SOCAP International

SOCAP Blog

  • We are all in this TOGETHER!

    Posted on: 09/11/2012

    We all share the same consumers.  People buy laundry soap, stay in hotels, shop at the Apple Store and yes, fly on airplanes.  When they have a bad consumer experience, we all suffer!

    I read an interesting article a few days ago that reminds me how interconnected we all are as customer care professionals.

    The article is entitled:  ”The truth comes out:  CEO says ‘stupid’ consumers deserve hefty fees.”

    http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/07/13710824-the-truth-comes-out-ceo-says-stupid-consumers-deserve-hefty-fees?lite

    The article focuses on the comments of Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary describing some of his customers as ‘idiots’ and makes the claim that Mr. O’Leary’s comments echo the private thoughts of other CEOs, claiming that Mr. O’Leary is “hardly the first to think it”.

    First, I am not a huge fan of Mr. O’Leary’s public comments.  I can appreciate that he might be frustrated, but I think that there is likely to be pretty wide consensus that using words like “idiots” and “stupid” to describe customers is not a best practice through pretty much any cultural lens.

    Second, I personally am not in a position to express what is in the heads of Fortune 1000 CEOs around the globe, however, I do soundly reject the notion that Mr. O’Leary’s comments in any way summarize the private thoughts of Corporate CEO’s.  Many of these companies are members of SOCAP and are focused on the needs of their consumers.  There are countless examples of CEO’s empowering their customer care departments to advocate for their customers and to go to great lengths to be there for their customers.  The fact that customer care executives have such an important voice and strategic influence in companies explains the desire of c-suite executives to understand and relate to their customers personally and through the customer care function.

    Finally, after reading this article, I am reminded once again how connected we are as a community of customer care professionals.  While we often think of ourselves as part of a specific company or brand or exclusive to a particular industry, we all serve the same consumer who seamlessly interacts with our products, services and brands each day.  A negative customer experience is a negative experience and taints the consumer’s view of customer care broadly which is bad for all of us in the customer care business.  SOCAP exists as a professional community we are all connected and committed to the goal of putting custmers first.  We need to work together as professionals to continue to elevate service and care for customers by harnessing best practices, technology and systems to ensure that we ready to listen and serve.

    At the SOCAP Annual Conference in October, we will be engaged in lengthy conversations about how customer care professionals can continue to elevate care across the organization, build collaborative relationships within their organizations and with customers and, finally, how to measure and build loyalty among consumers.  The fact that so many companies and brands will be in attendance suggests that CEO’s across the globe understand the value of their customers and regard them as savvy partners.

    See you in San Diego!

  • Here we go!

    Posted on: 09/06/2012

    Welcome to my blog! My goal is that we can engage in a dialogue about customer care, SOCAP and the important work of building meaningful customer relationships.

    Starting a blog is certainly nothing new. In fact, I am well aware that I am getting into the blogging game a bit late!  However, as SOCAP continues to grow, there is so much going on with the association that it gets more and more difficult to share all of the exciting news with each of you, our members.  In the same way, customer care and the important work of our members are changing at such a rapid pace that this seems like a great way to better keep up and keep connected with all of you.  I am interested in hearing from you to gain your sight and perspectives on current events, other blog posts or industry insights.

    I hope that my blog will provide an opportunity for conversation among our community about customer care and how SOCAP can continue to serve you in your career.  I look forward to hearing from all of you.

    As you all know, I have never been known as someone who is shy or reserved so that will either translate well into interesting prose or aimless ramblings.  Hopefully, I can hit it somewhere in the middle.

  • Networking at the SOCAP 2012 Annual Conference

    Posted on: 08/06/2012

    In the world of customer care, nothing compares to the best practices, tips and tricks you can learn from your peers and fellow customer relationship experts.

    Join your professional network of over 500 customer care professionals from over 100 brands at the SOCAP International 2012 Annual Conference this October 14-17 in San Diego, California!

    Click Here to Reserve Your Spot and Save!
    Rates go up September 7!
     

    In the world of customer care, nothing compares to the best practices, tips and tricks you can learn from your peers and fellow customer relationship experts.

    Join your professional network of over 500 customer care professionals from over 100 brands at theSOCAP International 2012 Annual Conference this October 14-17 in San Diego, California!

