Tag Archives: twin city sam

Being Dazzled by Zazzle and What Brown Did For Me

I admit I’m like the plumber with leaks but, unfortunately sometimes we marketing folks don’t have time to tend to their own chores.   It’s the old “do as I say, not as I do” adage.

But, if you’ve dropped by when I HAVE taken the time to write, you know that I am B-I-G on customer service.  (So much so that a recent guest blog post of mine at {grow} was centered around companies who do and don’t listen.) If you get it wrong, I will call you out and if you do it right, I will sing your praises to anyone who listens.

This is such a story. It’s a long one, but it shows amazing customer service and companies who are listening.

It is a story of a tradition, a pig and a goof.  All 3 of which belong to me.  Every Twin City SAMyear our family joins with our besties in hosting a rather large pig roast for our friends.  A few years ago we added themes and logos to the mix and this year was no exception.  A good friend of ours designed the logo, bestie cleaned it up and voila! We have the Pig in Zen 2010 look.  I go to my favorite POD (print on demand) site – Zazzle and place an order for the family to have similar (but not matching..that’s just weird) shirts. 10 days til the party.. figure no problem.

Flash forward to this past Thursday at approximately 2:20 pm – Einstein here figures it would be a good idea to check the tracking of the shirts and make sure that they were on time for delivery from our friends at UPS. And that’s when I realized that my shirts that I’d ordered for a party on Saturday were scheduled to arrive on Monday.

Oh crap.

I send a text to my husband, commiserate on Facebook and then tweet out a little vent on Twitter. Didn’t ask for help. Didn’t really complain – just frustrated at myself. Within 20 minutes, the following messages ensue:

zazzle @KristenDaukas Have you already contacted our support team about this issue?

Me: @zazzle It’s not you.. Out of your hands..I never thought it would take 10 days to get here. Only @UPS can help me now. Or Santa.

zazzle @KristenDaukas Well, it can’t hurt to try! Shoot an email w/details: http://bit.ly/11XytN

UPS @KristenDaukas Let’s see if we can help. Please send your contact info + tracking # to twitter@ups.com.

Me: @UPS You will be my hero if I get these shirts in time for my party on sat. Sending info now.  ( I scurry off to send requested info while crossing all fingers and toes.. )

What happened after that was nothing short of AMAZING customer service.  I get a phone call from Chris Coleman (@ChrisatUPS) in the Corporate Customer Relations department of UPS who listens to what happened.  He then asks if I think we can get new shirts from Zazzle printed up and shipped overnight to me – at UPS’ expense.  As much as I want the shirts and as important as they are to me, I couldn’t possibly think that UPS should take on that big of a cost. It wasn’t Twin City SAM and UPSthe fault of Zazzle or UPS that I didn’t have my shirts.. I simply hadn’t opted to have the shirts expedited to me.

Dear @UPS and @zazzle you guys rock. I hope we can rescue the package but if not, you have shown amazing #custsvc today.

But that is exactly what Chris does.  He gets in touch with Selena at Zazzle and they reprint our shirts and overnight them to me.  They end up arriving about 24 hours after I had sent the first tweet. UPS and Zazzle – if you read this – those two folks deserve some major back slapping from the powers that be. Lunch would be nice, too.

I didn’t yell. I never asked them to replace the shirts. UPS and Zazzle chose to do the right thing for their customer. I am a small business. I do 99% of my work online.. I don’t ship a lot. They really had no reason to go over and above the call of service. But they both did.

Guess who my chosen shipping provider is going to be moving forward? Guess who I will continue to use for my POD (print on demand) needs?

Good Service Done Right..

It’s no secret that I have a family that consists of 3 lovely girls, a husband and myself.  Being a parent is another area where I don’t profess to be an expert or a guru. Far from it.  My oldest daughter has been BEGGING for a cell phone for at least 2 years to which I have managed to maintain my “no” stance.  Perhaps I should say.. HAD managed.

A couple of weeks ago, we were at the mall picking up some BTS staples when she did what she normally does when she sees the AT&T kiosk.. she bolted off and started picking up the sample phones.  What happened next floored her and stunned her into silence ( a rarity).. I started talking shop to the guys behind the counter (mark this as mistake #1). We reviewed the different phones, packages that included adding her onto my existing line and options that she would need (unlimited texting for one). The sales guys were very pleasant and it seemed like everything was handled smoothly (mistake #2). We left with a new phone for her and unbeknownst to me.. a huge mess of my AT&T account.kristen daukas twin city sam winston salem nc

The first bell rang 1 week later when I tried to make a call and couldn’t because I was being forced to “acknowledge and accept” my new 2 year contract.  Why would I want to do that?? I am already in the middle of a 2 year contract.. wouldn’t that be counter-productive? So, I finally give in and accept it just so I can call them to find out what was going on. After 2 calls, I speak with someone who understands what has happened and tells me that I need to go back to the original kiosk (uh-oh) and have them fix it.. they can’t do it at their level.

