Being Thankful in Business is a Good Thing – Brands that GET IT

We’d like to wish our US-readers a Happy Thanksgiving and send a HUGE thanks to all of our colleagues, clients, community and partners. We’re thankful for your support, your business and your respect.

Over the course of the last two decades I’ve been told more than once that appearing too grateful in business can be a negative thing – putting me in a position of perceived lesser power. I disagree. I think being thankful in business – and for business – is a good thing and I am happy to see social media bringing it more to light. Businesses who appreciate their customers are more likely to reap the rewards of loyalty, repeat business, positive word of mouth and long-term success.

Since I went on a rampage about my negative experience at McGee Toyota recently, I wanted to also take the time to highlight some businesses doing well by their customers. I think it’s important that as our customer voices become louder and more viral, we use them to celebrate what brands are doing right as well. So while I recently gave personal props to Jet Blue and Ideeli, I also took to Twitter and Facebook to ask my community what companies have done right by them recently, and why. Specifically, I asked, “When is the last time a company or brand went above and beyond to make you a happy customer? What did they do?” Here are some of the answers – below. Thanks to everyone who took the time to share and respond, and kudos to the brands who agree – being thankful in business is a good thing.

Chris Theisen: My fav personal experience from @brewhouse http://bit.ly/d2VGn4

Greg Meyer: We had an event at @sushisambachi – they made us feel at home, tweeted about the event, and provided excellent service

Shannon DiGregorio: The Apple store at the Cambridge Gallaria replaced a broken (my fault) iPhone 4 for free after AT&T was awful to me! Love them!

Kristina Bobrowski: @ArtVanFurniture went out of the way to meet my budget/timing needs, & responded to my praise on here. @netflix impressed me too.. My DVDs weren’t coming- they sent me 3 at once to tide me over while they fixed it

Chad Northrup: It was @supercuts. Got a bad haircut yesterday, so returned in the evening. They fixed it AND made my next cut free #custserv

Frank Eliason: my former company, Comcast has been working hard to improve (google my name and Comcast). My current company, Citi, is working to improve http://new.citi.com/2010/11/together-we-are-building-a-stronger-citi-for-you.shtml

 

And from Facebook, where I did not include my friends’ names because it’s permission-based (vs Twitter, which is public), here are the replies:

American Express has the nicest customer service people I have ever talked to. Except for maybe Southwest’s. They always say things like “we’ll take care of that right now for you” or “make sure you have a great day.” Sounds simple but stands out.

Nordstroms this morning made my entire day – live chat customer support applied a promo code for me after my order was submitted so I would get free shipping on an emergency pair of new heels since the Web site wouldn’t accept the code.

Jouer Cosmetics! BEST customer service. I ordered some makeup and when it arrived two of the lipsticks were smooshed at the top. I called to let them know about it, without any expectations. I just wanted them to know about it. They sen…t me two more lipsticks for free and I got to keep the ones I already had. The lipsticks were like $22 each. Also, Huggies…we got a big box of diapers and one whole sleeve of diapers was defective. The tape wasn’t long enough and every time we tried to put them on the baby, it would rip. I called Huggies and the woman was so apologetic. She sent coupons-one for an entire box for free. You know how expensive diapers are! I was a satisfied customer on both occasions!

I’m a huge fan of  Boston-based Rue La La. Ordered some resin plates. 3 sets of 4. The freight carrier “dropped” them on my front step. 3 of them were damaged. I photographed which patterns were damaged and their amazing Customer Service specialist hunted them down, replaced them AND gave me a $40 credit for all my trouble.

USAA – the very best customer service I’ve ever experienced. Every time I call, they offer to help me with my investments, or just to review where I’m at financially, just to make sure I am ok. They will give advice, give me suggestions where I should be putting money and once even said WOW – you are doing a great job. They never try to get you off the phone or rush you. They will even call and check up on recent investments. They are incredible.

Great Customer Service Department. UPS driver sees me at the mail box five blocks from my home. Stops next to my car. Shouts out “Mr. Corbett, I have a package for you.” Now that is great customer service and an employee who lives well the brand!!! Kudos to UPS!!! Living the Brand!

I also think TMobile has done some serious investment in training their reps. I used to think they were awful, now its almost a pleasure to call in. They make you feel like they are on your side – they say things like “yeah, that would make… me mad too” or “that would definitely not fly with me.” You can’t even get mad because they are so helpful now. I’ve been having major BB issues & the third time I called in the rep said, “well, this is ridiculous that you’ve had to call three times, after you get this replacement, *I* am going to call YOU”See More

The Ritz-Carlton has the absolute best customer service in the world. No matter the property, it is top notch. Bali, Jamaica, etc. – all superb. No one comes close.

Zappos. Order something at 10:00 at night and it’s on your door the next day for free with free return shipping if needed . . . Great example of a company that built it’s culture based on customer service from the day it started as a way to differentiate itself.

Pizza Hut in Big Rapids, MI………..awesome service and the C.J.’s special cannot be beat.

USAA is the best. They go above and beyond every single time.

I have to say that Spectrum Health in Reed City has an outstanding policy for good customer service. If someone asks for directions the employee won’t just point and explain. They escort them to the place with a smile on their face! And during parking lot construction they provided men driving golf carts who were at the car before it stopped to pick you up and take you to the door! Way above and beyond is their policy. They tell employees, “Surprise them (your customer). And they do in a good way.”

I third USAA

Readers – if a brand or company has done right by you lately, won’t you help spread the word and thank them here in the comments? Thanks for reading!

