Great Customer Relations Means More than Just Saying “Sorry”

So many companies talk about the importance of their customer relationships, but, in reality, what do they really do when something goes wrong?

Image – Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield Facebook.

Insurance provider Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey decided that just saying sorry wasn’t good enough..

In a December 6th letter, Horizon notified 839,000+ customers that their sensitive private information might be at risk including name, social security number, address, date of birth, and insurance identification number.  The reason?  Two company laptops, which were “cable-locked to employee workstations,” were stolen from the headquarters office.

Horizon informed customers “we are not certain that all of this information is accessible,” explaining that the computers were password-protected but unencrypted.  Nevertheless, the company decided to take action, beyond the standard mea culpa and you’re on your own communication: Continue reading

Ace Hardware Aims to Win with “The Help”

Photo: Ace Hardware Facebook.

Photo: Ace Hardware Facebook.

Who’s the friendliest of them all: Home Depot, Lowes or Ace Hardware?

If new marketing works, it will be the “helfpul marketing folks” at Ace Hardware.

Ace has evolved its marketing positioning from an in-store shopping convenience benefit – “Take back your weekend” (refer to my 2011 post) – to a customer service benefit – “Getting help at Ace is like going to your neighbor.”

While the convenience of finding what you’re looking for in a smaller store is a tangible benefit, the Illinois company has now decided to highlight its neighborly advice.  After all, Ace isn’t going to beat its rivals on price or assortment

The new marketing campaign builds from a simple positioning and is effectively communicated in new TV commercials.  There’s a master establishing TV spot, and then there’s the first of three planned national TV commercials::

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