Posts Tagged ‘moment of truth’

why do you social media?

I have almost 800 friends on my persoanl Facebook page, over 300 fans on my business fanpage and close to 1500 followers on Twitter…not huge numbers, but respectable. Of those 2600 friends, fans and followers, 75 percent consists of retail, blogs, restaurants, services, entertainment, career connections and news sources.

Every day I read about what is for sale, what the economy is doing, how to run my business, what time happy hour is, what the special is tonight, why bedbugs are making a comeback, how to train my dog and the latest top 10 list about something.
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I comment. I engage. I ask questions. I like. I share. I tweet. I retweet. I post. I suggest. I repost…and over and over.
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Oh, and I also schedule updates to post later. I do this to make good use of my time and share information on a wide variety of topics that interest me and my friends and followers. I am proud to say that 99.4 percent of the time, I am available to ENGAGE with friends, fans and followers when the post goes live because that is the point of social media.

So why do I Social Media?

From a professional level (for my business and for my clients): to build relationships and to understand the root causes of customer sentiment and behavior in order to prioritize improvements that enhance each customer’s experience.

  1. Listen
  2. Know your customers
  3. Care about your customers
  4. Evolve with your customers

From a personal level: to create relationships, to support those I believe in, to stay connected with my past, to build my future and to find out what the special is tonight….because after all, food is high on my list of priorities.

Why do you Social Media?

celebrate friends and fans – 2011

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Fridays are for celebrating Stance Friends and Fans. I encourage you to visit their facebook page, website or place of business and tell Stance about your experience with their company, product or service.

 

In 1902, Mose Iacino’s family came to Colorado from Grimaldi, Italy, in search of a better life. Young Mose had a mind full of ideas, an entrepreneurial spirit and an appreciation for quality seafood.
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In 1918, Mose Iacino, age 16, set out to bring fresh seafood from Seattle to the people of Denver and the surrounding area and created Seattle Fish Company. Although much has changed since that time, Seattle Fish Company remains a family-run business, where Mose’s spirit of innovation, dedication and service lives on.

Mose developed a system for transporting fresh seafood to the landlocked state of Colorado. It entailed packing fresh fish in sawdust and ice, and shipping the goods by railcar from Seattle. At each train stop, the ice was replenished to keep the seafood fresh. Denver citizens flocked to his stall inside his uncle’s shop at 1537 Market Street downtown. Little did Mose know that he was launching a career that would last a lifetime.

Today, fresh and frozen seafood is flown into Denver International Airport seven days a week from American coasts and port cities from around the world. The product travels in special shipping containers that maintain the seafood in peak condition.

Mose built a thriving business on ingenuity, customer service and quality seafood. His son, Edward Iacino, carries on the tradition as Chairman and CEO, grandson James Iacino is President and granddaughter Chelsea Iacino is Human Resource Manager.

Today, nearly 100 employees work to deliver their products to more than 650 grocers, restaurants, hotels and caterers, making them one of the largest seafood distributors in the western United States. They are also an active member of several industry organizations that help ensure high quality and sustainable practices. As the region’s largest supplier, they bring value and selection that are second to none — with the personal service of a three-generation, family-owned business. As a certified Marine Stewardship Council supplier, Seattle Fish Co. is committed to protecting the environment and maintaining sustainable practices from catch to consumer.

Visit Seattle Fish Co. on facebook.

 

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If you have had the pleasure of experiencing a Culinary Connectors tour, please share your experience. If not, visit them today. I look forward to hearing about it and sharing your experience with other Stance Friends and Fans. 

celebrate stance friends and fans

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Fridays are for celebrating Stance Friends and Fans. I encourage you to visit their facebook page, website or place of business and tell Stance about your experience with their product, service or in this case, team.

 

Today we celebrate The Denver Browns, an organization founded in 2006 by Gino Grasso and managed by Matthew Repplinger with the goal of developing amateur baseball players starting with Little Leaguers to Big Leaguers. The Browns have produced a 60-25 record in four years, and in September the Browns won the 2010 NABA 18AAA Championship and finished with a record of 20-3.
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The Denver Browns players are expected to be standouts both in the community and on the field. They believe hard work and efforts on and off the field will form the players into future leaders of the community. The Browns have the resources and experience to provide the community an exceptional opportunity to relish in “America’s Favorite Pastime.”