    In addition to the knowledge-building breakout sessions and inspirational featured speakers, you’ll experience these unparalleled networking opportunities and more throughout the Conference:

    Sunday, October 14

    Chapter Leadership Forum

    First-Timers and New Members Reception

    Welcome Reception
    Sponsored by Stericycle ExpertRECALL

    Monday, October 15

    Networking Breakfast
    Sponsored by SPi Global

    Networking Luncheon
    Sponsored by HGS

    Ice Cream Social
    Sponsored by Telerx

    Exhibitor Reception
    Sponsored by Unilever

    Tuesday, October 16

    Networking Breakfast
    Sponsored by Genesys

    Social Finale
    Entertainment Sponsored by 24-7 Intouch

    Wednesday, October 17

    Consumer Packaged Goods Industry Community Meeting

    Also, don’t miss these great Social Starter activities to kick off your networking at the Annual Conference:

    Take a swing at SOCAP’s Annual Golf Tournament, sponsored by Network Direct, to kick off your Annual Conference experience with great views of Coronado Island and San Diego.  This year’s tournament takes place at the Riverwalk Golf Club, with its undulating fairways, waterfalls and bentgrass greens. Water comes into play on 13 of the 27 holes with a spectacular waterfall surrounding the green of the signature hole. The San Diego River is a prominent feature of the layout, contributing to the beauty and challenge of the course.

    If golf isn’t your thing, here are two great ways to kickoff your 2012 Annual Conference Experience:

    Join your colleagues for a fully narrated trolley tour of beautiful San Diego. Colorful anecdotes, humorous stories, and historical information are combined into a two-hour narrative that will both entertain and educate.  Highlights include: Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, San Diego Harbor, Seaport Village, Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, Little Italy, USS Midway Museum, and Coronado Island.

    Explore Coronado the way it was meant to be seen - on a cool California beach cruiser!  From beautiful, historical homes to amazing coastal & City views, this guided tour has it all. During this relaxing 2.5 hour bike cruise, we'll ride through colorful side streets, past the Golf Course and underneath the famous Coronado Bridge. We'll also see the former home of L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Author) and visit a hidden park that has a spectacular view of San Diego's impressive skyline. This tour is excellent for people of all fitness levels. There are no steep hills and we ride at a comfortable pace.

    Don’t miss your chance to network with your peers and colleagues from these great brands, and more!  Reserve Your Spot Today!

    Airgas Inc.

    Aldi Group

    American Honda Motor Co.

    Andersen Windows, Inc.

    Bacardi USA, Inc.

    Banner Pharmacaps

    Bigelow Tea

    Campbell Soup Company

    Clif Bar & Company

    Coca-Cola Refreshments

    Consumer Reports

    Coty Inc.

    Crayola

    Domino Foods

    Dr Pepper Snapple Group

    Dremel / RotoZip Div.-Robert Bosch Tool Corp.

    E&J Gallo Winery

    Eli Lilly & Company

    General Mills, Inc.

    General Motors Company

    GlaxoSmithKline

    Grupo Padrão

    Hawaiian Airlines

    Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

    InterContinental Hotels Group

    Jarden Consumer Solutions

    Jockey International, Inc.

    Johnsonville Sausage, LLC

    Kao Brands Company

    Kimberly-Clark Corporation

    King’s Hawaiian Bakery

    Kraft Foods, Inc.

    L’Oreal

    Maple Leaf Foods

    McDonald’s Corporation

    Nissan North America

    Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

    Omaha Steaks

    Publix Super Markets

    Roche Diagnostics

    Sara Lee Corporation

    Seventh Generation

    Smart Balance

    Spin Master Ltd

    SunRun

    The Clorox Company

    Toyota

    TXU Energy

    Unilever

    West Corporation

    Westfield

    WhiteWave Foods

    Yokohama Tire Corporation

     

     

  • SOCAP Events Never Disappoint!

    Posted on: 04/11/2012
    Margot Heiligman, SAP

    Margot Heiligman, SAP

    SOCAP events never disappoint!  We come together. We share insights, experience, and knowledge.  We get to know one another and support SOCAP while making sure that technology doesn't trump the value of content we share.

