July 27, 2009

Gliebers Dresses: Gliebers Listens

Welcome to the Gliebers Dresses Executive Meeting.

Chip Cayman (Marketing Consultant): "... and that's when the six of us met at the hotel bar, drinks on me! That's a 'tweetup' folks, that's the real power of Twitter! How would we have ever gotten together without the burgeoning power of social media? Oh sure, the critics will say that we could have just sent e-mails to each other or could have made some sort of public announcement, but that completely misses the point. These social media Luddites keep nit-picking the details, they fail to see the power of the whole."

Meredith Thompson (Merchandising): "Kevin, is that you?"

Kevin: "Yup, it is me."

Meredith Thompson: "Chip Cayman is leading the meetings this week, Kevin. Glenn Glieber is taking a 'staycation' this week. Anytime Glenn is out of the office, Chip takes over the meeting. Glenn wants to make sure that all of us on the Executive team ..."

Candi Layton (HR and Chief Customer Officer): "You know, we should be called 'The C-Suite', that's how the media refers to Executive Teams at other companies."

Meredith Thompson: "... makes sure that all of us in the 'C-Suite' realize that we're all equal in stature, that one isn't more important than the other."

Chip Cayman: "So let's get down to business. Lois, where are we at on implementation of the loyalty program?

Lois Gladstone (Finance): "The program has been in place since July 1. To date, no customer has purchased the four dresses required to earn free shipping for the year. From a financial standpoint, that's wonderful. But we're not yet seeing the improvements in loyalty that we anticipated."

Chip Cayman: "Kevin, is it possible that we're missing something here?"

Kevin: "Multichannel Forensics suggest that the average customer will purchase twice a year, two dresses per order. I'd expect to see a buildup in customers entering the program this fall. Not nearly enough time has passed to make any conclusions about the effectiveness of the program."

Chip Cayman: "Fantastic. Roger, where are we at on the 'Website 5.0' project?"

Roger Morgan (Operations and IT): "We're making good progress. Component 2.0 of the Website 5.0 project is scheduled for implementation on August 31. Component 3.0 and Component 3.1 of the Website 5.0 project are scheduled for implementation on September 30. Components 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2 of the Website 5.0 project are scheduled for implementation on October 31. Component 5.0 and Component 6.0 of the Website 5.0 project will not be implemented until early 2010, due to the Holiday systems moratorium. We simply won't implement any new projects during the busiest shopping season of the year."

Chip Cayman: "Outstanding. Pepper, have we overhauled the contact strategy yet?"

Pepper Morgan (Interim Chief Marketing Officer): "Kevin and I presented our strategy last week, we'll be implementing the new strategy in January."

Chip Cayman: "Good! Candi, how is the new 'Gliebers Listens' social media initiative going?"

Candi Layton: "We're really picking up steam. Listen to the metrics, folks! Our Twitter presence now has 1,294 followers ..."

Roger Morgan: "That's amazing!"

Chip Cayman: "One at a time, folks. Go ahead, Candi, continue."

Candi Layton: "We have 1,294 followers. Catch this. We put up a tweet last Monday. We said 'Glenn Glieber believes in treating customers like family. And this week, you, our family, are eligible for a 20% discount on one item only!" That comment was re-tweeted 86 times! Re-tweets garnered us another 447 followers."

Meredith Thompson: "Did anybody purchase anything because of our Twitter presence?"

Candi Layton: "Oh, that's not what 'Gliebers Listens' is all about. We're here to participate in the conversation, to listen to what is happening, to treat the customer with the respect she deserves. The sales will happen later."

Meredith Thompson: "How do you know the sales will happen later?"

Candi Layton: "Because we're building actual relationships with customers, Meredith. Let me give you an example. @jessica_partygoddess tweeted last week. She said 'A seam ripped on my new dress from Gliebers. Pure rubbish. Don't buy from Gliebers.' Well, I tweeted her, I said 'I am so sorry to hear that. I will refund your order, send a new dress, and enter you in our loyalty program for free.' We eventually connected, I refunded her order, Roger sent her a new dress, and Lois made sure she was enrolled in our loyalty program. That's what 'Gliebers Listens' is all about, Meredith. What's also important, Meredith, is that we get to the bottom of quality issues with our merchandise."

Meredith Thompson: "Quality issues? We don't have any quality issues."

Candi Layton: "Of course we have a quality issue. @jessica_partygoddess said we have a quality issue. She told every one of her 92 followers about problems with the quality of our dresses."

Meredith Thompson: "How do you really know she had a quality issue. Did you ask to have the dress sent back to us so that we could inspect it?"

Candi Layton: "Well, no. I thought that would make for a bad customer experience."

Meredith Thompson: "Let's do that next time, so that I can inspect the dress."

Pepper Morgan: "And why was she auto-enrolled in our loyalty program?"

Candi Layton: "Because I thought that would make for a good customer experience."

Lois Gladstone: "So let's better understand this. We hear a customer complain about a quality issue. We send her a free dress, and we offer her free shipping for the next twelve months. This customer will have to purchase five incremental dresses in the next year, just to cover the cost of this 'Gliebers Listens' interaction."

Chip Cayman: "Lois, that's not at all what Gliebers Listens is all about. You only chose to focus on what we're giving away."

Candi Layton: "We should really focus on the quality issue."

Meredith Thompson: "Let's get more than one customer criticism, let's compile the evidence that there is a quality issue, and then yes, I'll be happy to focus on quality. Do we have a database that sums all of the sentiments on Twitter, so that we can truly discern if there is a pattern around comments related to quality?"

Roger Morgan: "Kevin, is there any way we can better utilize Candi's information"?

Kevin: "Absolutely. Companies are actively creating social media databases. In other words, they record every interaction that happens in Twitter or in the blogosphere. They record the twitter user who says something, they record the sentiment, be it positive or negative. If the Twitter user is an existing customer, they create a link from the social media database to the customer database. This allows the company to mine the relationships to understand the relationship between Twitter activity and customer loyalty."

Roger Morgan: "Wow. We could do that!"

Pepper Morgan: "You could use that information to better mail catalogs or deliver e-mail campaigns, correct?"

Kevin: "Certainly. You can also understand if you change the perception of a person on Twitter. If a person was saying negative things, and then Candi's actions cause the person to say positive things, you can use the social media database to understand how the people who interact with the Twitter user act, going forward. You can use the social media database to actually measure if Candi's activities are resulting in sales improvements. Fortunately, almost nobody is doing this level of database integration today, so you have a real opportunity to get a head start using Twitter from a database marketing perspective. The social media database is a part of the Twitter story that is fundamentally missing when folks talk about having a 'conversation'."

Roger Morgan: "Let's get that on the book of work!"

Kevin: "And it doesn't have to take up a lot of resources, Roger. Have a half-dozen folks in your contact center work with Candi to tabulate this information. Have your IT team integrate their tabulations into a social media database. Then have Boris Feldman (Bow Tie Guy) analyze it."

Chip Cayman: "Ok folks, that's enough for one day. Good meeting!! Now on to the next topic on the agenda. Next Tuesday at 9:00am, in the Hoodie Dress conference room, we'll invite all employees to watch my new video, 'How To Cultivate Deep Customer Relationships 140 Characters At A Time'. This video is designed to teach all employees how to use the free micro-blogging tools that are revolutionizing global micro-communications. There's no reason every Gliebers Dresses employee should not be using these tools to build customer relationships. This is modern CRM folks!"

Roger Morgan: "Which conference room is the Hoodie Dress conference room again?"