now browsing by category
Customer experience succeeds when there is genuine, personal engagement with customers.
For our tenth anniversary, we went to Montreal. There we discovered a little restaurant, La Marche de La Villette, on Rue St. Paul in Old Port. It was crowded with tables, and we were uncertain about the chaotic atmosphere, but the waiter (Michel) sang delightful French songs to the patrons, and the food was delicious.
The entire experience was so wonderful that we returned several times to visit during out stay. The food was amazing every time. We were always welcomed by the staff, who recognized us with each subsequent visit and asked how we were enjoying our stay. But it was when we returned the next year that we fell in love with the place and began telling everyone about it. Not only was the food as delicious as ever (if you go, try the crepe with jambon et fromage) but they still remembered us and referred to us as their ‘friends from New York’ We returned every after that, sometimes bringing our kids. We truly missed our annual visits after moving to Utah.
[Update: We missed it so much we took an impromptu road trip across the country last July to go to Montreal and spent each lunch at La Marche).
What did this restaurant do right?
Certainly La Marche offered consistency that was often lacking from the restaurants along Jacques Cartier, who largely existed to serve the tourists. They provided a unique atmosphere. But what set them apart – and what has kept this restaurant in business over the years – is their genuine, personal treatment of their customers.
The staff at La Marche treats their patrons like old friends, welcoming them back no matter how long it has been. The owner, Lucovic, works tirelessly to provide an exceptional experience, making visitors feel like part of a family.
Everybody is talking about customer experience this year, but La Marche gets it right without thinking about it. It’s genuine.
[Update: We’ve now moved back to New York and we’re already planning trips to Montreal to see our friends at La Marche.]
by Shadra Bruce
I had a very positive experience as an intern when I was going to school at Alfred University. I worked in the student affairs office and helped them revise their student adjudication system and digitize all of the records. It was fascinating work that not only gave me experience I could build on but also connected me with people in the university with whom I still maintain a relationship.
As our business expands, we have often considered the need for another person to help us move things forward. According to Mark McFadden, Director of the Alfred University Career Development Center,
“Internships are always beneficial to students and can/should be for employers as well. If you are a non-profit or the federal government, you don’t have to pay interns. However, if you are a for profit company, you are required to pay interns as per the Fair Labor Standards Act. A lot of employers think they can get around payment by offering credit, but that is not the case. Internships vary in terms of hours and pay. For example, we offer a number of internships here at the CDC. All are in the five hour a week range and we pay minimum wage.”
Internships CAN be a great way to introduce new talent and innovative ideas, but if you are a for-profit business, you need to budget for the service these students provide.
We opted to postpone hiring interns until we’ve moved forward with securing legal entity status for our business so that we can avoid any tax headaches. But we are excited about the ability to offer this win-win opportunity to a fellow Saxon. If you’re ready to hire an intern, reach out to your alma mater or a local university’s career center to get started.
… we can only help make your inherent leadership qualities and credibility visible.
by Shadra Bruce
Clients often come to us with only a vague idea of what they want in terms of content or services, and we know they’re in trouble when their measurable goal is “to become a thought leader.”
While we can coach you and guide you in ways that help bring forth your insights and knowledge, and we can use what you give us to enhance your visibility and establish your credibility, it is important that we move beyond the latest buzzwords.
The only way to become a thought leader is to do the work of being a leader – take risks, lead by example, do the extraordinary, blaze new trails.
No one in social media can transform you into a thought leader if you’re not already playing the role.
The Ideal Client: A Thought Leader in Action, Not Desire
We have a client who is the CEO of his organization. He is the perfect example of an ideal client, because he doesn’t want to be a thought leader. He simply wants his business, his staff and his community to thrive. He is humble and giving; he is genuine in his efforts to be a responsible business owner and community leader. He makes decisions that are not about profit but about doing what’s right.
We aren’t responsible for him being a thought leader. He simply is. All we can do is make sure his actions are highlighted and his thoughts and motivations are shared. If we were to have a complaint, it would be only one. This client does not toot his own horn, which sometimes makes it difficult for us to discover his latest act of responsible leadership, especially when he keeps dedicating his blog space to highlighting the non-profits who make a difference to his community.
But then, that’s what a thought leader would do.
You have a job to do and it’s not writing blogs posts and making social media updates. In fact, if you’re spending your time doing that, you are wasting your company’s most valuable resource: you.
Unless you’re a professional writer and community manager, spending time blogging, managing your social media, writing press releases, and performing other Internet marketing functions tear you away from the focus you must have on building your business and your relationships to be successful.
Choosing to partner with a professional blogger and social media manager can free you to focus on building and growing your business without sacrificing the visibility you need to survive.