Using Social Media for Great Customer Service

December 2, 2009 by

Last Saturday, I took my family to a Binghamton Senators hockey game. While my wife took our two year old to the restroom, I was posting an update on the game via Twitter on my iPhone and saw that the team, who I follow, was posting in-game updates, too.

Just to see what would happen, I replied to the B-Sens’ post asking if they could send Maximus (the giant bear mascot) to Section 3, Row J, Seat 12, because it would make my son’s week.

Effective Social Media creates a fan for life....

Lo and behold, about 15 minutes later, a team staffer with a headset and Maximus popped out of the concourse, walked up to our seats, and my son went crazy with excitement.

Every day since, he’s asked us to go to another hockey game. And we’re happily going to oblige many times this season because it was such a fun experience and they proved how much they care about their fans.

Social media isn’t just something you do for the sake of doing it. When used properly, it can be a powerful customer service tool that builds brand loyalty and directly generates sales. Just ask my son.

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Tips For Writing A Good Sales Letter

October 28, 2009 by

Every sales exec or business developer has to generate new business. Since no one like cold calls, one way to warm up a conversation before a call or email is by mailing a sales letter with marketing materials.

Here are five tips on how to write a good sales letter to generate new qualified leads:

1. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize – No one feels good about receiving a form letter. If getting their new business is important to you, make the recipient of your letter feel important. Take the time to write directly to them.

2. Get to the Point – Don’t waste their time! Talk about what you want them to consider and give a brief proposition about why they should consider it.

3. Skip the Jargon – Are you offering the newest strategic, cutting-edge, alignment-centered, blah, blah, blah? No one knows what jargon means because it doesn’t mean anything. Speak in your real voice; don’t try to impress someone with a bad thesaurus.

4. Flattery – Everyone likes to hear how great they are or their product is. If you’re taking the time to chase down a certain prospect, you must like something about them or their business. Tell them. They’ll appreciate it.

5. Name Drop (in a legitimate way) – If you know someone who’s comfortable being name-dropped, use those familiar names whenever you can. If your uncle lives next door to the VP and suggested you reach out to him, mention it. If you’re fellow chamber members, work those connections so the introduction isn’t completely cold. Just don’t make it up or use names from people who wouldn’t be comfortable. That will come back to haunt you and it’s no way to do business.

GrafiQa Supports United Way of Broome County Campaign

September 26, 2009 by

Please check out the below video (featuring one familiar GrafiQa face) about the United Way of Broome County’s current fundraising campaign to help worthy organizations around our area.

You can learn more or find out how to make a donation at the United Way of Broome County’s website.

New Binghamton Building Photos: Walls Are Up

September 24, 2009 by

Progress is coming along on our Binghamton Satellite Office. The walls are now up throughout the building and are in the process of being cleaned up and finished. Next comes painting, ceiling work and other finishing work….

Main hallway leading back to GrafiQa space.

Main hallway leading back to GrafiQa space.

Chris and Ethan (from Best Built Construction) talking the future Conference Room.

Chris and Ethan (from Best Built Construction) talking in the future Conference Room.

Wide open front area available for lease.

Wide open front area available for lease.

GrafiQa Binghamton Building Project Featured on Showcase Media

September 24, 2009 by

Chris and Bijoy were recently featured on the Binghamton area television program “Showcase Media – Binghamton Business Connection” discussing the renovation project on the GrafiQa Binghamton Satellite Office.

Check out the segment below….

Social Media Won’t Save The World

September 10, 2009 by

In our line of work we hear a lot of opinions and questions on Social Media. They come from a variety of people across the full spectrum of industries.

Some think it’s a fad. Some think it’s the next best thing. Others think it’s a complete replacement of traditional media. The question is especially confused by all the Social Media and marketing companies popping up that miraculously claim complete competence in the subject.

We say the bottom line on Social Media is to stop thinking of it collectively and start thinking about individual tools specifically as parts of a bigger strategy.

