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Posts from the ‘Communications’ Category

Customer loyalty: When systems don’t match and the difference of a single person

airlineCustomer loyalty. A key component of many corporate marketing strategies and an important area of focus for most. It’s a key ingredient to a company’s long-term sustainability and a puzzle most attack through partnering up with customer loyalty companies to create programs – from large to small, simple to complex – to encourage customers to keep coming back. Yet, despite all of the planning, strategy, and systems that get put in place to enhance customer loyalty, it often all still comes down to the details and individual experiences. As a result, it really pays to invest in the basics:

  1. Make sure the loyalty program aligns with the product or service itself – activating loyalty rewards should be seamless and deliver the experience promised, otherwise, you could potentially do more harm than good
  2. Invest in the people at the front lines dealing directly with customers – at the end of the day, they are your biggest asset or liability when it comes to ensuring customer loyalty. A single person can make all the difference in a positive or negative way.

To highlight both points, I’ll draw upon an experience I had a little while ago with an airline that has engaged another company to run their loyalty program. Read more

Humans Behaving Badly

I am a host with AirBnB, and have had the misfortune of accepting a bad guest. That said, my experience with this guest is nowhere as terrible as the experience of another far more unfortunate host that had her San Francisco property vandalized, looted, and destroyed.

No, in my case, it is merely a case of a human behaving badly. But still, what I’m astounded by is how disruptive one person is still able to be and how easy it is for communication to break down when one person is not open to anything external to their viewpoint.

As a little context, this particular guest was traveling to Canada from Australia. My error was in accepting her booking directly, without asking for additional information and communication. And because of my error in judgement, my last 24+ hours has become infinitely more challenging… and I have another nine days to go.

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More from the CRTC: Abandoning truthful broadcast journalism

With the momentum and outrage that has been building up behind the CRTC’s ruling to give our monopoly telecommunication companies the approval to implement usage-based internet billing as of March of this year, another blow to the social fabric of Canadian communications is lurking quietly in its shadow. In this case, the CRTC is trying to ease up on a ban that states that broadcasters “shall not broadcast any false or misleading news“.

How, you might ask?

The CRTC would like to loosen the regulation to only ban “any news that the licensee knows is false or misleading and that endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public.” The key operative is found in the word “and”. Namely, “… false or misleading AND that endangers… lives, health or safety of the public.” It’s such a small word and seemingly small amendment, but the consequences are monumental. What this means is that the law only applies to broadcast news that may endanger lives, health or public safety – broadcasters can’t provide false or misleading information within those parameters. Anything else? Fair game… Read more

Only Heroes.

lucha libreCulturally, we are immersed in the notion of polarized human dynamics. On one side, there are the “good guys”, and on the other are the “bad guys”. Good versus evil. Heroes against villains. Almost every good novel, movie, or tv show has an element of this in it. Usually, as you’re reading or watching, you can tell very quickly who is on which side.

But what about real life?

Naturally, most of us consider ourselves to be one of the good guys. From our perspective, we are doing the best we can for ourselves and the people we care about. On occasion, we may even go a bit overboard.

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Skype’s apology

Nobody’s perfect, and neither is any technology. Continual growth and development is going to come with its hiccups, the important thing is how you manage the hiccups and recover from them afterwards.

Last week, Skype services went down for an extended period of time. During that period, Skype rushed to identify the reason for the service disruption and provided updates on their Twitterfeed every few hours. Although it came back online within the first day, the recovery was short-lived as service went back down the very next day. It took hours more to stablize the system again and to bring normal services back up for all users.

The culprit: a number of the support servers for offline instant messaging had become overloaded and one of the Windows versions of Skype became paralyzed. Read more

It gets better

On October 12th, City Councilman Joel Burns, addressed the Fort Worth City Council, and any parents and youth that might be watching the broadcast with a message that was close to his heart: to the young people who may be facing bullying because they are different, hang in there, “it gets better”.

He began his address with a review of the recent spate of suicides that have been a result of bullying of teens who were perceived to be gay or lesbian. One by one, the Council heard the stories young teens who have taken their lives recently because of bullying: Asher Brown (13 years old), Billy Lucas (15 years old), Justin Aaberg (15 years old), Seth Walsh (13 years old), and finally Zach Harrington (19 years old), who hung himself after attending a City Council meeting. Already, the passionate words of the Councilman were moving to hear in highlighting the important issue of bullying that needs to be addressed. Then in a courageous move, he started to share his own personal story of bullying and coming to terms with his sexual orientation. The speech he gave to the City Council would be the first time he had ever spoken of certain events and reflections of his life, and in those tearful moments, he held captive all who were listening… and all who would come to listen to his address. Read more

From transactional to transformational

Dr. Cleve W. Stevens (Photo credit CSRwire Talkback)

Late last week, I came across a blog post by Dr. Cleve W. Stevens, the founder and President of Owl Sight Intentions, Inc., giving his perspective on BP’s management of the Gulf oil spill earlier this year.

He talks about the differentiation between a transactional approach to operations, problem-solving, and leadership, compared with a transformational approach. My own personal interpretation is that much of the world still operates within a transactional paradigm, driven by the short-term motivation of economic profits. A transformational way of being occurs when a greater vision is taken on that strives towards enabling the personal growth and holistic well-being and betterment of other people and a community alongside a person or organization’s development. It is a long-term motivation driven by mutual benefit and sustainability. Dr. Stevens uses BP as an excellent example highlighting not only the difference between the two approaches, but also the magnitude of the outcomes: both potential and actual.

The original post can be found at CSRwire’s Talkback blog and I have also included it here below. I highly recommend reading it. It’s not only a great read, but offers compelling insight into the way companies and individuals carry themselves. If nothing else, it presents interesting food for thought.

At the end of the day, only you can decide what kind of leader or company you want to be.

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