Employee engagement, customer service and social media

Many studies have confirmed that customer service is tied to employee engagement. Engaged employees who are satisfied in their jobs provide much better customer service.

You might wonder what that has to do with social media.

Social media is an ideal venue for companies to show how well they can do customer service. But social media isn’t exclusively about customer service. It’s also about telling your business stories. 

Engaged employees will go out of their way to make customers happy. A couple of examples are:

I drive from one end of Ottawa where I live, to the other end where my car is serviced by an amazing staff that makes it worth every kilometer. I drafted this post before this happened. Minutes before walking to my car, I mentioned my upcoming trip and then found this on my dash. It kept a smile on my face through Ottawa rush hour and beyond.From delivering on a tongue-in-cheek request for a pillow fort to a simple note and a chocolate - enchanting your customers starts with engaged employees.

Great customer service stories can flow from that foundation and give your organization a reason to be proud.

These examples show us a few things:

1) The employees involved in these situations are creative and thoughtful, but more importantly they have the autonomy needed to make the decision to carry out these actions.

2) Clearly they love their job. Clearly they care about the customers. Each instance led to a customer service situation that is a fantastic story that people love to share.

3) It doesn’t take a lot of money or time to give your customers a memorable experience. 

The next time you’re wondering what to share on social media, go have a chat with one of your best employees and ask them if they have any great stories to tell.

Then start getting staff involved regularly:

  • Provide a communal camera for quick pictures.
  • Give them leeway for making exceptions.
  • Reward good customer service. 
  • Help them love making customers happy.

What are some other exceptional customer service stories you’ve heard about through social media? 

Business Book Club: Getting Things Done

If you're not already familiar with The Media Mesh BBC, check out how our book club started here.

The title of this post isn't a reference about me getting things done for the book club. No, it's our next reading assignment and I think it's the perfect follow-up to the simple wisdom of Enchantment as well as a great book to start off a new year. I've read Getting Things Done before, but I'm looking forward to being thoroughly amused again by the references to PDAs and getting a refresher on David Allen's highly effective systems for...well, Getting Things Done (affiliate link).

With a subtitle like "The Art of Stress-Free Productivity", you can't go wrong, can you? This book is older, but it still has a devoted following. David Allen's business is built around these concepts and he's been very successful.

Are you starting a new business or struggling to stay on top of the minutiae of everyday life? Trust me when I say that this book is worth your time. Oddly enough, I randomly chose this book last Tuesday evening during our Twitter chat about Enchantment after discussing it that very day over coffee with Heather, who also shared this link with me from David's blog for the new year and I think it's a great list! (Also, my RSS reader is growing yet again.)

I've already purchased my copy and started reading. I suspect I'll be taking copious notes and making some changes in the way I'm doing things over the next few weeks.

We'll meet back here on February 21st when I'll publish my thoughts on the book along with a linkup for you to have the opportunity to share as well. Then, on Wednesday, February 22nd, we'll have a #MediaMeshBBC chat on Twitter from 8-9 to discuss the book and I'll announce our March reading assignment at that time as well.

What do you hope to get out of reading Getting Things Done?

Please sign up for The Media Mesh BBC email list and I'll send you an update/reminder between now and February 21st.

You're Invited: #MediaMeshBBC Twitter Chat tonight! Talking about #Enchantment

Tonight is the first Business Book Club Twitter chat where we'll be discussing Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki.

Who: Anyone who's read or is interested in reading the book.
When: 8:00-9:00pm
Where: In your favorite Twitter chat client, though I recommend TweetChat for easier refresh and interaction.

I'll talk to you tonight!

Business Book Club: Enchanted

When my friend Karen from The Media Mesh decided to start a business book club, I teased - mostly because I am one of the worst culprits of buying business books and then never actually getting through them.  With the club as incentive I got through the first club book and am  now happy to tell you what my take on the book was. If you’re interested in finding out about being a part of the book club, check out Karen’s site.

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions - Guy Kawasaki

The book (as per its web site) ” explains how to influence what people will do while maintaining the highest standards of ethics. The book explains when and why enchantment is necessary and then the pillars of enchantment: likability, trustworthiness, and a great cause.

My take

Be real

It’s a great book that reminds us to be real, genuine and helpful.

A lot of it seems like common sense, but sometimes I think it takes spelling things out obviously to remind us just how important these things are.

It’s the whole “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” thing that I strongly believe in.  You get much further in life by being kind and friendly than by being angry and pushy.  Kawasaki simply outlines the how and why with some great examples.

Great practical tips

Kawasaki spends a lot of the second half of the book giving ideas on HOW you can be enchanting, sometimes bringing in specialists (like Mari Smith, a Facebook expert who I really enjoy) to talk about areas he realizes others know more about.

Again, a lot of what he said is common sense, but it’s nice to have what you’re doing reinforced, or to have a reminder to be doing it.