Persuasive Picks for the Week of 6/21/2010

Lacking a game plan when it comes to social marketing? You’re not alone. Social Marketing continues to perplex many marketers, according to eMarketer. In its article, “What Makes Up a Social Marketing Strategy,” the critical components of an effective strategy are reviewed, with some startling facts of how many marketers are still operating this element of their campaigns “without a game plan.”

Social media with a business twist. Tony Bradley of Network World writes about Salesforce.com’s unveiling of Chatter this week at Cloudforce 2010. “Chatter brings social networking to the enterprise in much the same way salesforce.com brought Web 2.0 to the enterprise–enabling the benefits of social networking to be utilized for new strategic advantages.”

Top 10 Most Tweeted Brands – if you’ve never checked out the weekly “10 Most Tweeted Brands of the Week Chart” by AdAge you might find it an interesting – or at least entertaining – bookmark. This week, Simon Dumenco outlines how the Twitterverse tells the media to “shut up” and why being a trending brand on Twitter is not necessarily a good thing, among other things.

Can you hear me now? Apple addresses iPhone 4 reception issues… or not. CBSNews Tech Talk discusses Apple’s lack of PR advice for Steve Jobs in dealing with the iPhone 4 antenna issue. “Allow me to make the official introductions: Steve Jobs, meet Apple’s PR department. Apple’s PR department, meet your boss.”

Twitter, PR and BP. TechCrunch takes a look at the lessons. TechCrunch”s post, “When Social Media Becomes The Message: The Gulf Oil Spill And @BPGlobalPR” takes a look at how BP is floundering from a PR perspective, and how social media can take over and shape your company’s message – whether you like it or not. “Someone on Twitter or elsewhere on the Web  will find ways to challenge the message, as @BPGlobalPR is doing.” The PR lesson here – credibility counts more than ever.

 

 

 

Persuasive Picks for the week of 06/07/10

Social Media Marketing: You Have To Be Consistent
Congratulations! You’ve just made the first step towards getting your
feet wet in the sea of social media! But, do you have what it takes to
stay afloat? This post by Ely Delaney on Gather.com explains one of the keys to social media success.

The Ten Myths of Creating Web Content
Joe Ciarallo from Mediabistro’s PRNewser shares 10 web content creation myths and tips that bust them as presented by College Humor founder Ricky Van Veen at the Mashable Media Summit.

Social strategy: Web integration to leverage brand advocacy
Charles Nicholls explains why people tend to follow their favorite brands online, and explains how many companies are missing out by not leveraging this “gift horse.”

Coca-Cola Follows a New Social Media Strategy

Natalie Johnson, Digital Communications Manager for Coca-Cola states “When you think about what your homepage is … it’s not necessarily just your brand page. It’s Google.com. It’s Digg. It’s Twitter. It’s YouTube. It’s Facebook.” This post on Popsop.com provides some insite on that thinking and how Coca-Cola is implementing a new online strategy for increasing brand mentions.

Apple’s Worst Security Breach: 114,000 iPad Owners Exposed
The wildly popular iPad suffered its first blemish this week, but Apple recovered quickly. Luckily, I’m still keeping my iPad at the local Apple store, so I wasn’t affected by the breach.  :)

Photo Credit: Janine

 

Persuasive Picks for the week of 04/05/10

How Can SMB Owners Learn Social Media?
Lisa Barone provides some concrete ways SMBs can begin learning the ins and outs of social media on their own without the help of one of the gazillion “social media experts” out there. (Of course, it’s all about having the time to do it!)

Making the real-time Web relevant
The future of online search includes getting information in “real-time.” This CNET post from Tom Krazit gives a great overview on the new direction in search and the struggles that search engines like Google and Microsoft Bing are working through to provide information as it happens.

7 B2B Social Media Tools you haven’t heard of
This SocialMediaB2B.com post from Adam Holden-Bache provides seven new tools that are worth checking out. I’m impressed to finally come a across a list of tools that are all new to me!

10 Tricks For Getting Inspired to Write
Have you officially launched your blog, but have found it difficult to continually come up with fresh ideas for creating content? This Copyblogger post by Jonathan Morrow provides great tips and techniques for writing inspiration.

Will It Blend? – iPad
The long-lasting popularity of BlendTec’s “Will it blend” videos continues with the demise of a shiny new Apple iPad.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 04/12/09

Magpie logoHow to Sell Your Soul on Twitter and Who’s Buying
The water in the Twitter stream will only get dirtier as it continues to take precedence in the mainstream media spotlight. Spam-based money making marketing schemes are a part of that filth, and Marshall Kirkpatrick chronicles one such abuse that has ties to the likes of Apple, Skype, and Flip.

5 Ways TurboTax Is Reinventing Tax Day With Social Media
Rohit Bhargava of the Influential Marketing blog shares 5 ways that Intuit is leveraging social media to help reduce stress for TurboTax Free Efile users during tax time.

“Social Media” is hype. “social media” is real.
While tons of companies are still struggling with how Social Media fits into their marketing strategy, Damien Basile of the Cause=Habit blog helps readers cut through the hype of it all and see it’s not really as complicated as it seems.

Bloggers Be Warned: FTC May Monitor What You Say
The decline of print media and the rise of “citizen journalism” via blogs is raising a red flag with the FTC. Michael Bush from AdAge.com shares new information on some new potential guidelines that will apply to bloggers and online writers who are compensated to promote or review products.

A Video of Google’s Data Center
Here’s a rare look look inside of Google’s new container-based data center. I had to throw this in just for the “cool geekiness cred.” :) Get your geek on!