Category Archives: Entreprenurial Marketing Advice

Katherine L. Garcia
The Importance of Good Customer Service

I did a business trip from Los Angeles to New York and on the way back, I decided to fly with Southwest since I had points that would make my flight cost only $5. When I landed at the airport, I went to grab my luggage at baggage claim, and waited and waited and waited. My luggage never came. They had lost my luggage – for the third time!! I felt frustrated and ready to abide to never to travel on that airline again. I was disappointed and took it to social media to express my thoughts.

On Twitter I shared:

On Southwest’s Facebook page, I wrote:  My Website

 

What Southwest Did Right

Southwest heard me out and respectfully replied on Facebook. In a private message, a Southwest employee, Warren, told me this:

Perfect! That’s all I need, Katherine. I want to start by offering our most sincere apologies. We move thousands of bags each day and a very small percentage of those bags wind up delayed. On the other hand, it sounds like a high percentage of your flights have experienced the opposite statistic and that gives us no degree of satisfaction in the least bit. I am documenting this report for our Senior Leaders and I would very much like to send you gesture of goodwill to offset the cost of a future flight. We take keeping our Customers satisfied very seriously and I believe that entails ensuring that you can fly with the expectation that you’ll be able to collect your bag before you leave the airport. I fully expect for you to have a more typical Southwest experience on your next flight and improved memories going forward. We appreciate your patronage and are always here if you have any questions or concerns.
–Warren


As a customer, I want to be respected, feel heard, and valued. Yes, Southwest Airlines did a major eff up by losing my luggage (again!), but they did their best to fix it. They found my luggage that same day (it got left behind during my layover in Dallas), delivered it to my home, and the next day I woke up to a $100 Southwest airfare voucher in my inbox.

Quote-on-Customer-Service

The negativity I felt towards them dissipated. I felt heard and valued as a Southwest Airlines customer.

What is Good Customer Service

Good customer service involves being helpful, and making the customer feel heard and appreciated. A report commissioned by RightNow, stated that customers want:

  • Employees who are friendly
  • Able to get info or help easily
  • Custom and personalized experiences
  • Companies and brands that have a positive reputation

And when a company performs poor customer service, people are willing to do business with a competitor!

People want good customer service and are even willing to pay for it. The report stated, “86 percent of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience.”

We take customer service very seriously here at Web Marketing Therapy. Our goal is not to only be helpful and friendly (and awesome!) – but to go beyond that. Lorrie (the CEO of WMT) says, “Customer service is more than taking care of a client’s needs – it is anticipating their needs and delivering them before they think to ask.”

Good customer service starts with you. As a business owner, are you being friendly, helpful, and making the customer feel appreciated? Problems arise with customers, but it’s how you handle them that can make you triumph in the situation or not.

virtualwordspecialist
Ten Reasons for More Humor at Work

lol-706869_640 copyA sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.– Dwight D. Eisenhower

It’s way more fun to work in a culture and environment that encourages humor. It’s also a useful and productive marketing strategy. An article by Forbes “10 Reasons Why Humor is a Key to Success at Work” shares why allowing people to be more open with tasteful humor in the workplace can help a business flourish.

The ideal workspace involves balancing the art of allowing respectful humor, taking yourself too seriously and just plain having fun.

Below are Forbes’ 10 reasons why humor is a key to success at work:

  • People will enjoy working with you. This is especially true when you are enjoy what you do.
  • Humor is a potent stress buster. According to Forbes, laughing creates a cognitive shift of stressors in the body.
  • It is humanizing. All sides can seek common ground using humor (properly).
  • It puts others at ease. Humor is a great tool for easing tension especially when conflicts arise.
  • It encourages creative thinking. Studies show that humor is a major factor in creative thinking.
  • It helps build trust. Effective use of humor lets your authentic-self shine through.
  • It boosts morale. Humor can lower retention at work if employees are laughing and having fun!
  • People who use humor tend to be more approachable. Honest and open people are often surrounded by the same people.
  • Humor can allow your company to stand out. Using humor as a strategy, businesses can leverage brand loyalty.
  • It can increase productivity. Humor creates an upbeat culture that can increase “out of the box” thinking, camaraderie and the sharing of ideas.

At Web Marketing Therapy, we knows how to get the humor flowing – heck, we have to!  Web work involves tech challenges, difficult clients (we love our clients, but sometimes we deal with behavioral issues!)

It’s not uncommon for the entire team to chuckle through email (we joke in hashtags and send a lot of videos and photos amongst each other) and via social media (especially on Funny Friday)! Laughing helps us relax, have a good belly laugh and get on with our day with a smile.

Please share any humor at work stories here. We would love to hear them.

Sources:

Forbes article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/05/03/10-reasons-why-humor-is-a-key-to-success-at-work/

virtualwordspecialist
Stop Business Stress and Anxiety – Start with Exercise

Jim Rohn healthy-quotes-1Running a business has great rewards; it can also be very stressful! If you are stressed, chances are so is some aspect of your business. March is National Nutrition Month, a perfect time to remind business owners that controlling their stress with good nutrition and exercise can help ease business stress!

The effects of stress on a person’s life are quite harmful – personally and professionally. Statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) show nearly 40 million adults are affected by stress and anxiety. Studies taken around the world show solid evidence supporting the health and wellness benefits of consistent, regular exercise.

Here’s some stats from those studies:

  • Exercise can elevate depressed mood in many people and relieve anxiety and depression.
  • Exercise improves mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress.
  • Exercise can help physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people.
  • Regular exercise can work medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The good news for busy entrepreneurs and working professionals is that it really takes no time at all to reap the rewards of daily exercise! According to a recent study cited by the ADAA, a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout and deliver several hours of relief akin to taking an aspirin for a headache. Come on, we can all do that!

