I’ve dealt with my fair share of customer meltdowns. While those situations were discouraging at the beginning of my career (some might argue I’m still at the beginning of my career), experience has taught me that you can diffuse tough situations by checking the language you are using and earnestly working to create a solution for each of your customers.
Here are some of the five most commonly destructive, not to mention frustrating phrases for customers and ways to modify them:
Customers are worth their value in gold and there is no cost-benefit to letting a customer’s complaint go unwarranted. By now you should know any customer problem can be turned into a social media shit storm that can harm your company’s brand and cost you extra public relations time and dollars. Though it might be less than intuitive, it’s worth running towards those raging customers. What’s even better is offering courtesy and solutions up front so they don’t scream to begin with.
What is the best customer service experience you’ve ever had? What is the worst?
Mint has been everywhere this season! I personally love this color as it seems so cool, childlike and playful. Add a touch of glamour and playfulness to your next children’s charity gala with a grown-up Mint Merry-Go-Round Carnivale Theme by adding a touch of gold or stark white in moderate touches.
Formalized carnival food can be perfect for this sort of gala. A crunchy green apple and fennel salad make for a great starter and Kobe Beef Sliders are a gourmet version of the burgers you find in traveling carnivals. Lobster Corn Dogs can also be served as passed hors d’oeuvres or as appetizers. Cake pops and mint or green apple flavored cotton candy served in martini glasses make delicious sweet endings!
Overall Space Decor:
If you have the budget, spring for a merry-go-round. (You can’t have a merry-go-round theme without it!) Tie white, gold, black, and mint colored ribbons of varied lengths to various parts of the merry-go-round for an ethereal effect. Secure lanterns around the merry-go-round’s perimeter to add a touch of class. Hang white paper lanterns throughout the room from the ceiling to emulate the balloons given during carnivals. The great thing about a huge merry-go-round is it does all of the work for you, so you can minimize the surrounding decor.
An antique gold or modern white chandelier should do the trick. Continue the ribbon effect by tying ribbons on it sparingly and decorating with a low arrangement made of white hydrangeas, amaranthus and green apples. The arrangement should cascade through the table in an organic way. Tableware can be a stark modern white while gold antique silverware can complement the antique chandelier.
Add a bit of mystery by giving the men carnival jester masks and the women green & gold tulle halos.
Hire a band with an accordion a la Yann Tiersen’s Amelie. Listen to this cover of “La Noyee” for Inspiration.
Photo Credits: (1) Cake Pops by Fernlee Photography, (2) Spring Green Ribbon Sampler by Stamp Simply, (3) White Table Candle Lantern by Connie’s Creations Candles & Gift Shop, (4) Seaside Centerpiece by Martha Stewart Weddings, (5) Tilden Merry-Go-Round on Berkleyside News, (6) Mint Ruffle Headband Halo by Flora Bond, (7) Modern White Chandelier by Chandelier Swith, (8) Venetian Jester Mask by Just Posh Masks.
The study, conducted by Constant Contact and research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, analyzed the behavior of 1,491 consumers ages 18 and older throughout the United States and revealed a number of details about how people interact with brands on the world’s largest social network…
Have you ever thought about publishing your own magazine? The Manayunk.com team and I are furiously working to get the EcoArts Issue edited so it can go to print.
This is my second case study showcased on Social Media Headquarters’ website. I take an in depth look at one of the events I recently organized for the Manayunk Business District an analyze its successes and failures.
Nothing gets me as excited as planning photo shoots! The next photo shoot will take a page out of the stunning Girls Angels by Karol Bak and will focus on headwear, jewelry and accessories from the neck up.
People wearing Google’s glasses are transported to a strange new world in which the internet is always in their line of sight. But for people looking at the people wearing those glasses, the view is even stranger - someone wearing a computer processor, a battery and a tiny screen on her face.
As Google and other companies begin to build wearable technology like glasses and watches, an industry not known for its fashion sense is facing a new challenge - how to be stylish. Design has always been important to technology, with products like Apple’s becoming fashion statements, but designing hardware that people will wear like jewelry is an entirely different task.
At Fashion Week Last year, models wore colored versions on the runway for Diane von Furstenberg, and the designer made a behind-the-scenes video wearing the glasses.
The first mile stinks. Just go with it. Don’t think about it too much, but do think! Running clears your mind, brings clarity, and helps you muse over creative endeavors. Not to mention, after running 13 miles, even if it’s just in training, you feel like a God.
injuries are bound to happen. When you try to do too much too quickly, your body rebels. Just like in work, when you take on too much too soon, you get overwhelmed; it’s better to take a step back and gradually add more. Your productivity will increase and before you know it you’ll be balancing more work.
You start out with a group, but you lose some along the way. When you set a goal that is seemingly out of reach, some people will step up and reach those goals with you, some will just give up right then and there.
Pinterest is a social application that users you “pin” images of their on different boards. Users are able to create collections of their different interests and categorize them according to different themes. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting” via a global platform if inspiration and idea sharing. That is, pinners can “re-pin” another users’ images.