You hear things like, “you should be on facebook…you should blog…you should twitter. Maybe you should – but the reality is that you should have a strategy and a message – and sometimes Facebook, Twitter or other Social Media tools can help get your message across. These tools are great – but so may be TV, radio or print, when harnessed correctly.

Whenever we’re asked to market anything we have two major initial questions: 1)Who are we marketing to? and 2)What is the compelling message? If you’re marketing without first answering these two questions, you should rethink what you’re spending money on.

Then you can start to figure out if Social Media (or any other mediums) are the way to deliver your specified message to your targeted audience.

Finally, we never advocate any specific Social Media tool. This week it’s Facebook…next week it might be Spacebook. The key thing is the remember that they’re just tools in your marketing toolbox.

The truth is a lot of the Social Media hype is a fad. But this type of communication isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay and it’s time to start managing these tools within a thought-out, prepared strategy.

If you don’t have a strategy, well then call us.

Rough Plumbing and Electric Complete at 199 State.

August 21, 2009 by

Plumbing and Electric Roughed in on 199 State – Closing up the walls next week and that leaves finishing work.

Studs, Electric, plumbing rough

Studs, Electric, plumbing rough

Recession Depression Oppression Obsession

August 10, 2009 by
A recession can be a rollercoaster that affects everyone. If your’e not feeling it…well…everyone else hates you.

Kidding aside, we’ve been watching people everywhere we go to see how they’re dealing with it.

The Eeyores of the World say, “Woe is me…things are so bad…we don’t know what to do…it has to get better…what are we going to do if it doesn’t? Oh oh….woe is me.”

The Liar Liars say, “Everything is fine. No – really it’s fine.” (It’s bad for them and they know it. But they don’t want you to know it.)

Then there’s the Non-Stoppers who say, “We’re working twice as hard for half as much. We’re busting our butts to keep the same amount of business and try to even grow – at the expense of sleep.” (That’s us, unfortunately for our families)

And, of course, there are the Everything to Everyones, who try anything to keep cash coming in the door, “We’ve always just done chimney sweeping, but guess what? Now we now make T-shirts!”

Whatever your situation, a recession means less work to go around and more competition for the same products and services. So what do you do?

Collaboration and Innovation are good methods for positive change. Why not work with other organizations to offer combined services? That can lead to new business opportunities – or even the development of new products or services.

Investing rather than Spending is another way to look at your balance sheet with new eyes. Less spending isn’t necessarily the answer. Getting the most for the dollars you do spend – better investing – is the smarter way to go for the long-term.

So good luck. Persevere. You’re good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it, people do like you.

Webisode 4 – Binghamton Renovation – Walls are up! – Video Walkthrough

July 15, 2009 by

Walls are up, now its time for plumbing and electric, then drywall and finally finishing work – We are shooting for September opening.

Your 30 Seconds With The Governor

July 15, 2009 by

Here’s the situation….

You’re at a big conference and heading down to the next roundtable. The elevator opens up and…there’s the Governor…or the big CEO…or the billionaire philanthropist.

You smile and walk in. He or she smiles back (while their entourage scowls and wonders why they don’t have a top-secret jet-powered private elevator like Bruce Wayne).

Here’s your chance to pitch for that funding or big project. So what do you say?

(time’s running out…time’s running out…ding! You’re at the lobby and out walks your chance for greatness)

This is where having clear, concise and well thought-out descriptor  and positioning statements matter. These two or three sentences boil down exactly who you are and what you do. No fluff. No jargon.

“I’m John Doe from The Widget Company. We’re a manufacturer with more than 500 patents and a proprietary process for cost-efficient production. Our widgets are used across the world in products that you’ve probably already used today.”

“I’m Jane Doe from Helping Kids Inc. We’re a non-profit that helps underprivileged kids get better educations. Students in our program are 75% more likely to go to college. Our alums include John the Famous Actor and Margaret the Powerful Politician.”

“I’m Bijoy Datta from GrafiQa Creative Services. We’re a leading branding, marketing, web and social media firm in Upstate NY. We work with medium to large companies and non-profits to help them build their brands, generate awareness and boost qualified lead generation.”

We’ve been in these situations and know what to say. Do you?