The success of The Browns organization starts with the players, coaches, sponsors and parents. The Browns believe in the word “TEAM” to the fullest, and are not made up of individuals but of players that support each other and never give up on or off the field.

The Browns are expanding with additional teams in Denver and into the Grand Junction area with the start of a new 13U team, the GJ Browns. The Browns future goal is to establish teams at every level from little league to collegiate to semi-pro. 

Have you been to see a Denver Browns game or practice? If so, share your experience here and pass the word. I look forward to hearing about it and sharing your experience with other Stance Friends and Fans.

Visit The Denver Browns on Facebook.

Visit The Denver Browns website.

celebrate stance friends and fans

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Fridays are for celebrating Stance Friends and Fans. I encourage you to visit their facebook page, website or place of business and tell Stance about your experience with their product or service. If you have already done business with the featured Friday Stance Friend or Fan and have a story to share, please do.

 

Today we celebrate SooperTramp, Trendy Dog Collars and Leashes for your Canine Sooperstar, started in 2009 by Suzie Brown.
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SooperTramp was inspired by SooperCooper, Suzie’s 1.5 year old Golden Retriever and best pal ever. While searching for a collar and leash set that fit Cooper’s silly personality, Suzie learned quite a bit about construction of collars and leashes and the importance of using quality materials. Unfortunately there was nothing out there that had any personality. Of course quality was a must but Suzie wanted cute and sassy too. So, she took matters into her own hands.
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After months of research, practice, testing (SooperCooper’s job) and fabric shopping, SooperTramp was born. SooperTramp products are made from high quality, washable designer fabrics and are backed with the strongest nylon webbing on the market.
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Comfort and durability make the top of the “must have” list: collars are constructed using contoured Nexus buckles that fit the curves of your dog’s neck, welded, large-gauge D-rings and the strongest thread available. Solid, reinforced stitching is used to keep the hardware in place. SooperTramp accessories will hold up during every adventure and your pooch will be lookin’ good.

If you have been purchased a leash or collar from SooperTramp, please share your experience. If not, visit them today. I look forward to hearing about it and sharing your experience with other Stance Friends and Fans.

Shop SooperTramp.

Vist SooperTramp on Facebook.

third party doldrums

I spend a lot of time building relationships on the great internet via social media. I talk regularly with people I have never had the pleasure of meeting and have made some real friends along the way.

I also have regular cyber conversations with restaurants, hotels, out of state services and local business owners. Each group has created an identity for themselves or the establishment they represent. As a consumer and believer in the almighty word of mouth marketing (WOMM), it excites me to watch the relationships grow before my eyes.

Which is why, on a recent visit to a local restaurant and bar, I was saddened by the treatment (or non-treatment) from the staff. Now don’t get me wrong, I am NOT looking for handouts or freebies, just the continued sharing and conversation that is done online.
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Before heading to happy hour with four other ladies, we all did our fair share of tweeting and facebooking about where we were going and at what time. We included the twitter handle of the establishment and even received a tweet back from them. They were happy we were coming in and excited to serve us (I bet they were also happy for the free WOMM). Also, I should mention, this was not my first time “chatting” with this business. I have been a supporter and so have the other ladies who include foodies, business owners and mega social media users.

The staff had no idea who we were. I do not expect the average restaurant to know who I am as I am not famous, but when five ladies have tweeted, facebooked and checked in on foursquare, it is assumed that an owner, manager, bartender, host or bartender will have some clue. Nothing. Enter the third party doldrums.

This particular establishment hires an agency to manage their social media which is NOT a problem at all for me. The problem is they do not have a system in place to inform the on-site staff of what to expect at any given time.

One large benefit of social media is building relationships with potential and current customers. People do business with people they like and spend money in places that make them feel good.

At this point the relationship has been broken and the experience was a let down. Even more alarming is that the employee, customer and company are not aligned so there is no way to provide the optimal customer experience.

