Customers Rock!

A blog about customers, their experiences, and how businesses can make sure their customer experiences rock!

Archive for October, 2007

Bathroom Blogfest: The Disney Experience

Posted by Becky Carroll on October 29, 2007

blogfest-logo-2007.jpg The customer experience spans across all places a customer touches an organization: sales, marketing, customer service, and yes, even the bathroom!  The Bathroom Blogfest takes place this week, and I am honored to be part of the contributing author list.  As I am such a Disney fan, I decided my theme for bathroom posts this week would be Disney bathrooms.  Some are themed in amazing ways, some have really fun door signs, and some are yet to come!

I will begin the week with a fun, themed bathroom from Disney’s California Adventure park.  Disney takes the experience of being in California all the way into the stalls (and I don’t mean traffic stalls!).  This part of the park is themed around the famous Route 66 road in the USA.  To set the stage (because Disney has a strong focus on their show): Just outside this particular restroom is a McDonald’s, disguised as a giant hamburger.  It is similar to some of the giant icons seen on the roadside of Route 66. 

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Inside, the theme is carried through all the way down the hall.  The yellow lane markers guide you to the stalls, and in solid Disney fashion, you can see the lowered “kiddie” sink on the left hand side.  This is great for the mom with the child who says, “I want to do it myself!”  Plus, with a lower sink, the child doesn’t get their shirt all wet when mom has to lift them up to the faucet over the inevitably-wet counters.  As you can also see, this bathroom is spotless.

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On your way out, you see a fabulous Route 66 mural on the wall tiles!  Get your kicks…

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More from me in my next installment later this week.  Visit the Bathroom Blogfest group blog, as well as the other Blogfest bloggers:

Posted in Bathroom blogfest, Customer experience | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Consistency of experience counts

Posted by Becky Carroll on October 26, 2007

car-keys.jpg When it comes to customer experience, there are a lot of factors that contribute to positive word of mouth.  In particular, a consistent experience is critical, whether it be across visits or across locations.  Doug Meacham of NextUp has recently joined the ranks of road warrior (ie. consultant – welcome, Doug!) and shares with us his story about the Hertz Gold program.  Doug loves the convenience of the service (so do I).

Unfortunately, some of the comments on Doug’s blog indicate the Hertz Gold experience is not consistent across Hertz locations.  Doug responds to the comments:

Clearly, the quality of a company’s customer experience is determined by its ability to execute the great experience CONSISTENTLY over time.

Once customer expectations are set, it is important to ensure they can be met each time, in each location.  This is a key area where many customer loyalty programs fall down.  Travel customer loyalty programs have become so popular, nearly everyone is “gold”.  It used to be a great day when you could board the plane early or get the choice cars.  Now, there are so many people using these services, it can sometimes be more the rule than the exception.  What happens when a frequent flyer/driver/stayer is one of many and there isn’t enough capacity for the “special treatment”?  Expectations are not met, and deep customer dissatisfaction occurs.

For this reason, customer experience isn’t just about giving employees incentives to treat customers nicely or to deliver great customer service.  It is about creating a strategy for how customers will be treated, across all touchpoints, and for the extent of the customer’s lifecycle.

Does your company have a customer strategy?  Tell me about it, and I will feature you and your company on the Customers Rock! blog.

Posted in Customer experience, Customer service, Customer strategy | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

San Diego Firestorm and Communications

Posted by Becky Carroll on October 24, 2007

sd-fire-2.jpg (flickr photo: prgibbs)

We are in part of the area of San Diego that was evacuated this week.  We packed our cars on Monday night and got out!  Fortunately, winds in our area have died down significantly, and we were allowed to return home last night.  Thank you to those who have emailed me to see how we are doing (email has been my primary method of communication)!  Things are calm now, and there is no longer ash raining down on our house.  We are praying that things stay the way they are now.

Having been evacuated, I have been very frustrated with most of the traditional media.  I realize they are trying to do their best, but they are not really set up to give updated, detailed information.  The county’s websites were not up to date (or even up) a lot of the time.  The best information came from blogs, radio, and the county’s 211 service.

