or management wants it. She reminds us that 60% of Americans are using social media, 93% believe a company should have a presence in social media and 85% believe a company should interact via social media. Using social media helps to remove the ‘faceless veil’ so that customers can get to know you on a personal level says Carroll.

According to Carroll, hitting the Social media sweet spot allows us to:
‘ build trust with customers
‘ build community
‘ WOM maximizer
‘ two-way conversations

Based on the book Groundswell, Carroll shares several reasons to use social media: to listen, talk, energize, help and embrace your customers. Ask your customers which social media venues work best for them.

How do you create a social media strategy? Carroll says you should participate by first listening, deciding what you want to do with your customers and choose the right tools. Establish social media goals. What do you want to do? Share your expertise, build relationships, create a conversation, customer service, or be more human?

Carroll shared several company examples which are successfully using social media. She mentioned the top three brands with the deepest brand engagement using social media Starbucks, Dell and Ebay. Other examples include Coca Cola, JetBlue and Cisco. Coca Cola’s Fan Page was developed by two loyal customers. JetBlue Airways uses Twitter for customer service and has over 1.4 million followers. Cisco CEO John Chambers was captured on video in his office doing duck calls. The video was posted on their blog and allowed customers to see his human side.

The key to social media is in the planning. Decide who is in charge of social media. Many are outsourcing to marketing companies and PR firms. Carroll believes you should not outsource this to someone outside of the company. Find someone in your organization who would love the opportunity to create conversations about your company. Everyone needs to be involved in strategy: marketing, customer service, R&D, C-level, and employees.

Decide which metrics are the most critical. Start with small, focused pilots. Remember, you must be consistent as it is a relationship-building activity for the long term according to Carroll. Ask for customer feedback and revise your strategy as needed.

You can engage in social media in a planned way. Set up the plan and get your organization involved. According to Carroll, it takes a little nurture and care. Little things like ‘thank you’ matter to your customers. Begin by listening is Carroll’s strongest advice.

NACCM 2009: Managing the Customer Service Experience

Customers today are more interested in the experience they have with you, your products and services than ever before. Making the customer experience your value proposition should be our goal according to Lewis (Lou) Carbone, founder and CEO of Experience Engineering and author of ‘Clued In, How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again.‘ Carbone reminds us of a quote from Peter Drucker that brings light to this concept, ‘The purpose of a business is to create value for its customers and the reward for that is profit.’

Two companies, Disney and Howard Johnsons, have influenced his thinking about the customer experience. In working with Disney, he found that their management was concerned more about the customer experience, i.e., concerns over the melting rate of ice cream in their different theme parks, the scent of chocolate chip cookies to enhance the experience, down to the design of Main Street in a way that visitors perceived a long entrance that went on forever and perceived a quick exit after a long day at the park. Compare this to Howard Johnson’s model which lost its customer focus over the years.

According to Carbone, the economy has affected how we look at customer service today. One way a business can differentiate itself is through the service experience. Companies must move from a ‘make and sell’ product-based mentality to a ‘sense and respond’ experience-based mentality. The ‘sense and respond’ mentality focuses on what our customers really want from the service experience and examines the impact of cultural influences and psychological needs. When we factor these into the service experience, we can significantly improve customer loyalty and retention.

An experience audit can help us compare a current customer service experience with a desired customer experience. We can audit our current customer experience with a variety of tools including, language analysis, clue scanning, one-on-one customer interviews, etc. Clue scanning, for example, allows us to look for clues in a service experience that can be improved to better meet the needs and desires of the customer. By using these tools we can close the gap between the current and desired customer experience.

Carbone believes that improving the customer service experience involves both art and science in today’s world. ‘It is not enough to say ‘let’s treat them well,” says Carbone. We must look beyond that and decide what we want our customers to feel about themselves when they do business with us. Managing customer clues will become extremely important as time goes on. He foresees a day when every customer is treated as an individual unit as we perfect our ‘clue-consciousness.’ Until then, we must continue to keep our eyes focused on improving the service experience to remain competitive and successful.

NACCM 2009 Kicks off on Monday!

We hope that you’ll be joining us next week in sunny Phoenix for the 2009 NACCM Customer 1st event. We’ll be LIVE on-site as we blog, Tweet and record all that NACCM has to offer.

Follow us right here for our coverage of the conference. Also, be sure to follow along on Twitter and join in the conversation with #NACCM.
Check below for a glimpse of what’s in store for us next week.