Why is Pinterest useful for retailers? Rumor has it the site is driving more people to websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined! There are approximately 2.2 million users daily and 12 million active users monthly! These numbers are continuing to increase every day! In addition, many of the users on Pinterest are looking for and discovering new or specific things to do, buy, look at or read, giving you a perfect opportunity to target a new demographic.
To create a viable and interesting retail Pinterest page, we first have to start with the basics. Let’s begin with the following:
1. Brand Your Pinterest Profile
Your profile image should reflect the way you’ve branded your website and/or brick & mortar. Pinterest boards should reflect the most interesting part of your inventory. (Ex. If you sell women’s clothing, you can have a board for “little black lace dresses,” another for “pin up going out pumps,” etc.) Also, don’t forget that linking your Facebook & Twitter profiles to your Pinterest account can allow users to take interest in you on different social platforms.
2. Upload Photos
Pinterest is a highly visual platform, so photos of your products have to be interesting and attractive. Your presentation needs to be spot on. Consider hiring a photographer and/or a talented graphic designer to help you with your images. In addition, pair every product photo with a short description and a shortened link to your e-commerce site. You don’t want potential customers to see a great image and just stop there. Ideally, you want to pique their interest enough to lead them to your site.
3. Get Social
Tell your customers you’re on Pinterest by adding a Pinterest icon to your company’s site. You can nestle it perfectly between your Facebook & Twitter buttons. Tweet it to your Twitter followers and let your Facebook Fans know that they can now follow you Pinterest as well.
4. Express Yourself
Pinterest is supposed to be enjoyable! Re-pin and/or like other interesting images you see. Comment on others’ photos and respond when others comment on yours. You are unique and interesting. Let it show!
5. Keep Track of Analytics
Tools like Pinreach and Pinstamatic let you add Twitter profile links to your boards. Pinpuff gives you a score based on the virality of your pins, very much like Klout. You can also sign up for Pinerly (currently in beta) which is a comprehensive Pinterest analytics board.
Thank you, Newsworks/WHYY for covering my latest endeavor, the 2nd Annual Manayunk EcoArts Festival. This will officially be my last project at Marketing & Events Coordinator for the Manayunk Development Corporation, and I can’t wait to see the turnout. Following this project, I will be moving to California, where I will be independently planning events.
One of the most interesting aspects of event planning is the creativity that comes with dreaming up a fabulous event. While Fashion Week might not seem like a place where you can garner direct inspiration, it actually is. Fashion is art in motion and the runway architecture is a play on the ideal world the clothes should inhabit. The designs (clothes & runway) are so lavishly designed that a simple play of light on clothes can translate into a design aspect for your next event.
Twenty-four years ago, Chef Bruce Cooper, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, envisioned a contemporary American restaurant featuring imaginative cuisine. During his search for the perfect location, Chef Cooper found an old print shop in Manayunk, and Jake’s Restaurant came to life.
Fast forward to 2008. Jake’s is wildly successful, a recipient of “Three Bells” from Inquirer Critic Craig Laban and numerous Best of Philly Awards from Philadelphia Magazine. Spurred by this success, Bruce Cooper opened a second restaurant, Cooper’s Wine Bar, adjacent to Jake’s. Featuring a twist on Contemporary American, Cooper’s menu consists of smart cuisine – small plate style – with over 40 handpicked wine pairings.
Jake’s & Cooper’s are two sides of the same coin. While both provide a comfortable environment where customers are greeted by name, Cooper’s feels like a more sophisticated extension of your home, if your home consisted of a huge 15-seat bar, a wall mural and intimate booths. The open kitchen and French windows attract a fun and energetic crowd. Jake’s has an upscale appeal, perfect for a special intimate meal and small, semi-private parties and wine tastings.
Chef Bruce is a business man as much as he is a purveyor of all things delicious. January is traditionally the slowest month for business in Manayunk, but Chef Bruce turned this around by taking matters into his own hands and creating his own version of a Groupon.
In my last article, I mentioned the pros and cons to using a Groupon for your business, one of them being a 75% loss on your inventory. Chef Bruce’s offer was 50% off a $100 gift certificate, thus taking control of the money he saw after discounting. He announced it a week prior to Christmas in 2010 via email to his customer email list (3,500 emails) and by placing it on his website. Customers had to visit his restaurant in order to purchase the gift certificates, they could only buy one, and you had to use it after January 2011. Cooper saw such an influx of gift certificate sales that he was able to limit the amount he knew he could offer while still retaining his excellent level of customer service.
This promotion was a way of rewarding his customers instead of driving new traffic. 20% of the customers who purchased the promotion redeemed it within the first 2 months and 66% have used theirs to date.
Another reason why your own Groupon trumps the traditional Groupon site is money. “I get 50% upfront, whether or not the customer uses it [gift certificate]” says Cooper. On the other hand, using Groupon has a maximum return of 25% of the total value of the offer and you don’t get to see the money until 3 months after your Groupon has been featured.
Thinking about ditching Groupon and trying to go it alone? Here are some helpful tips…
The bottom line: your restaurant, your customers, your promotion, your rules.
The floor is yours. Would you bypass Groupon, and create a deal yourself?