I did find some great citizen reporting that helped get me through when I was out of my home!  Blogs were set up fairly quickly as of Monday, and this was the only place I was really able to find detailed information about my neighborhood.  In fact, this fire blog from SignOnSanDiego, which is an online newspaper, has been fabulous!  Local people from my area were able to report in, and those of us moved out of the area, as well as those with loved ones in the area, were able to get much needed information.  Nearly 200 comments in the last day helped ease the lack of information from the news networks.  Here is a quote from one of the readers responding to another commenter who had (anonymously) plugged traditional media:

Nice plug for cbs news, anonymous. tell your employers that they don’t hold a candle to the people on this website who are armed with nothing more than an automobile and a laptop yet seem to know much more of what’s happening than your paid reporters.Also, you might want to tell your producers to put maps with highlighted areas on the screen when showing the fires raging so that the viewers knows what the hell they are looking at.

Of course, the reporters have been doing the job they were told to do, but it really didn’t help us local folk.  What I needed to have answered were these questions:

  • Where is the fire line now?
  • Where exactly are the evacuation areas?
  • When can I come home?

I received much more information from a mix of radio and social media.  KPBS.org is a great source, with links to Google fire maps with great overlays, as well as real-time updates which are actually Twitter updates!  Well done, KPBS!  What a great idea, as Twitter is a quick way to get the word out.  Another great radio station has been AM 600 KOGO in San Diego, where citizens have been calling in to share information about flames, roads, and evacuation centers.  Thanks, KOGO!  Another local citizen started a Facebook group, but I think it came a little late in the day so wasn’t really used.  Thanks, Heather.

Finally, the county’s 211 service was great.  This is a number for locals to call for non-emergency information about the fires.  Although close to 500,000 people were evacuated over the last two days, when I called 211, I was only on hold for about 3 minutes!  There were always estimated wait times given, and the person I spoke with was very friendly and ready to answer any questions I had (mine were about evacuation areas).    I felt like I had a personal assistant ready to look at fire information on my behalf.  The county was continuing to staff up this line and had added more volunteer personnel to take calls.  Great customer service!  Thanks, guys!

There are also lots of pictures on flickr, with a San Diego Fire Pool started.  They have mapped many of the photos so people know what is happening in their neighborhood.  Thanks to Vince for helping with this.

Overall, this fire is still not over.  There are many areas that are continuing to burn, and my sympathies go out to those still out of their homes. Hopefully, some of you can try the above resources.  The volunteer efforts here in San Diego county have been incredible.  What a fabulous group of people who have been generous with their time and donations!  Thank you mostly goes out to the many brave firefighters, military personnel, and other people who have been fighting this fire and trying to save our homes.  You are amazing.

New media is changing the way communication takes place, and it is especially effective in an emergency.  Traditional media, listen up.  Get with the program.  There is a better way!

Posted in Citizen journalism, Community | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Bathroom Blogfest 2007

Posted by Becky Carroll on October 22, 2007

blogfest-logo-2007.jpg Last year about this time, I was preparing for my keynote speech for the British Columbia Association of Integrated Marketers.  In talking about the customer experience, I wanted to mention all potential customer touchpoints that could impact how customers feel about an organization.  I found Stephanie Weaver’s blog, experienceology, and asked her for permission to use some of the bathroom photos she had.

This year, I am participating in the blogfest!  Bathroom Blogfest 2007 runs from Sunday, October 28 through Friday, November 2.  The blogfest features 22 bloggers from around the globe, writing about the importance of bathrooms in the customer experience, including photos of both the best and the worst bathrooms.  To get an idea, here is the link to the wrap-up from last year’s blogfest.  Be sure to check out the group blog listed above to see all the posts, as well as some amusing videos.

I will be posting on something a little unique – Disney bathrooms.  I have been doing my research, and I will be including bathrooms from Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, and hopefully, some bathrooms from Disney World (where I will be at the beginning of the blogfest).

If you would like to contribute, please send me your photos and explanation to becky at petraconsultinggroup.com, and I will link to you and include them in the festival.

Here are the links to this year’s participating bloggers:

Posted in Bathroom blogfest, Customer experience | 2 Comments »

Focus on the customer

Posted by Becky Carroll on October 19, 2007

sunglasses.jpg I love finding other bloggers who share my Customers Rock! passion.  Today, I have a collection of three great blog posts about customer focus to share with you.

1. Don’t Trash Customer Service: This is an inspiring post by one of the bloggers, Rachel, at Retail Design Diva about her family’s experience at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  Her trash can saga has a happy ending.  I love how she sums it up -

“And I thought customer service was a long forgotten practice. While it may not be the answer to world peace, good customer service isn’t just good for business–it does wonders for humanity.”