Take a look at all we have to offer:

‘ 40+ insightful presenters focused on delivering real world case studies showcasing new innovative approaches for delivering customer-centricity.
‘ 7 Exciting new keynote sessions: fresh sources of motivation and inspiration to help you make an impact. Keynote themes include Authentic Leadership, CCO Perspectives, WOW Experiences, Customer Trends, Human Factors, Customer Service and more!
‘ More networking activities than ever – including a Mexican Fiesta Dinner, Wild West Party and dinners with peers around the resort to ensure you’re making the right connections and getting the right face-time with your industry counterparts.
‘ New Programs added to ensure your investment delivers the value you need and expect… including the ROA (Return on Attendance) tool, event mentorship program, post-event executive summary and participant key takeaways report.

‘ Outdoor sessions and activities bringing the insights and knowledge sharing into an open-air environment.
‘ Event Concierge offering personalized attention aimed at helping you with all your planning needs.

‘ All New Tracks & Summits, the value of 5 conferences for the price of one: Customer-Centric Social Media, Next Generation Loyalty & Retention Strategies, Strategic Leadership & Customer-Centric Culture, Organizational & Operational Excellence, Innovating the Customer Experience

Plus – Connect, Engage and Learn from your Peers…here is a list of companies who’ve already signed on to attend:

Affinion Loyalty Group
ALSAC St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Arizona Public Service
Baxter Healthcare Corporation
Blueocean Market Intelligence
BrightSight Group
Burke Inc.
CACI International Inc.
Canadian Blood Services
CIGNA Healthcare
Comcast Corporation
Compassion Canada
Conway Freight
Customers Rock!
Data Development Worldwide
Dell Inc.
Enumclaw Insurance Group
First Data Merchant Services
GFK Custom Research
Hallmark Insights
Helzberg Diamonds
Hewlett Packard Company
Home Nursing Agency
Homestead Technologies
Intel Corporation
Intercontinental Hotels Group
JetBlue Airways
LaCrosse Footwear Inc.
Lexis Nexis
Marriott International
Mastercard Worldwide Medallia Inc.
NCO Group
Norwegian Cruise Line
OnCURE Medical Corp.
Powerhouse Consulting
Predictive Consulting Group Inc.
Quest Diagnostics
Research In Motion
San Diego Gas Electric
Scottsdale Insurance Company
Sensory Logic
Sony Electronics
Southern California Edison
Southwest Airlines
The Disney Institute
The Forum Corporation
The Hartford
Thomson Reuters
Towerbank International
Ubercool LLC
Union Bank & Trust Co.
Union Bank of California
United States Olympic Committee
Verizon Wireless
Walk the Walk
Wyndham Hotel Group
YMCA of the USA

What if we only offered online customer service?

I came across this interesting thread on the UK Business Labs Forum in which a business owner was thinking about switching their online and phone service for customer service to strictly online only, eliminating the phone element. Many customers though still feel the need to physically speak to representatives on the phone right off the bat and when things aren’t being explained well online through instant messaging. Do you think this is a wise decision to remove phone service from their customer service initiatives?

A New Flight Pattern: Customer Service and Twitter

Customers with issues during their travel can tweet their respective airlines and within minutes their issues can be resolved, reports the Associated Press. Now that customer service representatives are using Twitter, fliers of low-cost airlines have another level of contact with the airline. The Associated Press article writes, discount airlines have traditionally outflanked the big network carriers in customer service and low fares, and it appears they’re extending their advantage to social media. The discounters often respond with quick feedback to travelers’ concerns on social networking sites, while traditional network carriers peddle last-minute fare deals but seem slow to embrace Twitter and Facebook to beef up customer service.

If you’re interested in learning more about airline customer service, join Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airlines at NACCM 2009.

Call for Bloggers: Attend NACCM Customers 1st 2009 on Us!

That’s right, we’re offering a few exclusive all-access complimentary passes to NACCM Customers 1st 2009 ‘ November 2-5 in Phoenix, AZ – and you could attend the conference ‘ on us ($3,000+ value). We’re looking for experienced bloggers who are well-versed in customer management to begin blogging now and also at this year’s event. In return for your posts, you’ll be able to attend educational sessions and training seminars delivered by industry thought-leaders and corporate practitioners on the content areas of customer centric leadership, social media, loyalty, operational excellence, customer experience and more. Network and engage with speakers from JetBlue Airways, Disney, Dell, Cigna, FedEx, Southwest Airlines, Zappos.com and so many more at this exciting customer strategy event.

