WARNING to my Saints friends: This post will include references to the Los Angeles Rams. Please feel free to substitute Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, or the team of your choice when I reference the team.


My husband, the Sports Dude, is a Rams “super fan.” I didn’t dub him that, our local news channel did in a story that ran earlier this week. Being a sports fan led him to becoming a sports reporter. Eric a fan of the the Dodgers, Lakers, Kings, and Clippers, but the Rams, they have his heart.

How does a kid born in Paris, who emigrated here with his parents and brother speaking no English, become an American sports fanatic?

Simply put, it was the team: from the owner to the coaches to the players. They taught him the game, and he learned how to love it and them in return.

The clothes made the fan

Original 1970s sketch by Henri Geller for Carroll Rosenbloomy father-in-law, 

My father-in-law, Henri Geller, was a men’s clothing designer back in the day, and he designed clothes for the Rams’ owner Carroll Rosenbloom and many of the coaches and players. My husband tells vivid stories of the players and Mr. Rosenbloom in his father’s design studio. They gave my husband his first tickets to an NFL game, which he still has in his memorabilia collection, and a fan was born, so to speak.

The Rams don’t know it, but they just created a Super Fan in Josh Garcia, the son of the team’s custodian. Watch for great things to happen for that boy.

Can law firms create Super Fans?

Continue Reading Creating a Super Fan

On Tuesday night I blogged here about an incident with my NOOK and my feeling that I, a loyal customer, wasn’t being taken care of by Barnes and Noble.

I got into a war of words with some loyal customers on Facebook who felt I should be satisfied with the offer I was being made by some mid-level managers (who were all very nice, by the way).

These managers were offering me the best “deal” that they were authorized to make. Which is fine.

But it wasn’t enough for me.

James Kane, whom you know I respect immensely from my post Why do some people stay, and some people leave?, talks about the difference between loyal and satisfied customers.

  • Loyalty is not a brand. It’s not about rewards programs. You cannot bribe someone to love you.
  • Loyalty is not about satisfaction. Dogs are loyal. Cats are satisfied.
  • Relationships with our clients is satisfaction. They are transactional. We do something, they pay us, and they are satisfied. They owe us NOTHING.
  • Satisfaction is a mood.
  • Loyalty is a behavior.
  • Satisfaction is the past. What you did for me yesterday.
  • Loyalty is about the future. What I will do for you tomorrow.

Loyal customers will promote you and sell your products for you. Satisfied customers will use your products because they don’t have a choice.

Sunday afternoon I was a loyal customer of NOOK.

By Tuesday evening I was a POd customer who might have been lost for good.

After speaking with Danielle in the Corporate Customer Relations Department this morning, who has resolved my issues with my NOOK 100%, I am back up to a “satisfied” customer.

So how does Barnes and Nobel return me to the loyal customer who has encouraged her immediate family to purchase,  or personally purchased for them, SIX different NOOK products in the past 18 months (2 NOOK first generation, 1 NOOK Simple Touch and 3 NOOK colors)?

Simple answer: I don’t know. I guess we’ll see how things go over the course of the next few months.

However, we’re off to a good start.

My new NOOK has already shipped, and I cannot wait to read the new Hunger Games book my daughter is lending me. Hopefully I’ll be finished with it in time for my new Sookie Stackhouse guilty pleasure coming out on May 1.

Either way, summertime reading is upon us, which is why I purchased my NOOK in the first place. For the e-ink. You can’t read from an iPad outdoors by the pool or at the beach.

ETA: please click here to expand the post and read my comment on how Danielle in Corporate Customer Service saved the day.

I am so mad at Barnes and Noble’s NOOK that I am writing a blog post about it.

I have a 1st Edition WiFi NOOK. I spent $189 or so on it about 20 months ago. I love it.

Well, loved it.

Even though I have my iPad I still love my NOOK. I use it out by the pool and on the beach. It’s lighter than my iPad, so makes for easier reading in bed.

In fact, I’ve been so loyal that I have since bought each kid a NOOK (NOOK Simple Touch and NOOK Color), and I just got my dad a NOOK Color for his 75th birthday.

I urged my nephew to get a NOOK so we can share our passion for history. I pushed my sister-in-law to get a NOOK over the Kindle so we can share our passion for Sookie Stackhouse.

No doubt about it, we’re a NOOK family.

It’s been great. Up until last night.

My daughter just lent me Book 3 in The Hunger Games series. I went to download it and was notified of an update. Took a few minutes for the update and then I was asked to register it. And then …

NOTHING

As in error code c7850.

As in my NOOK is now a paper weight.

As in for $35 I can purchase another NOOK 1st edition since they have a few lying around the warehouse.

Hey, if I dropped my NOOK in the pool, or spilled my coffee on it, or stepped on it, I’d have no problems buying a new one. I just paid $8o to replace the glass on my iPhone (don’t ask).

But I didn’t do anything to my NOOK other than turn on my device and accept the update.

And then I spent 1.5 hours with technical support tonight trying to find out what was wrong.

I’ll tell you one thing, what IS wrong is that Barnes and Noble HAD an extremely LOYAL customer, and now has an extremely dissatisfied one.

In the “olden” days a dissatisfied customer would share with about 10 people. Well, in the age of social media, I’ve already shared with my 2812 Twitter follwers, my nearly 1000 fans and friends on Facebook, and now here as well.