This kind of customer service will definitely cause some word-of-mouth about the good things happening in retail.  Thanks for sharing!

2. A Little Customer Care: Another Diva, this time Toby Bloomberg at Diva Marketing Blog, shares with us her open letter to her local airport.  Seems she is much more impressed by the focus on customers at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport.  It gets down to the heart of the matter when Sky Harbor puts it in writing -

‘In fact, the airport has a customer service policy that puts customers first with a vision to create “Americans friendliest airport.” ‘

Being customer-focused doesn’t happen by accident.  It only happens when organizations make a strategic decision to be customer-centric and then back it up with the appropriate measures, incentives, and finally tactics.  Great to see that Sky Harbor Airport gets it!  See you in Phoenix sometime, Toby!

3. 3 Easy Ways to Treat Your Customers Right: Ben Yoskovitz of Instigator Blog shares with us three stellar stories about companies doing right by their customers.  He reminds us how easy it really is -

“It really doesn’t take much to treat customers well.

But you have to recognize the value. And then you have to be willing to take a bit more time, get a bit more creative, push a bit further…”

The companies that actually do this immediately stand out from their competitors.  Size of company doesn’t matter; action and sincerity does.  In the comments (read them, there are some good ones!), I suggested the 4th easy way to treat customers right is to listen to them.  How is your organization doing in this department?

Please leave your favorite story in the comments here, or send me an email.  I am always looking for more positive examples of Customers Rock! attitude.

Posted in Customer experience, Customer service, Customers Rock!, Marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Customer Loyalty Program reviews: Segment 1

Posted by Becky Carroll on October 17, 2007

shirts.jpg Today is the first of an ongoing series about customer loyalty programs.  Whether large or small, I will be reviewing various customer loyalty programs on a weekly basis.  The programs could be as simple as “preferred customer” cards or as complex as a full-blown loyalty program.  Be sure to come back each week for a new installment!

The inaugural segment is about a simple customer touch that could build loyalty, or cause confusion.

Segment 1: Don’t Forget to Tell the Customers!

Hangers Cleaners

Hangers is an environmentally-friendly “dry cleaner” that uses CO2 to clean clothes instead of chemicals.  They are a franchise-based company.  Here in San Diego, we have been using our local Hangers for our clothes over the last year.

The last time I went into Hangers, I noticed something different on my receipt.  It said, “VIP Discount, 10%”.  Curious, I asked the Hangers employee about the discount.  Here is how she explained it:

“We have a VIP program.  When you spend more than $800, or something like that, we put you in our VIP program.  We usually have special bags for VIPs to use to bring in cleaning, but we’re out right now.  The next time you come in, we’ll be able to give you one.”

I thanked her and took my cleaning home.

Takeaways

1. Make the customer feel important

A “VIP” (Very Important Person) program should be created for one reason: to make valuable customers feel special.  The first impression on the customer should be one of surprise and delight.

In this case, my first impression was, “Wow, I’ve spent over $800 on cleaning in the past year?!  Maybe I should buy more clothes that don’t need special treatment.”

If the customer loyalty program doesn’t make the customer feel important, it may not drive the desired customer behaviors.

2. Tell the customer about the program!

A customer loyalty program won’t be effective if a customer doesn’t know they are part of it!  If I hadn’t asked about the discount, I don’t think this Hangers employee would have told me I was a VIP.  I still didn’t have anything to show that I am a special customer to this company.  

A customer loyalty program should be introduced to customers carefully and thoughtfully.  Be sure customers know that they are in the program, know why they are in the program, and know what the program will do to reward them.  Every employee that interfaces with customers should be able to explain the program fully and answers questions about it. 

A Branded Experience

A customer loyalty program can make a very positive impact on customers and their attitude towards the company.  Every customer touch impacts the brand experience.   Make sure your customer loyalty program is executed with as much care as the rest of your branding and marketing.  And don’t forget to tell your customers!

(Photo credit: kirza)

Posted in Customer experience, Customer loyalty | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

A Tale of Two Doctors

Posted by Becky Carroll on October 15, 2007

compare1.jpg Can customer service make or break a sale?  You betcha!