To apply to be a guest blogger, simply send your name, title, company and a few writing samples (a link to your blog is recommended) to our conference producer, Amanda Powers at apowers@iirusa.com no later than Oct. 15th. We will review the submissions and contact all winners directly with more details. This opportunity doesn’t come often and we encourage you to apply and join us next month in Phoenix.

For more information about the event, please follow the links below:

For more on the NACCM event, visit the website:

Download the Brochure: http://bit.ly/4tXu9R

Remember, as a member of our NACCM Customers 1st LinkedIn group, you’re eligible for a 20% discount off the standard conference rate.

NACCM 2009

I Want to Tweet You Up: What Emerging Customer Trends Mean for Your Business

As a social media professional, you’re well aware of the impact that this medium can have on your profitability and on your customer’s experience. Yet, have you set up a structure within your business to figure out exactly how and when to use social media to connect with your customers? We’d like to invite you to join Michael Tchong, Trend Analyst & Founder of Ubercool as he gives one of the many keynotes at our 2009 NACCM Customers 1st Conference this November in Phoenix, Arizona.

Join Michael as he discusses how the Twitterati are reshaping society by propelling trends faster than ever before. Follow Michael as he takes us on an exhilarating journey through the landscape of now. He will connect what these trends mean for your business and how you interact with your cusotmers. Prepare to be amazed, amused and revitalized.

NACCM 2009
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak
Phoenix, AZ

Event: http://bit.ly/4AFmET
Brochure: http://bit.ly/2wiWmY

Follow us on Twitter for exclusive discounts.

NACCM 2009 Speaker Profile: Ed Boswell, Forum Corporation

Ed Boswell
President and CEO,

Dr. Edwin Boswell is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Forum Corporation. In addition to his duties as CEO, Ed advises senior executive teams involved in major organizational transformation initiatives. His clients include DuPont, Department of Homeland Security, Merck, Ciba-Giegy, Mellon Financial, Campbell Soup, CIGNA, and Tyco Electronics. Prior to joining Forum, Ed led sales and service teams for IBM and served as an organizational consultant for Human Systems. Ed earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, he earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Psychology, as well as The Wharton School Certificate in Business Administration, all from the University of Pennsylvania. Ed’s accomplishments have been recognized by a President’s Award from DuPont Mexico and a Forum Chairman’s Award. A recognized leader in the field of performance improvement, Ed is often quoted in the press on issues relating to leadership and organizational performance.

Ed’s biography courtesy of Forum.com Join us for Ed’s concluding keynote, “Don’t Miss the Finale on How to Make Your Ideas Happen…Make Customer Strategy a Reality: Moving from Vision to Execution” at NACCM 2009!

Southwest Stabilizes Leadership in Air Carriers by Implementing New Customer Services

The Chicago Tribune reports that Southwest Airlines, the leading legacy American air carrier has recently EarlyBird Check-In service. For $10, a customer can be among the first boarding group with Rapid Rewards and Business Select members.

On the first day, 20,000 customers bought the service, providing $200,000 to the company’s bottom line,” Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly said.

“While [Southwest] has made it clear that they don’t want to ‘nickel and dime’ their customers, they are beginning to tiptoe into ancillary revenue waters that other airlines have jumped into headfirst,” wrote Michael Derchin, a research analyst at FTN Equity Capital Markets Corp.

Analysts expect Southwest to begin offering in-flight Wi-Fi service for a fee next year and possibly add a fee for a second checked bag. Some analysts anticipate that Southwest also will look at selling food on its flights, as most domestic carriers do.

What other customer-centric policies can Southwest Airlines implement to keep their bottom line holding strong?

Southwest Airlines weathers downturn with focus on customer service, spirited attitude

Customers 1st Speaker Profile: Emily Yellin, Author, Your Call Is(Not That) Important To Us

Emily Yellin
Your Call Is(Not That) Important To Us

Emily Yellin is the author of Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us (Free Press 2009) and Our Mothers’ War (Free Press 2004), and was a longtime contributor to The New York Times. She has also written for Time, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Smithsonian Magazine, and other publications.

Born in White Plains, New York, Emily grew up in Memphis. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin ‘ Madison with a degree in English literature, and received a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She has lived in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and London, but currently lives in Memphis.

Emily decided to write Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us while waiting on hold one day in her freezing cold house, only to argue on the phone for hours with customer service at a home warranty company before convincing someone to come fix her broken furnace.

Bio courtesy of Red Room.