The best way to stay on track is to schedule daily exercise into your calendar. If you are just starting out remember to take one step at a time and perhaps begin with a 10 minute walk a few days a week. Just like your marketing efforts the only way to get good results is to be consistent. Exercise is no exception so get up, get moving and release the stress from your body and your business!

While we tout HEALTHY MARKETING = WEALTHY ORGANIZATIONS®, we also care enough to want to remind you that HEALTH = WEALTH.

If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t give the best to your family, friends, coworkers or company.

So get off your butt, ok!?? 🙂

Sources:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics article: http://www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/nnm/

Anxiety and Depression Association of America article: http://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety

virtualwordspecialist
Shape Up Your Marketing Efforts in 2015

The stars don't align for those who just dabble image 10376089_10155089531745268_8366638418436921466_nI recently noticed that the gym parking lot is emptier. Sadly, according some sources, only 59% percent of the Americans who made resolutions to get fit in 2014 kept their word. The problem is that making changes takes a plan (goals), making exercise a priority, being consistent and willing to stick to it no matter what to get the results.

The same is true for marketing. Busy entrepreneurs and small business owners are so overloaded. “Bettering marketing” projects dive to the bottom of “to do” lists where most things never get done….just like fitness resolutions. You don’t have to be a statistic – start small.

Want to shape up your marketing efforts this year?  Start by STARTING. If you are ready and determined to change your marketing to get it up and running better, follow these three marketing tips for success:

1) Determine marketing goals. You probably don’t need an entire overhaul, but perhaps just to focus and tighten up your efforts somewhere (i.e. social media or website optimizations). Whatever ideas of what needs to get done pops into your head, write them down and prioritize their order.  Need to have’s first, nice to have’s later.  It’s like cutting soda as a start to fitness – you aren’t working out 10x/week, but you are making a small step that will be part of making a big difference in the long run.

2) Delegate the workload. Determine who will be the marketing “person” in your company if there is not already one. Consider one of your employees for social media posts if applicable. You can also hire an online marketing agency to help share the workload.  With fitness, it would be like joining a fitness class, hiring a personal trainer or a healthy cook to help so your future efforts are done more strategically.

3) Set a realistic budget and timeframe. Most companies spend 5-10% of their budgets on their marketing efforts every year. This is the point where the goals list (Step 1) is necessary to determine the importance of the tasks at hand so you are clear to help get estimates to to the work and plan time to complete them. This is also an opportunity to audit current marketing spend. Cut things that don’t work – it will free up budget to use towards things that support your goal list.

Creating a road map implementing that strategy and measuring results are the simple keys to healthy marketing. If you feel overwhelmed with it all, reach out for help! Creating a solution for that problem may be easier than you think.

Resources:

http://elitedaily.com/life/everyone-gives-new-years-resolutions/894828/

http://maristpoll.marist.edu/tag/new-years-resolutions/

virtualwordspecialist
The Comfort Zone is No Place for Marketing

It’s unhealthy in marketing to get comfortable. As the web evolves (and it does often), we must evolve if we want to keep up and remain relevant. Get motivated! Here’s to healthy marketing decisions in 2015.

Comfort_zone_image_

 

 

 

virtualwordspecialist
Understanding Copyright Use of Web Images

camera_image_morgue_file

image: morgueFile free photo

Images used with text on the web are not only visual eye candy but can also (when used with search optimization best practices) great for SEO.

But know that there are rules when using images!  Basic understanding and education of copyright use for web images can help avoid common (and sometimes costly) mistakes while still enhancing web content with images.

An article by a site called SkilledUp.com called: “Web Photos 101: Copyright ‘Fair Use’ For Web Images” provides easy-to-understand language to better understand image copyright “fair use” that doesn’t require a law degree to interpret.

It’s important to start with the basics and define what copyright means. The SkilledUp article defines copyright as the following:

  • A federal law of the United States that protects original works of authorship.
  • work of authorship that includes literary, written, dramatic, artistic, musical and certain other types of works.
  • Established as soon as the original work begins (applies to work-in-progress and incomplete work)
  • Automatic meaning there is no special paperwork like trademarks and patents.
  • The copyright owner has exclusive rights to reproduce, showcase publicly, change, and distribute said work.

The general rule of thumb is that one cannot use a copyrighted photo without express authorization from the owner. Copyright law contains a “Fair Use” clause that balances out the interest of the general public. That’s where photo and image sharing comes into play.

Most photo-sharing sites make their license use conditional generally through the specific use of image attribution. This license allows re-distribution and re-use of a licensed work on the condition that the creator is appropriately credited.

But never fear – There are royalty-free images out there that are an option.

Here are three important tips to using royalty free images:

1) Make sure the royalty free images you use are from reputable sources. When you keep track of your images and use rights (recommended) you will have a legal backing should you receive a cease and desist letter for an image and need to present evidence to your legal counsel.

2) Make sure you understand the copyright restrictions and terms of use. Creative Commons provides an easy to understand guide (but not all photo sharing sites do so be aware).

3) Revise or remove blog, website or social media images if you are not sure of their origin. Consider the quote by Social Media Examiner, A picture is worth a thousand words, but when it’s protected by copyright it is only worth three words: cease and desist.” (See full article).

You can always pay for images if searching the web is too time consuming. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind, but if budgets don’t allow, here are some free and paid image resources to consider.

Royalty free image sources:

Paid:

Additional sources:

Creative Commons human written attribution guidelines: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

Creative Commons definition of image attribution: http://opendefinition.org/licenses/cc-by/

Disclaimer: the information provided in this post is for marketing purposes only and does substitute legal advice for copyright matters.