Have you had the third party doldrums? If you are an establishment who hires out of house social media management, what systems do you have in place to avoid third party doldrums?

celebrate stance friends and fans

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Fridays are for celebrating Stance Friends and Fans. I encourage you to visit their facebook page, website or place of business and let Stance know about your experience with their product or service. If you have already done business with the featured Friday Stance Friend or Fan and have a story to share, please do.

Today we celebrate G&S Mortgage, a Denver-based mortgage company owned by George Gore III, my brother. George has been exceeding expectations and mastering mortgages for over 15 years in Colorado communities.
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His mission at G&S Mortgage is to set a high standard in the mortgage industry. George is committed to quality customer service – putting the people first – while adhering to the highest degree of integrity in business.
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George is happy to work with both brokers and buyers direct. His reputation for “getting it done” follows him everywhere.
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Services offered by George at G&S Mortgage:
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:    CONVENTIONAL
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:    GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS (FHA/VA)
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:    DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE

:    90% RATE OR TERM RE-FINANCING & PURCHASES UP TO $1,200,000

:    SECOND HOME

:    INVESTOR/RENTAL PROPERTY

:    NO INCOME VERIFICATION

:    BALLOON/ARM

:    NON-CONFORMING

Learn more today, because as you know, it is a great time to buy a home.

If you have done business with G&S Mortgage, please share your experience. If not, visit them today. I look forward to hearing about it and sharing your experience with other Stance Friends and Fans.

G&S Mortgage Corp.
Denver, Colorado
303.759.0508

G&S on Facebook

G&S on Twitter

www.gsmortgagecorp.com

 

the new #7

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A friend texted me an interesting question last night as she was eating in a local restaurant.

What do I do when the service is good but the food is not?
Do I tell them?

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A valid question and a reminder that not all the focus can be on the customer experience because the product is just as important.

A great customer experience supports a well planned product, whether it is the perfectly executed nine course tasting menu at The French Laundry, the best shoes at a great price from Zappos or a superb night’s stay at Ritz Carlton.
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Imagine that during your visit to The French Laundry you are treated as royalty, but instead of being served a divine dish fresh from The French Laundry farms, you are served beanies and weenies. No amount of planned, repeatable customer experience will make that acceptable for the price of the product, right?
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So I propose an addition to the Six Laws of Customer Experience by Bruce Temkin, customer experience transformist and Managing Partner of the Temkin Group.
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1.  Every interaction creates a personal reaction.
2.  People are instinctively self-centered.
3.  Customer familiarity breeds alignment.
4.  Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers.
5.  Employees do what is measured, incented and celebrated.
6.  You can’t fake it.

And the New #7: A well planned product or service that is aligned with the experience.

So what did I tell my friend? A bad product is a bad product. Fortunately there is always room for improvement…but not if they don’t know.

Although her opinion is just one of many, if the restaurant integrates customer feedback and insight throughout the organization (one of four core customer experience competencies by Temkin), then they already know and (hopefully) are making changes to the product so it meets the customer experience they provide.

And then, once again, the employee, customer, organization AND product/service are aligned.

celebrate stance friends and fans

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Fridays are for celebrating Stance Friends and Fans. This is different than Weekly Word of Mouth in that I may or may not have done business with these folks. I encourage you to visit their facebook page, website or place of business and get back to Stance about your experience with their product or service. If you have already done business with the featured Friday Stance Friend or Fan and have a story to share, please do.
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Today we celebrate Newberry Brothers Greenhouse and Florist, a family owned/operated Colorado company started over 60 years ago. Newberry specializes in custom floral design, greenhouse plants and gourmet Colorado-Proud gift baskets and has an inspiring history:

After WWII, Weldon Newberry and two of his brothers purchased a greenhouse on Garfield Street in Denver, Colorado. They soon closed the existing retail shop and devoted the business to the wholesale of the “Colorado Carnation, the first trademarked flower in the United States.”