We recently found ourselves in need of a “primary care physician” for my husband (he was very sick).  Not familiar with the doctors in this area, I asked a good friend for a recommendation.  Here is what happened:

Doctor #1: I spent 20 minutes on hold with this doctor’s office before I ever reached a live person.  The lady who answered the phone was fairly abrupt and matter-of-fact with me.  As we are considered “new patients”, I was told my husband would have to take a 30-minute “new patient” appointment (as opposed to a simple office visit); could he also show up 30 minutes early to do paperwork?  At this point, the lady checked the appointment schedule – and informed me the doctor was fully booked for 2 days!  She referred me to the local urgent care clinic.  I thanked her and hung up.

Doctor #2:I found this doctor’s office online.  I spent about 3 minutes on hold before I was connected to a very pleasant lady.  She was friendly and sympathetic, acknowledging my husband’s illness right away.  She quickly found an appointment for him to come in a few hours later (a regular office visit), with a request that he come 15 minutes early for paperwork.  Relieved, my husband saw this doctor.

Takeaways from this story:

-WOM (Word of Mouth) referrals mean nothing if the customer experience is poor.  The first doctor was a referral from my friend.  I trusted that this would be a good doctor.  However, the customer service we had (long wait for phone, surly phone agent, no appointment) discouraged us greatly.

I found out that the person who answered the phone was a call center rep that answered calls for all the clinics in this particular physican’s network.  A nurse from the office called me later in the day to chastise me for not taking the “new patient intake” appointment as they are apparently very difficult to come by.  When I told her I wasn’t sure I wanted to have a doctor that was this busy, she told me all their doctors were very busy.  I told her that was fine, and we would find another doctor!

- You can hear a smile over the phone.  Just by listening to the lady from the second doctor, I could actually hear her smile; she sounded glad to be talking to a potential new patient.  I felt welcome!  This is important for anyone representing your company by phone, including not just customer service but also sales and marketing.

- Make the process convenient for the customer, not for the company.  Requiring a very sick patient to take a longer (and harder to come by) appointment because they are new to your office is not the right thing to do for the customer!  A follow-up appointment would have been more beneficial and probably would have allowed my husband to be seen sooner.

- Look for the long-term, not just the short-term.  A patient-doctor relationship can last for many years, as once someone finds a doctor, they don’t go shopping around for a new one very often.  Making it easy for customers to do business with you helps start the relationship in such a way that there is room for trust to build.

Amazing how the customer service experience affected our decision of which doctor to begin seeing as our family doctor!  Even before we were customers, the customer service experience mattered.

What does your experience say to your potential customers?  Will they come back to you, or will they walk on down the street? 

Customers Rock! organizations make each encounter count!

Related post: Customer service can make it or break it

(Photo: Eraxion)

Posted in Customer experience, Customer service | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Customer or client?

Posted by Becky Carroll on October 11, 2007

options.jpg I am a weekly guest on the BigBiz Show, a nationally syndicated radio program.  This past weekend, Sully, one of the show’s hosts (along with Russ) was asked this question by his daughter while they were watching a Merrill Lynch commercial:

What is the difference between a client and a customer?

We discussed this on the air.  Our take, and the opinion of several listeners who called in, is that the word “client” implies a longer-term relationship.  The word “customer” seems more transactional, a one-time activity.  Some callers suggested that “client” is used more often in a service business, such as a law firm or a hairstylist.

A similar discussion on customer vs client was had recently over at the Duct Tape Marketing blog (check out the thought-provoking comments, too).  Here is a little bit of John Jantsch’s take on this:

…the origin of the word customer is the Latin – consuetudinem, coming from one’s habit or custom – or, someone’s customary practice do something repeatedly. The root of client is the Latin cliens, more closely related to the idea of a follower.

I don’t know about you, but I know I want my customers to know, like, trust, call and refer me repeatedly. I want them to grow accustomed to my blog. I want it to be their custom to think of me whenever they need a practical marketing tip. So, customer it is for me.

Most callers into the radio show felt the word “customer” had negative connotations.  They wouldn’t want to be a customer; they would rather be a client or a guest (this latter term is what Disney uses for all of their visitors).  When did “customer” become a bad word?  Has the poor reputation of some customer service departments rubbed off?

There is another angle here as well.  Perhaps there needs to be a different word altogether for someone who not only buys from us, regularly and repeatedly, but who also actively engages with us.  For example, the difference between a radio listener and someone who calls in, or the difference between a reader of a blog and a commenter.   This is someone who joins in on the conversation; a person who is actually seeking out a relationship with a company.  We could call them “joiners”.

All right, your turn! 

