Note to Starbucks CEO: Don’t use technology (or loyalty programs) to demotivate your employees

  Summary: While the Starbucks App is cool and makes buying coffee and food quick and easy without dealing with cash, credit or debit cards, the company appears to have developed the app without fully considering the impact on their employees. The app doesn’t offer users the option to tip baristas when making a purchase.  […]

Dear Ace Tickets: Is the customer always right or are you never wrong? Pick one.

Net: Ace Tickets refunded skateboarding tickets we overpaid for through our own ignorance, yet refused to refund “pole view” tickets at Fenway Park they assured us were unobstructed.  Sur La Table re-funded a four year old purchase without a receipt on a product they no longer carry. Both have solid customer ID technology, one used it […] uses Web 2.0, great service and rewards to score a Collaboration Evangelist trifecta

Net: provides great consumer value, excellent web and phone customer service and has one of the most rewarding loyalty programs I have seen.  The company shows how applying the philosophy and applications of Web 2.0, good customer service and a well designed and implemented rewards program can create customer loyalty.  Why book anywhere else?

I lost my Kindle and missed a flight, but still had a good experience as Air Canada and USAir collaborated to provide extraordinary customer service

Net:  On a recent day trip to Toronto which could have been “travel hell,” several USAir and Air Canada employees worked together to get me there and back painlessly.  Air Canada’s Connie Hughes went the extra mile to help me look for a lost Kindle.  These businesses should make it easy to tell their CEO’s […]

Customer service disaster non-recovery; Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco doesn’t get Web 2.0, earns first CHU “Un-recommends”

Net: Despite the fact that user generated ratings and reviews have been a mainstay of the internet since at least 1999, many large businesses fail to provide an easy way for customers to provide feedback and do not monitor and respond to customer comments on the Web.  I recently experienced this first hand from the […]

Customer Service Disaster Recovery: A car for a car, a coffee for a coffee, $10 for free porn?

Let’s assume that most companies want to provide good if not great customer service.  But even those who aspire to greatness occasionally screw-up and end up with a customer service disaster.  We look at customer service disasters as a “crisis” in the way that some interpret the Chinese character for crisis as being comprised of […]

Public servants deliver great customer service

Friday night, Myles and I arrived at our ski house around 10 PM.  This was several hours later than our usual arrival time as his third grade basketball team had the honor of playing during the half time of the Brookline vs. Wellesley High School game.    The good news was that leaving at 8 meant […]

A Christmas Eve shout out to two dedicated, empowered employees putting customers first

At one of my final annual all-company meetings as CEO of The Loyalty Group, I showed three clips of Michael Jordan, one of my all time sports heroes.  The MJ trait I loved most was his tremendous work ethic.  He was truly one of the most gifted athletes of all times, but he was also […]

Don’t abuse your best customers Part II: Hertz #1 Club Case Study

My first job out of business school was with Bain & Company consulting.  I spent six years at Bain and during that period and my longest non-travel period was two weeks. One of the first things I did after starting at Bain was to join every frequent flyer program and several hotel rewards programs. Although […]

Response from Dell

Just noticed this response from Dell manager. Bonus points for finding this new blog and post and for the very candid response on how Dell’s culture is still evolving to embrace customer and customer service collaboration. His comments: Good points on social media in the enterprise as a whole. Thanks for the write-up. While we […]

Don’t abuse your best customers Part I: Amazon Case Study

I have a love-hate relationship with Amazon.  Love their product selection, user reviews and especially the ease and price savings of Amazon Prime.  Hate the fact that for some reason Amazon refuses to use the data they have about their own customers in the most simplistic “pre-web 1.0” ways.  We wrote about this in the […]

Are you “waking up dead people” or “killing a culture?”

One of the great byproducts of Web 2.0 is that I often hear from friends and colleagues I have lost touch with.  I am sure you too receive the “I found you on the internet, Facebook, Linked In, …” email from time to time, hopefully from people you actual want to talk to. Last week […]

Case Study: Another Dell misfire demonstrates why Web 2.0 and customer service must be linked

I have been an IBM ThinkPad customer since 1991, about the year they starting making them, but the extremely poor customer service I experienced from Lenovo regarding my X61 Tablet forced me to look at other manufacturers. Although I have never been a fan of Dell laptops, I was attracted to the ads for the […]

Extraordinary customer service mitigates disastrous start to long weekend

Last Friday I left Harvard Square early with plans to get a jump on the traffic to New Hampshire with my 9 year old son Myles and “5 going on 2” yellow lab Ginger. We left Brookline a little behind schedule around 4pm and by the time we reached Storrow Drive, the East Bound lane […]

Facebook, Amazon and the 4R’s of relationship marketing

When 2 former Bain consultants and one recently minted Harvard MBA started AIR MILES Canada, we knew a lot about the economics of customer loyalty and how to quickly understand and model the profit drivers of almost any business. We also knew almost nothing about database marketing other than a few buzzwords one of us […]

Tim Horton’s and Facebook – A Case Study of Lost Opportunity

this post was also posted on Social Sphere Strategies For the past six months, we have been recommending to clients, potential clients and anyone unlucky enough to sit next to one of us at a dinner party that all businesses need to do the following: 1. Get smart – find a way to get senior […]