Seeing Glasses in a Whole New Light

If you wear glasses you know that shopping for them at the traditional places like LensCrafters and EyeMart etc.. is mildly, well…. antiseptic. One thing it is NOT is sexy or fun. Stores are boring with bad lighting, doctors smocks, mysterious pricing and ultimately, very expensive. I found this out first hand recently when I needed a new pair of glasses. After multiple visits to the big box stores I was overwhelmingly underwhelmed. Yes, they have big brands with sexy names, like Prada, Gucci and Bulgari. But interesting and cool designs are extremely limited. And the prices!? Oh. My. God. … Continue reading Seeing Glasses in a Whole New Light

Crowd Sourced Onion Soup

Why would anyone buy a cook book these days (other than as a gift) when there are so many great cooking websites with copious free and detailed recipes, videos, pictures and more? Personally, it never even occurs to me to crack one of the many I have. Why? Because of the comments. Yes, a written recipe is great… but what I really want to read is how other people have modified said recipe. What works? What doesn’t? Because you know you never have all the listed ingredients. Or at least I don’t. How did other people improvise, alter and personalize … Continue reading Crowd Sourced Onion Soup

Improving Life on the Road: Inspired Creative Minds

Traveling a lot certainly has its ups and downs (yes.. literally). One of the surprising “ups” is stumbling upon marketing and design brilliance, sometimes in the most unexpected places. For me (admitted marketing geek) I get true inspiration from creative, elegant and insightful solutions that demonstrate deep understanding of the plight of the customer. And when these solutions stop me in my tracks and make me say “what a great idea” and “I’d love to chat with whoever came up with that”, even better. Following are some serious props for ideas which moved me, made me think, or simply made … Continue reading Improving Life on the Road: Inspired Creative Minds

Sometimes “Good” Marketing Isn’t a Good Idea

I appreciate good marketing. Duh. Especially when you can tell they were thoughtful about the brand (and its touchpoints), understand the impact of customer service, are consistent in the environment and truly 360. But alas sometimes, as I have learned, good marketing may in fact be a red flag. Case in point… the dentist. Recently I was referred to a new dentist. I called and had a wonderful experience with an extremely helpful person who proactively called my insurance, thoroughly explained coverage, costs etc. It was terrific. Sign me up! Moments after scheduling my appointment I received a welcome email (from a dentist?). … Continue reading Sometimes “Good” Marketing Isn’t a Good Idea

When Good Service Brands Go Bad

Think of brands known for service and you think of Nordstrom, Enterprise Rent a Car, Ritz, Virgin Airlines, Zappos, Starwood. These are brands known for differentiating themselves by their service DNA. And yet, sometimes even the brands that are known for getting it right, get it wrong. Somehow this is even more devastating then if they had just not been “service focused” to begin with as it’s a break in the brand promise. You feel a bit mislead, fooled and disappointed. Or at least I do. In fact, it makes me angry. Case in point – a recent bad travel day I had … Continue reading When Good Service Brands Go Bad

Email and the Demise of a Civil Society

Have you ever noticed how rude people can be when communicating via email? Especially when the email is to an unknown recipient. It’s as though we’ve all forgotten that there is still a real person on the receiving end of every email. Slipped our minds that our complaint, issue, concern or frustration has to be taken in by a human in order for a response to be generated. Like we have a hall pass to toss out all social norms just because there is no intimate connection with the recipient. Ironically, it’s very likely that the person manning the support … Continue reading Email and the Demise of a Civil Society

A New Era of Customer Service Is Upon Us. Are Ya Listenin?

The Internet has forever changed the business of customer service. Period. Response time has to be faster, more understanding, more flexible and more, well human. Its amazing to me that in an era of the Zappos’s of the world – where “surprising and delighting” customers with perks like unexpected and free overnight delivery is like breathing – that any company can still not “get it”. Recently I have had several vastly different web based customer service interactions. In this light I recant (I promise to be brief despite my desire to rant) a few: – A free online invitation … Continue reading A New Era of Customer Service Is Upon Us. Are Ya Listenin?