What do you think: customer vs client?  Or do you have a better word?  What would you prefer to be called by a company with which you do business?   Sully and Russ told me they had quite a few emails on this topic.  Let’s beat them with our comments.  Are you in?
(Photo: 3pod)

Posted in B2B Marketing, Customer loyalty, Customer service, Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

BrandingWire: Helping a Consulting Business

Posted by Becky Carroll on October 8, 2007

last-slide.jpg For this month’s BrandingWire installment, the posse of pundits (including me) is tackling how to help a consulting firm.  Here is the challenge:

The ideal client/customer for the consulting firm looks like:

    Revenues: $1 million to $25 million
    Employees: 150 or fewer
    Verticals: High-tech and health care
    Location: North America

The challenges facing these client/customers: consumers and other businesses have so many choices, that high-tech businesses (as well as their other target audience made up of clinics and hospitals) are experiencing stagnant growth, or even losing market share. Many of these clients don’t know how to differentiate themselves from their competition.

The consulting firm’s challenge: as a small marketing firm, they are losing contracts to lower pricing and to bigger firms. The consultancy after three years has stopped growing and most of its clients buy one project and don’t return for more assistance for several years, if at all. How do they position and brand themselves in order to return to greater marketplace success?

In a nutshell: Business growth has slowed or stopped, clients are not likely to return, and the firm is being under-cut in price by larger consulting firms.  This same scenario could apply to many businesses, but there is something unique about a consulting firm.  This is a service business.  The marketing of services is often a challenge for companies, as there is not a tangible product to sell.

In this month’s case, marketing may not solve the problem up front.  There looks to be more legwork to do before we attempt any slick re-branding or marketing campaigns.  We need to understand what has gone wrong.

Here are some suggestions on how this ABC Consulting could proceed at this point.

  • Talk to current clients about existing projects.  We want to make sure the firm’s current clients are completely satisfied with the work being done for them.  Are they satisfied with the work done so far?  Is there anything that could be done to better meet their needs?  Would they consider continuing with this consulting firm for follow-on work?  If not, why not?
  • Build relationships with the clients on multiple levels.  People come and go, both from clients as well as from consulting firms.  Building relationships at many levels helps insulate the consulting firm from being ousted when the “new guy” comes along.  Additionally, a strong client/consultant relationship will help keep those lower-priced competitors at bay!
  • Make sure all project work is adding value for the client.  Do we truly understand each client’s needs?  Do we know how the results of this work will be used after we leave?  Binders full of research and “consulting speak” that sit on a shelf or complicated marketing plans that no one buys into will never see the light of day.  Often times, consultants are not re-hired to do follow-on work because the last “consulting deliverable” wasn’t something that the client could use to take action and make a difference for their company.  Every work product delivered to a client needs to count!
  • Look for the next project from this client before the current one is finished.  It is always easier and more cost effective to get business from an existing client than from a new one.  Consultants should keep their eyes open for others areas where the consulting firm’s services can help the client.  It could be to assist the client in taking further action from this project.  It could be in a completely different area. 
  • Quickly put a process in place to capture end-of-project results.  A good project manager always does a “post mortem review” on the project.  What worked?  What didn’t?  What could have been done differently?  Be sure to get feedback from the client during this review process!  Take what is learned from the review and immediately apply it to other existing projects; immediate action is required to keep from making the same mistakes.
  • Talk to former clients, if possible, to find out why they did not continue working with the firm.  Too many firms that lose the sale don’t go back and ask why.  Many times, clients are willing to share what their issues are, if any.  By doing this, the firm may find out that the way they are approaching their projects doesn’t leave room for future work.  Of course, this should only be done with clients that the firm is still on good terms with! 

Putting some of these suggestions into play will help this consulting firm to understand their mistakes, and it will also help set them up for the future.  Now go talk to those clients!

Check out these other posts from the BrandingWire posse for more insight and perspective!

Lewis Green

Drew McLellan

Martin Jelsema

Patrick Schaber

Olivier Blanchard

Steve Woodruff

Valeria Maltoni

Kevin Dugan

Gavin Heaton

Posted in B2B Marketing, BrandingWire, Customer experience, Customer strategy, Marketing | Tagged: , , | 13 Comments »

Be My Guest: Red Sox Beat Angels

Posted by Becky Carroll on October 3, 2007

baseball.jpg Today, I welcome a guest blogger, Lewis Green.  Lewis is a great example of building strong friendships and connections through blogs.  Although I have not met Lewis in person, we have spoken by phone and exchanged comments on each other’s blogs.  Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t!  That’s what makes an interesting conversation.  I asked Lewis if he would be so kind as to write a guest post for me, which he has done today.  