So what does this have to do with legal marketing? Not much. But it’s my blog.

What this really has to do with is the danger of poor (okay, shitty) customer service in the age of social media.

When you have a customer go from loyal to POd in a matter of minutes, you need to get in there and solve that problem ASAP.

While I was on the phone with George I*******, Digital Manager, I was already posting on the NOOK Facebook page and Twitter feeds about my experience. I was Googling to see if I was alone (hmmmmm, according to this, looks like the same thing happened with the last big update).

You HAVE to have a process in place that allows for a decision maker to make a decision when things are going south.

When you have a customer letting you know that she’s flaming up your Twitter and Facebook pages, it’s time to send her over to the “do what you have to do to make her happy” team.

If Barnes and Noble had chosen to eat $35 dollars tonight, I promise you, you’d have a completely different blog post, and they’d have a continued loyal customer.

But they didn’t.

Edited to add – looks like this post got picked up by White Whine, with no link to the resolution post. Here’s my follow up on how Barnes & Noble resolved the issue: Okay. I’m Satisfied.

Keynote speaker James Kane is here to talk about loyalty. Why do some people stay, and some people leave? But we’re loving his slide deck – it’s all about getting to know him. You can fan him here on Facebook.

Our brains were going crazy during his presentation because we were finding something similar to ourselves in him. We were finding something we liked in him.

Relationships fall into four categories:

  • Antagonistic – I HATE you. I will write, Tweet and share how much I hate you. We have such a need to be social and a part of, that when
  • Transactional – You do something for me, I pay you for it, we’re square. I don’t owe you anything. We think we should be getting love for what we do, but we’re just fulfilling a contract
  • Predisposed – I like you, but I don’t love you. I’m not expecting anything until the game changes and then I need to make a change.
  • Loyal – The strongest relationship. It’s about forgiveness when we make mistakes. It’s about advocacy.

Loyalty is not a brand. It’s not about rewards programs. You cannot bribe someone to love you.

Loyalty is not about stisfaction. Dogs are loyal. Cats are satisfied.

Relationships with our clients is satisfaction. They are transactional. We do something, they pay us, and they are satisfied. They owe us NOTHING.

Satisfaction is a mood.

Loyalty is a behavior.

Satisfaction is the past. What you did for me yesterday.

Loyalty is about the future. What I will do for you tomorrow.

Human beings live in social communities. We learn from one another.

If we’re going to live in communities, I need to know I can trust you.

The process that builds love within the brain, builds loyalty.

Stages of love:

  • Attraction– romantic, can be familiarity. Attraction is contextual – what we know or what we aspire to be. We desire the familiar.
    • In our world this is called marketing. Get them to notice our firm.
    • Our job is to define/figure out what “attractive” means for our clients
  • Passion – Once we make the choice, the two parties define their interests and are willing to overlook everything else the person does to get their end result. We made a choice and we need to defend it. This is the flower, candy and love notes stage.
  • Pair-bonding – This is when the passion might be waining, and wondering why the attraction is not what it used to be. This is where loyalty kicks in. Do you make my life easier? Do you make my life better?

The challenge for us all is: “Do we make their life better?”

Our clients have an abundance of choices. Are they choosing us because they’ve always chosen us? Are they forgetting about the value you have provided in the past? Are they looking for someone else, today, who can provide the value you once provided and still can?

People don’t want a lot of choice, they just want to have control over making that choice.

LOYALTY = TRUST – BELONGING – PURPOSE

TRUST

We walk into every relationship with the expectation of trust. You can then lose trust.

We think we should get great credit for meeting expectations.

Trust is about managing expectations.

PURPOSE

We want to feel a part of a bigger community. We want to feel that we have impact. We want to feel that we can change the world. We just don’t have the capacity.

When we can bring a sense of purpose to our firms, and thereby our clients, because we can do nothing without our clients. Don’t take credit for charitable activities. Give the credit to your clinets.

BELONGING

Recognition – Do you know who I am? Do I know the partners in my firm, or just their bios? Why should they feel a sense of loyalty to ME, as their marketer, if I don’t know who they are?

Do you know your clients? Are you taking notes about their needs and want? Use social media to get to know who these clients are? Receptionists should know who is walking in the door. Know something about them. Converse with them with that acknowledgement in mind.

Insight – Next challenge is to be insightful. You need to look beyond the obvious.

Most of us are not looking to save money, we’re looking to MAKE money.

You need to take a step into the back of the room and look around and figure out what is going on. Get that 10,000 ft view of what’s going on with your clients and their challenges.

Proactivity – Having insight takes practice. Being proactive is doing something before someone asks. Doing it when someone asks is just courtesy. Anticipate something I didn’t know I needed, and solve the problem before I knew I had it, and you become invaluable.

Inclusion – Solve my problem, but I need to be part of the process.

WWIC – Why Wasn’t I Consulted?

If you need to roll out a new marketing plan, you need to include others in the process. If not, it’s your plan and they can hate it. Hard to hate something that you helped prepare.

Identity – Do I feel that I know who you are? And do I recognize something in me in you?

You can do this by the things you place in your office, or on your website bio, or through your Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Definitely one of the best presentations I’ve ever seen. Guess I’ll have to go and buy the book.