Published August 20, 2010
customer engagement , marketing
Tags: Allen Edmonds, Amazon.com Inc., Careers, customer experience, customer service, Fast Company, Kenny G, leadership, marketing, Shawn Graham, Twitter Inc., Zappos.com, Zappos.com Inc.
Many companies obsess over their customer experience, creating a fancy interactive Web site, finding just the right furniture for their reception area, and investing a ton of time and money implementing a CRM system to track customers’ preferences and shopping patterns. And how many companies spend the same amount of time and effort managing their “over the phone” customer experience?
On a whim, I called Zappos.com. With their cult-like following and a reputation for providing extraordinary customer service, I was curious to see how they approached the “over the phone” experience. In the interest of full disclosure, I have never purchased anything from Zappos.com and, before today had never called their customer service line.
Did Zappos.com go above and beyond, or were they just like everybody else? Read more.
For most of my adult life, I was incredibly easy to read. I wore my heart, and most of my facial expressions, on my sleeve. On occasion, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Other times, such as in my high school English class where the teacher threw note cards at me after I rolled my eyes, it was. Growing up I was never much of a card player so I didn’t have the chance to really develop and practice my poker face and that has, on more than one occasion, hampered my ability to successfully navigate organizational politics (or high school English classes). In speaking with other extroverts in leadership roles, those who struggle with filtering and/or masking their emotions and reactions often have a difficult time progressing through an organization.
What can you do as a new leader to develop your poker face?
Professors pounded it into my head over and over again–businesses use data to carefully plan and execute their short- and long-
Professors pounded it into my head over and over again–businesses use data to carefully plan and execute their short- and long-term strategies. And that’s what I believed until I started interviewing for jobs. It seemed like every company I spoke with was fixated on growth–not because it made good business sense, but because they were fixated on chasing numbers. Open 500 stores this year, 2,000 next year, and 1,000,000 in year three. Will the local market be able to sustain that growth? Considering that now-bankrupt Circuit City was one of the companies I spoke with, I’m guessing not. Were they carefully looking at feasibility studies, evaluating the size of the markets they were hoping to enter? Or were they too busy opening up across the street from their key competitor in just about every possible city?
With an almost limitless amount of information at our disposal (years of historical data, complex analytical models, competitor benchmarking, etc.), you’d think more decisions would be deeply rooted in data analysis than they would on gut instinct. Yet, that’s often not the case.
Published July 2, 2010
branding , entrepreneurship , job search tips , marketing , networking
Tags: Brainshark, Careers, David Hauser, entrepreneurship, Google Job Experiment, Grasshopper.com, Holland-Mark Digital, HubSpot, Jay Wilder, job search advice, Kipp Bodnar, MassChallenge, Mike Troiano
Marketing is marketing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business trying to attract and retain customers or an eager job seeker trying to capture the attention of potential employers. Your ultimate success or failure will depend on your ability to position yourself (or your product if you’re a business) that addresses a problem people will pay you to solve.
Last week, I had a chance to be a fly on the wall at “Building Buzz Around Your Brand,” an event hosted by Grasshopper.com and MassChallenge at the Microsoft New England Development Center on the campus of MIT. Beyond enjoying the cool digs, attendees also learned marketing tips from folks from Brainshark (an entrepreneurial company with more than 150 employees), Holland-Mark (an advertising agency that boasts an average of approximately 37 minutes per visit to their website), HubSpot (an inbound marketing software provider whose blog gets more than 250,000 hits per day), and Grasshopper.com (a company that provides a mix of products and services to entrepreneurs–oh, and they are also responsible for this really cool video). Each speaker shared his perspective on brand building with the more than 100 people who were in attendance–a diverse audience which included recent MBA graduates seeking employment, entrepreneurs hoping to bootstrap a startup, folks who are gainfully employed in the marketing space.
Which marketing tips can help you build a buzz and stand out from the thousands of other job seekers you’ll likely be competing against ala the Google Job Experiment?