Great. Another trip to the mall (I’m not a fan, by the way). First trip.. I’m there when the doors open. Problem – they’re not. 35 minutes later, the guy shows up and yep.. he can’t help me.. I need to come back so his manager can fix it. Another trip to the mall. Lovely.. two days later, I show back up.. Manager’s there, he fixes it and I leave happy.  All is well with the world.

Until today.

I log in to check something and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a phone bill TWICE the amount it should be. Seems the guys at the kiosk missed the “unlimited texting” piece, removed me as primary number and a few other things.  I call my friends over at AT&T and by sheer luck, get connected to what must be the wonder-boy of customer service who waves his magic wand and fixes it. Everything.  Didn’t say .. “sorry you have to go back to the mall”.. didn’t say “sorry..we’ll make it unlimited moving forward but you’ll have to pay this month”.  He FIXED it. And he was pleasant, cheery and he joked with me. He also saved me from what I felt was going to be a coronary moment.

Just like that he was my hero – he was the person that AT&T should strive to have every single customer service rep be like.

That’s what good service looks like friends.  Good service recognizes that I’ve been a loyal customer for years and respects that I have other options and WORKS to make me happy. We need more of that.  More important than that, we need more customers applauding good service.. taking names (his name was Darrell) and giving them praise.  And even more important than that.. we need companies who recognize and reward their individual brand ambassadors (employees). Because, just like the customer that can jump ship, so can the staff. And if it’s staff like that jumping ship – hey.. one company’s loss is another company’s treasure!

What’s your good service story?

What Does Your Horn Sound Like?

In order to save miles on our family car, we rented a car for our recent trip to Philly over the 4th of July weekend.   At some point during the drive up, I happened to hit the horn. What came out of that car was enough to make all of  us bust out laughing (LLOL – literally laugh out loud).

It was the lamest, weakest, “tinniest” sounding horn that I have heard in my life. Ever.  I wish I could insert a sound here as opposed to a picture, but it was similar to “mmmeep-mmeep”.   If I blew that horn in downtown Philly, I would be laughed out of the city. It didn’t say  “watch out!” or “get out of my way”. It said anything but “take me seriously”. It sounded twin city sam kristen daukascheap, it sounded insincere and it sounded hollow.

Why am I telling this story?  Because lately there has been a HUGE amount of companies/agencies/consultants/GURUS rolling out social media marketing packages that are nothing short of a joke.  I’m not sure if they’re clueless of what to charge or if they’re going for the extremely budget conscious client.

I do know this.. no one is taking them seriously. These are the same folks that slap a “guru” onto their LinkedIn or Twitter profile.  I feel quite certain that once the economy turns around most likely, they won’t be around to toot that horn.  Which will leave their clients in a bit of a quandary..

I don’t aim to have a horn that sounds like a Mack Truck (although plenty would say that’s how I am but that’s another story) but I will make sure that my agency is a solid Chrysler 300.

I believe that social media and digitial marketing are just like everything else – you get what you pay for. I’m not the cheapest in town and I’m not the most expensive.  Knowing what I do for my clients, I’m hard pressed to believe that one of the discount agencies is willing to do what I do for $30 a month. I know that our area can’t carry the national average of $3,000 a month, but that’s a big gap don’t you think?

So tell me.. what’s you horn sound like?

Kristen Daukas

Twin City SAM

@TwinCitySAM

Sometimes being smaller IS better.

This is a true story..

8 years ago I worked for a company in PA that was a leader in business continuity software.  The main part of the company was well-funded, well-known with an entire marketing division.  The sales team that worked there had very few challenges in getting their story heard and ultimately, their software bought.

But there was another part of the company that wasn’t nearly as big and virtually unknown.  The sales team was much newer and smaller and given virtually nothing to work with.. just word of mouth and a marketing person.  This team had a much harder time getting their foot in the door and convincing the management teams of their prospects that they were part of a big, legitimate company and worthy of their time.twin city sam kristen daukas winston salem nc

I was part of that smaller department.  It was a tough little department.. the little engine that could.  We knew that in order to succeed, we would have to be more determined.. get creative and use every conventional and unconventional resource available to us.  (I happened to earn President’s Club that first year with the help of Twelve Horses and an amazing marketing VP who taught me a lot, but that’s another post..)

Recognize any similarities here?

You have the BIG department (traditional marketing) that is well-known, everyone is comfortable with and gets all the funding versus t the smaller, newer department (digital marketing/social media) that no one is sure what to do with, leery to give money to or thinks will succeed.

Just because something is new doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be given a fair try. It may have to work a little bit harder .. stay past 5 and state it’s case time and time again, but rest assured.. if you hang in there and give it the time and respect that it deserves, it will eventually pay off for you.

