Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Golden Rule is Free

Candace came to Austin recently, and we met with the official event planners of SXSW (South by Southwest, Austin's big music, movie and tech conference). One of our clients is interested in showcasing their new product, and feels like SXSW is the perfect venue (we agree!). The ladies with whom we met could not have been nicer, more creative or more interested in us. Candace and I came away from that meeting feeling energized and brilliant. That same feeling is what BrightBlue wants our clients to experience with us.

We have another recent client company for whom we helped launch a service. The folks on this team are beyond polite and gracious to us and everyone they deal with. Doing business in this way gives their subsidiary - and thus, their parent company! - a stellar reputation. As their division gets larger, their esteem will precede them and attract the best and brightest employees. In turn, these bright, happy people will attract and keep clients.

It's been a tough economic year, and it'll get worse before it gets better. However, employing kindness and sincerity with everyone you meet will ensure that your personal reputation and that of your company will prevail. Doing so not only costs you nothing, but it's priceless.

We'll be back on the blog on January 7. Wishing all of you a happy, healthy, prosperous 2009!

The BrightBlue Marketing Team

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Live & Learn

We all make mistakes; it's inevitable. Making a mistake at work can be a terrifying experience since it involves both your pride and your livelihood. Sometimes an error is minor, like the time I miscalculated the number of dining tables needed at a corporate event. I had actually overestimated the number needed, but one of the VPs was afraid that our sponsor would think that people were supposed to have been at that table and didn't show up. The error was fixed simply by asking hotel staff remove the extra table, which was accomplished in a minute or two.

Other mistakes are cringeworthy, even years later. One of my first jobs after graduating from college required lots of proposal-type documents to be mailed out daily. We typically sent these packages via FedEx. It was when I sent the United States Postal Service one such document via FedEx that was a real problem. As you can imagine, it was poorly received. The salesperson who wrote up the proposal was angry at me, and felt that he did not need to point out that the proposal should go out through the U.S. mail. I agreed, and this is how I fixed it: I asked my husband, a past president of the Dallas Philatelic Society (a fancy way to say "Stamp Club") to write an apology on my behalf. I enclosed it with my own letter of apology and the client was impressed with my employer. We landed the USPS account.

What's a mistake that you've made, and how did you fix it? The best story gets a write-up in my next entry.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Amazon Renovates the Client Experience - Again

Remember when changed the whole process of buying books? Every little thing about buying a book was combined on the web to create the client experience – from book selection to having the book arrive at your door. The company set the bar for client experience of buying books on the web, then transferred their expertise to other product categories.

Now, Amazon once again demonstrates how to improve the customer experience by taking on the crazy, wasteful packaging we find on most toys and electronics. Coining the term, “Wrap Rage” to describe the frustration of unwrapping these packages, Amazon invented Frustration-Free Packaging.

Frustration-Free Packaging is a multi-year initiative in which Amazon is working with Mattel, Fisher-Price and other major manufacturers to eliminate the plastic-coated steel ties that require wire clippers to remove, the clam shell plastic you can hardly cut with scissors, and unnecessary plastic and styrene that holds pieces in place. This is all replaced with easy-open, recyclable boxes.

Hooray for Amazon for recognizing that the client experience doesn’t end with receiving the product and for being willing to take on such a challenging project. Wishing you a frustration-free holiday!