As the baseball playoffs are starting up here in the USA, Lewis writes about which team he feels will win – from a social media and marketing perspective!  Thank you, Lewis.  You rock!!

Red Sox Beat Angels

by Lewis Green, bizsolutionsplus and L&G Business Solutions

Baseball, like all businesses, depends on marketing for growth and for product sales. And nobody does it better than the Boston Red Sox. So while we Sox and Angels fans watch a battle of equals on the field in the first round of the playoffs, there is no contest when it comes to marketing. The Sox win in a rout over the Angels. Their secret weapon: they turn control of much of their marketing over to the fans.

Both Boston and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have fine web sites, featuring fan forums, players photos, videos and great souvenirs, and of course both teams invest a lot of money and marketing effort in season ticket sales. But that’s where any comparison ends. From that point on, the Sox put the hammer down on the Angels as well as most of MLB.

Sell-outs are not an issue in Boston, so marketing efforts for brand building and souvenir sales are turned over to the fans, who are made to feel a part of the team, whether or not they can get tickets to a game. It all begins with Red Sox Nation.  And if you have ever seen a Sox away game, including against the Angels, you cannot help but notice the impact Red Sox Nation has on baseball. It is not unusual for thousands of Red Sox fans to be in the seats of away games. In some places, notably Toronto, Detroit, Baltimore, and Tampa Bay, Red Sox fans frequently outnumber the home team’s fans. Even in evil Yankee Stadium, Sox fans are easy to find and even easier to hear.

Red Sox Nation is a social media site for the fans. Anyone can become a member, choosing from four tiers of membership, from free to the most expensive, the Ultimate Fan Pack, which along with Monster Memberships quickly sold out, leaving late-comers to choose either the free tier or the least expensive Fan Pack for $14.95.

Depending on the level of membership, fans receive newsletters, membership cards, bumper stickers, publications, free game-day audios,  free access to the weekly Red Sox Video Report, discounts at the team store, their own exclusive gate at Fenway Park, member’s-only pages on redsox.com, and special offers throughout the season for everything from team gear to away-game travel packages, to home-game tickets.

This year’s highlight featured the election of a new President to lead Red Sox Nation. It included a candidates debate televised on NESN, the New England Sports Network, moderated by Tim Russert of “Meet the Press,”  and held at Boston University’s George Sherman Union. Candidates included fans such as Cheryl Boyd, Great-niece of Elizabeth “Lib” Dooley, a long-time, well-known follower of the team; Cindy Brown, Head of Boston Duck Tours; Jared Carrabis, who has worn a Red Sox shirt 1,400 days in a row ; and Rob Crawford. who raises funds for education. Candidates also included legendary baseball Hall of Famer journalist Peter Gammons; former Red Sox relief pitcher Rich Garces; former Red Sox left-handed slugger Sam Horn; and Red Sox Hall of Famer and NESN analyst Jerry Remy. At the time of this writing, fans have finished voting and we now await the results.

The election has been a marketing coup. Because of Red Sox Nation, ESPN and ESPN2 have adopted the phrase to describe Sox fans, and the press, local and national, covered the Presidential race. Fans and Members love it, members come from all over the world, they buy tickets well in advance when the Sox come to their neck of the woods, and they brag on their membership to anyone who listens. You can’t buy this kind of marketing. It is social media at its best and an example for all businesses and consultants to study and mimic, if they can.

In addition to Red Sox Nation, Jerry Remy created Rem Dawg Nation.  Remy’s members receive the very popular Remy report and are the beneficiaries of freebies ranging from tee-shirts to box seats. And because Remy is on the air for nearly every Red Sox game, he markets the heck out of both Nations, adding to the appeal of membership, especially to kids who make up the team’s future customers.

In the Conversation Age of Web 2.0, the Boston baseball team’s marketing model is one we all need to pay attention to. It demonstrates the power of giving up at least some marketing control to your customers and clients. Red Sox and Rem Dawg Nation have sparked an interest in the Boston team and their products that exceed most marketing efforts, whether at multi-national companies, sports franchises, or small businesses. It demonstrates the power of Social Media as a marketing tool.

(Photo: cmillc22)

Posted in Community, Customer loyalty, Customer strategy, Guest bloggers, Marketing, social media | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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