I enjoyed the book and was able to create a relatively easy to do list for myself from it.  I like that I walked away feeling good about how I do things.

My one real criticism of the book were his case studies.  He closes each chapter with a real life example of enchantment.  For some reason I found the examples weak.  I don’t know if he was going for something very attainable and realistic, but instead they felt to me like random examples pulled from a small sample selection.

Personal examples

That being said, here is an example of how I’ve been enchanted by a company.

Mabel’s Labels is a Canadian company that creates sticky labels “for the things kids lose”

In the summer of 2010 I attended a blogging conference in New York City.  As I waited for my flight home I tweeted that I was sitting at the gate on my own killing time.  One of the four founding partners of Mabel’s Labels saw my tweet, happened to be taking the same flight and found me at the gate and introduced herself to me (we had never met).

We sat and chatted for almost an hour, mostly not about business, and although I’d heard of the company before my estimation and personal feelings for the company sky rocketed after this interaction.  Since then, I have interacted with this same partner on twitter many times, as well as other partners of the company and their social media representative (they are all very responsive!) and have seen just how fast and authentic they are at engaging with their customers online.

Do I think it’s realistic for the owner of a company to spend time with every potential customer? No. However, I have since become a big advocate of their company, use their labels exclusively for my kids, and brought them in as a sponsor of a conference that I ran in my own city.  I believe in them and spread their word, and that came from someone responding in a really enchanting way to a tweet I sent out expecting no response.

Here is an example of how I WASN’T enchanted:

A few months ago I was planning a vacation.  I put out a simple and general question on twitter about one of the decisions I needed to make about that vacation - one that anyone who had been on a similar type of vacation could answer.  Someone referred me to a travel agent on twitter and when I asked her my question and told her I had already booked the vacation through another channel, she told me that I should then talk to that person for any answers to my question.

Her unwillingness to answer my question because I was not her client gave me such a bad feeling that I now have little desire to work with her in the future.  In fact, when I needed further help with the same vacation I went through another agent despite probably having gone with her before the interaction.  A little bit of “free” and “friendly” advice can go a long way to being enchanting.

I hope you check the book and Karen’s book club out - both are worth your time.  There will also be a twitter chat on January 11 from 8-9 using  #mediameshbbc.

I’d love to hear examples of how you’ve been enchanted! 

“You catch more flies with honey than vinegar”,

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Catch_more_bees_with_honey_what_does_that_mean#ixzz1iyLXLiz1

Business Book Club: First Reading Assignment - Enchantment

After the incredible response I received to my proposal to start a Business Book Club, I took the whole list of books that everyone suggested (I confess, I added No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing because I heard of it after my original post about doing this book club), including my list of books and put them all in a spreadsheet, sorted them alphabetically and then used Random.org to select a random number. The number was 5 and corresponded to Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki!

I'm really excited to dive into this book. Here's a couple of excerpts from the book description:
Enchantment, as defined by bestselling business guru Guy Kawasaki, is not about manipulating people. It transforms situations and relationships. It converts hostility into civility and civility into affinity. It changes the skeptics and cynics into the believers and the undecided into the loyal. Enchantment can happen during a retail transaction, a high-level corporate negotiation, or a Facebook update. And when done right, it's more powerful than traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques.

Kawasaki argues that in business and personal interactions, your goal is not merely to get what you want but to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people. By enlisting their own goals and desires, by being likable and trustworthy, and by framing a cause that others can embrace, you can change hearts, minds, and actions.

This book explains all the tactics you need to prepare and launch an enchantment campaign; to get the most from both push and pull technologies; and to enchant your customers, your employees, and even your boss. It shows how enchantment can turn difficult decisions your way, at times when intangibles mean more than hard facts. It will help you overcome other people's entrenched habits and defy the not-always-wise "wisdom of the crowd."

As Kawasaki writes, "Want to change the world? Change caterpillars into butterflies? This takes more than run-of-the-mill relationships. You need to convince people to dream the same dream that you do." That's a big goal, but one that's possible for all of us.

I don't know about all of you, but I definitely want to learn how to convince people to dream the same dream I do.

Now, you're probably wondering how this is going to work. There's been a tremendous response to the idea of this book club. So much so that I'm going to start off online only and plan for occasional meetups, but perhaps not to discuss every book we read. For now, we'll try to go one book every two months and see if everyone feels it's a good pace. With the holidays coming up, I think we're going to all like this pace this time at least!

Because two months from today is a holiday, I'm going to be generous and give us all a tad more time. Finish reading the book and write about it - your thoughts, impressions, agree, disagree - anything that that sticks out for you. Come back here on January 3rd, 2012 (whoa, that's coming fast!) and I'll host a link up for your posts so we can all share. By that time, I'll have a special spot for the BBC here on The Media Mesh!

Are you ready to launch your enchantment campaign?