That small department that I was part of, eventually produced almost half of the company’s revenue.   How did it happen?  It was given the time, respect and resources to allow it to grow and get out of its infancy stage. It was expected to hit a speed bump or two.. not produce big numbers immediately and acquired some bruises along the way.  But, the powers that be had faith in us and it ended up being well worth the gamble.

I think the same will happen with what we’re experiencing with social media and digital marketing. Just hang in there..stay diligent with the job you’re doing and the rewards will pay off very soon.

Be Social..

Kristen

Chief Chick

Twin City SAM

A New Beginning

Kind of weird to say that when we’re just getting ready to celebrate our 1 year anniversary but that’s what today feels like.  Today is the day that the new Twin City SAM site officially launched. Well.. a soft launch, but that’s just a minor detail.

Now the real fun begins.

We’ve spent the past year growing, learning and figuring out what we wanted to do.  We’ve added clients and friends. Tried on this hat and that.  I’m proud of what we’ve done and who we’ve become. I’m honored to have met local folks like Danielle Hatfield, Brandon Pierce, Kim Williams, Scott Dickson and Susan Morris just to name a few.  I have big hopes, dreams and goals for SAM.

I know we can make a difference one client at a time.

We won’t be a Mullen anytime soon. That’s cool with me. I like who we are and what we do.  This big, beautiful new site just reaffirms that the decision that I made last year was the right one.

Stay tuned.  We’re just getting started 😉

Kristen

Chief Chick

Twin City SAM

UPDATE: Maui Jim – True Life Twitter Test

Stand by… our friends at Maui Jim (@officialmauijim) contacted me and are on the case… waiting for an email from them as I write this. Might have my first Update to an Update.. Stay tuned.

Well,  unlike the first test with @mophielovesyou and @shareatt, I’m sorry to say that Maui Jim (@officialmauijim) apparently is NOT listening to their customers. Or perhaps it’s just ME they’re not listening to.

After reaching out to them via phone and then directly thru Twitter and again thru my blog post (original post here), I have yet to hear one peep from the folks at Maui Jim regarding our experience with them. I really had hoped to have received at least a response, if not a resolution. However,  it appears my time will be better spent finding a new sunglass provider.  Is one that listens to its customers too much to ask for?

Perhaps Revo (@revosunglasses) or Oakley (@oakley) would be interested in having our business? It’s theirs for the taking, that’s for sure.

So, I end test #2 with a big ol’ Thumbs DOWN for Maui Jim. 

SAM

Maui Jim – True Life Twitter Test

I had good results with @mophielovesyou and @shareatt earlier this week as test #1 for this experiment. Let’s see if the second test is as successful!

Mr. TwinCitySAM works really hard. He’s also very tolerant and patient of Mrs. TwinCitySAM ( think Lucy and Ricky..). Therefore, if Mr TCSAM decides he wants to splurge on something, Mrs. TCSAM has no issue with that.

Such was the case last July when the Mr. mentioned that he would really like a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.  Mrs. was so supportive of it, she actually went over to @SunglassHut and bought them to surprise the Mr.  He WAS surprised and he even liked the chosen style…for the most part.  See, Mrs. TCSAM is obviously, a female. Female’s tend to have smaller heads than males (with me so far?). So, when a female tries on a pair of cool shades and thinks they look great – they do. On a female. The problem ensued when Mr. tried to wear them.. his head was just a little bit larger than the Mrs.’s.

So he just wasn’t happy with them.

Flash forward a couple of months and last week, Mr. decided that he was going to take @SunglassHut up on their trade in policy that if you bring them in within a year, you can receive a credit worth half the original price (don’t quote me on all the details.. when we had @revosunglasses that was the case). Not a bad deal when you’re dealing with the cost of a pair of @officialmauijim. Problem is , that policy doesn’t apply to Maui Jim’s. They advise us to call Maui Jim direct to explain the situation and that they should be able to help. (Have I mentioned the intent was to purchase a NEW pair of Maui Jim’s with the credit?)

Soooo…. Mr. TwinCitySAM places that call today and was basically told “sorry, can’t help you” and that “if you’d bought the sunglasses directly from us, you would have only had 30 days to return them”. What?! Hey, @SunglassHut – that’s a good plug for you! Don’t buy direct, you’ll get a worse return policy than if you buy from us in our store!

@officialmauijim – is this really your policy with someone who’s unhappy with their choice and is merely wanting to trade up for a new pair of your sunglasses?  Seriously, it’s not like when I bought a dress for Homecoming in highschool and returned it after the dance. Okay, I never did that myself, but there are those that did…

So, I reach out to you @officialmauijim in hopes that you’re listening and that you’ll respond. Hopefully with more than “Sorry, can’t help you”.

SAM