In 1950, the Newberry brothers purchased an additional green house in Littleton, Colorado which was given to the youngest Newberry brother. A few years later, Weldon and his wife, Elizabeth, purchased full ownership from the remaining brother.
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Paula Newberry-Arnold, daughter of Weldon and Elizabeth, now co-owns the business with her mother. The business has flourished over the years and has won awards including the 2010 Gala Awards for Best Floral Design for a Special Event and the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009 Icon Awards for Best Floral Design.
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If you have worked with Newberry, please share your experience. If not, contact them today for your next special event whether it is a wedding, corporate event, holiday party, bat/bar mitzvah or any other special day. I look forward to hearing about it and sharing your experience with other Stance Friends and Fans.

Newberry Brothers Greenhouse and Florist
201 Garfield St
Denver, CO 80206-5518
(303) 322-0443
www.newberrybrothers.com
www.facebook.com/newberrybros

Bride Photography by Andrew Clark Photography.

Table Photography by Eric Stephenson Photography.

don’t allow indifference

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I run in to this a lot:

I go to an establishment with certain expectations which are not met. I look around and note that everyone else seems to be happy with their experience, in fact, the place is packed. Are they receiving OR perceiving a different service or experience than I am, or are they just indifferent?

Last Sunday I went out to eat brunch and watch the Bronco game with a group of friends and it was not a good experience. The server was friendly but not attentive or helpful, they were out of two beers on the menu, they no longer served the “giant cinnamon roll” highlighted as a specialty, the hollandaise sauce was “refrigerator” cold, the eggs were runny and the breakfast burrito did not have any eggs in it. We were generally bummed, but it appeared that everyone around us was generally happy. Could it be that the overarching expectation of most customers was just to be fed, watered and provided a certain level of entertainment? Were their expectations just low enough to make mistakes acceptable?

If that is the case, then what is the motivation for the company owner to improve upon their systems and offer a solid experience? How about this:

Doing good business and making good money means there is an opportunity to do GREAT business and make MORE money.

 

I do not believe the company, employee and customer were aligned. Instead, everyone was operating independently of one another and without similar goals.

How do you approach companies who are doing well despite providing a mediocre customer experience? Are you indifferent?

Use Your Words

A picture is worth a thousand words. Fortunately I tend to frequent restaurants that don’t have photos on the menu (although, it sure would help in some instances). The wording (or lack of wording) on a menu, can help to create a great customer experience just as easily as it can destroy one.

What do you think of when you see Nicoise Salad, Eggs Benedict or Chicken Parmesan on a menu? You have an expectation because you have had it before, and for the most part, those items are classic in presentation.

When the menu just says Eggs Benedict that is what I expect, but when it says: Root Down BenedictQuinoa “English Muffin”, Arugula, Iberico Cheese and Oven Dried Tomato Hollandaise I know I am getting something different­­—possibly quite special.

My general expectation of a Nicoise Salad.

I recently ordered a Nicoise Salad. In general I expect tomatoes, hard boiled egg, chicken or tuna, haricot vert, potatoes and olives served on a bit of lettuce and maybe one or two items that give the dish the chef’s signature. I also envision each item presented separately and not tossed together. My expectation and what I received were miles a part. What I got was an entire head of shredded lettuce, one slice of egg, three haricot vert, a tomato or two and cold, grilled chicken all served up to look like a side salad or an after thought dinner salad.

Eddie Lau, from Hot Food Porn and executive chef of The Summit Art/Bar Cafe soon to open in San Francisco, says it best:

“There have been instances where menus have been an undeniable factor in restaurant success and failure. Wording in a menu can be the difference in customer expectations including: how much people order, what people order and how people ultimately judge their meal. A menu that reads like a book can be intimidating, tiring and confusing for diners – which can lead to a situation where the words may ultimately overwhelm the food. A menu that reads too minimalist can be too vague and uninformative – leading to improper interpretations/expectations of what is actually written versus what is actually served. The dream menu should have the perfect balance of food seduction and honest expectations, which is honestly impossible.” 

Maybe the dream menu is impossible, but when considering menu wording, the writer should think like the customer. I was let down, and even though the waiter was friendly, the sun was shining and the bathroom was clean, my experience was ok at best. Oddly enough, if the salad had been called “Lo Cal Summer Chicken Salad”, I would have been pleased as punch because expectation, perception and the reality of the dish would have been aligned.

What’s in your salad?