    The recent chapter meeting in South Florida was much the same!  On a regularly scheduled call in February, we explored a variety of venues for the upcoming chapter meeting.  Since South Florida covers a wide terrain it was difficult to agree on one location - Orlando or Miami.  A few of the members posed the idea of co-locating the meeting in the two cities.  Our speakers would attend the Orlando location, and we'd videoconference between Orlando and Miami so that all participants could view, listen, comment, discuss, and enjoy a unified experience.  Our chapter members agreed that this was doable, but it would all come down to the execution.

    Starwood properties would host the Orlando contingent, while SAP volunteered our Miami city offices for the downstate members.  Videoconferencing being our conduit - we scheduled several tests and dry runs to make the event run smoothly.

    On the day of our March 9th meeting, we gathered in our respective locations and kicked off our mornings with coffee (we will not go into the healthy debate about which city has the better coffee).    Both rooms were well-equipped, and the acoustics were beautiful.  We dialed in for some excellent audio conferencing.  Unfortunately, the video conferencing had to be scrapped - internal videoconferencing vs. external videoconferencing is a dog of a task, and time just wasn't on our side; we simply ran out of runway to pull it off (though we'd thought that we'd resolved everything in advance).    However, all was not lost.

    In spite of no videoconferencing, we were forced to:

    • Pay close attention to our illustrious speakers
    • Listen to all the voices in the room(s)
    • Introduce ourselves to both a live audience and an 'audible-only' one
    • Wait our turns across the divided table

    …plus an added advantage for us in Miami was that there were fewer people with which to compete in our door prize drawing!  Thanks again to Jarden and SPi Global for their generosity toward our door prizes and giveaways!

    Once David Johnson (Uniters) dove into his topic of Online Reputation Management, the power of his words kept us all captivated: video or not.  Even without the enhanced technology, members in both locations could view the speakers' slides.   Cliff Moore (COPC, Inc.) shared the eagerly awaited 2011 Multi-Industry Benchmarking Survey results, and we learned a great deal about how we've all evolved from a year ago, especially in how we are all handling social customer service in its many channels and forms.

    It's rare that we take the time to go around the virtual room with others involved in customer advocacy and exchange knowledge and experience from one industry business segment to another.  However, the next part of our meeting was devoted to just that.  We each rated ourselves in our level of sophistication and proactive strategy concerning the new social customer and the way we engage in our call centers today and learned more about each others' businesses as well as our own. Companies ranged from "newbie" to "highly engaged" and the level of skill and strategic acuity of participants in the room was astounding.

    Although I could write an entire novel on the shared knowledge that day in the two rooms themselves, spanning many industries, business segments, brands and channels, I am prepared to leave that for another day.  It was a privilege to have the time we spent together - and the manner in which we ran this chapter meeting made us all feel just a little bit closer to one another even if only for a half day.

  • Top 5 Reasons to attend SOCAP's Annual Conference

    Posted on: 09/07/2011
    SOCAP’s 2011 Annual Conference is right around the corner, and here are the top 5 reasons you should register now to attend!
    1. Network with your peers and colleagues from the customer care profession!  You won’t find a gathering of nearly 500 customer relationship experts from leading Fortune 1000 companies anywhere else.
    2. Breakout Sessions on the hottest customer care topics, PLUS a new Advanced Track for senior customer care professionals!  This year’s breakout sessions cover a wide range of important topics, from mobile technologies to writing skills.  Supercharge your professional education with our NEW Advanced Sessions that take a deeper dive into key proficiencies.
    3. A sold-out exhibit hall showcasing the latest innvations and developments in customer care.
    4. Amazing keynote speakers that will inspiremotivate and entertain you.  You’ll hear from senior executives representing Kimberly-Clark, Dell, USAA and more, plus experts on the emerging mobile industry.
    5. Bonus sessions to round-out your Annual Conference experience.  Whether you hit the links at the annual Golf Tournament, enjoy a serene start to your conference at the special SOCAP spa event, attend a tour of the Darden Restaurants call center or sharpen your leadership skills with the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, there’s something for you to deepen your conference experience.

    And that’s not all!  The 2011 Annual Conference is the premier event for customer care professionals with the most education, networking and inspiration you can find.  To register, visit www.socap.org today.