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Customer Service: A Blessing & A Curse 

I was very young when my Mamma and Daddy instilled in me to “treat everyone the way you would like to be treated,” and that is still the case today. But as for others in this world…

Plenty of businesses try to include this in their internal training procedures today, and yet one disgruntle employee or one hungry customer later, and the niceness goes right out the window. So how can this be recovered? The digital gods have come up with the concept of Big Data.

So what is Big Data(glad you ask because I was gonna tell you anyway)? The Statistical Analysis System Institute, located in Cary, North Carolina, came up with “a term that describes the large volume of data- both structured and unstructured- that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis.” Data, not referring to the lovable android in Star Trek: The Next Generation, is being accumulated everyday, all day, and every second of the day. My computer is collecting data right now as I write this eye opening post, wondering “what did she eat for dinner tonight?” [Pizza to answer that question. But don’t tell my boot camp instructor. He will probably make me do 20 more burpees if he knew this] When this data is collected, it is sold to your advertisers, local businesses and national corporations to find out what makes their customers tick.

A way that this happens, and you have no idea how, is by those surveys you are asked to complete after every visit. If you are that person who immediately throws away their receipt after you receive it, you would not know that there is a kind request for you to fill out  one of their surveys located on the top or bottom. As I dig down the bottom of my Michael Kors pocketbook, I find tons of receipts asking me for the same task of answering a few questions in their survey.

There are several ways to take a consumer survey: the telephone survey, the online survey, and the social media rating survey. These surveys helps businesses in several different ways:

  1. Improving Customer Engagement and Increasing Customer Loyalty: Contrary to belief, these surveys are very helpful to businesses and retailers in an effort to see why you like or dislike them so much. With retailers having to see their favorite consumers going to those web based superstores instead, or your favor burger joint being less appealing because of the newest niche foodie concept opening in their neighborhood, competition is getting fierce and farce. Surveys and other forms of data collecting tools help your old favorites to be your returning favorites. If well established businesses  do not work with data companies, then you and all of their customers will go to their competitors, and local patrons will have little to no way of getting them back.
  2. Personalizing the Customer Experience: The way data is collected is through your convergent devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets, and even your video gaming consuls). Your IP addresses installed in all of your high tech inventory is the portal to all of your dreams, fantasies, and desires, and you had no idea this was happening. An example of this are those annoying ads that pop up on all of your search engines. You can not see what is on the entire page until the sponsored advertising finish downloading. It’s not by coincidence, the data that has been collected by you tells the website you might have interested in one of their sponsors. Personalizing the customer experience helps businesses generate customer based offers on each individual’s buying habits.
  3. Return on Investments: Data collection agencies provide a service. They are in the business of keeping promises. These promises try to guarantee that their potential clients will see an increase in sales volume and customer traffic in any given period of time. This will trickle down to more money coming into your communities and stimulating an economy that is increasing work force and employee moral in you local neighborhoods. But this information doesn’t come cheap, it could end up being a large majority for their marketing budgets for their fiscal year. With that said, this has to work. Small local companies need this. They need to make sure that these agencies that are promising them the moon and the stars see a return of their investments, or we could come to the reality that we will look up and our favorite childhood shopping destination is no more.

 

So next time you get a polite request to give a service company your input, do it! FILL OUT THAT SURVEY! GIVE THAT FIVE STAR RATING! and most importantly LEAVE THAT POSITIVE RESPONSE WHEN AN EMPLOYEE GOES OUT OF THEIR WAY TO MAKE YOU HAPPY!

 

 

 

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Social Media is So Awesome… Right?

The current headliners of the social media love fest (Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook) have made our newest medium very appealing to the several generations that uses them. As I’m thinking of that, I wonder “why?” I know there are several reasons but the ones that come to mind are:

  • The age old cliché, “Keeping up with the Jones:” Social media, with the help of the Internet, has made it much easier to follow up with the latest trends, slangs, and catch phrases. Take for example Twitter. The race for fan immortality  probably started with Ashton Kutcher with his campaign to be the first person to gain 1 million Twitter follows. Now he has been over shadowed by the person who has the most Twitter followers, Lady Gaga (20 million by the way). Also, having even more access to the ones who birth these trends, slangs, and catch phrases helps the everyday, awkward tween get more cool points with their peers at school. Hell, I’ve even gotten accolades from my 10 year old baby cousin for knowing the “Ju Ju on That Beat” dance.
  • Improvements to technology: Thanks to the brainiacs of Silicon Valley, having access to social media has made it as much a necessity as breathing. In the beginning of this digital age, it was very difficult and expensive to purchase a computer to surf the web. Now with the fierce competition tech companies have, we have advanced by not just having a personal computer in every home’s living room, but to everyone either having a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or all three. Also, giving access to the less fortunate has impacted the appeal too. The recent demand of “Pre-Paid Cell Phones” has made it very affordable to folks who do not have the means to purchase the next Apple iPhone that comes out every fall.
  • Value-added access: Now that people have the means of getting the vessel to follow their celebrity heartthrobs on Snapchat, getting to the front door of that person has to be at a low cost or no cost at all. Example, free apps; just because people want know what color lip gloss Kylie Jenner is wearing today, does not mean that they want to spend an arm and a leg to find out. Instead of app companies getting revenue from people like ourselves, they cuddle up to other businesses to purchase advertising from them. This forces us to have to go through all those boring commercials in an attempted effort to heal the scratching of the itch of spending money. Oh, did I also mention that free apps are FREE? I could not even tell you the last time I shelled out cash for an app, more or less admit to you that I do that either.

Now that we have opened the package of social media in the present, what will social media look like in the future? In my opinion, the sky is the limit. In the 20th Century, pop culture favorites like the Jetsons, and 2001: A Space Odyssey said that we were going to be in flying cars and running on treadmills in space (but that movie was accurate about video conferencing though). Well, what ever happens, I am ready to “Boldly go” where the next thinkers and trailblazers take us. Just as long as nothing bad happens to mankind, like apes taking over the world or robots holding us prisoners:)

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The White Man’s Club: Media Ownership

I recently read an article entitled “Minority and Female Media Ownership: Why It Matters” The article elaborated that the radio and television companies that you watch and listen to everyday, are owned by Caucasian males (69.4% of ownership) and a small slyver  of the pie (2.2%) goes to the rest of my colorful brothers and sisters. But to ask the question “Why does it matter?” My first reaction is HELL YEAH it matters. However, the open-minded person that I am read this publication with clear eyes.

May be I should start on the Why of why does it matter:

  • No Representation- Living in one of the most diverse nations in the world is the most beautiful reason why I am grateful to live in America. The media is the only voice that the everyday person has. The only person I can think of in ownership of a media empire is my “sheroe”, Cathy Hughes, founder and chairman of Urban One Inc. (formally called Radio One). Hughes is a black single mother who sacrificed everything to create one of the largest urban radio, TV, and digital company to date. Her, with the help of her son, Alfred, have made it their endeavor to make sure that the voiceless are heard loud and clear.
  • The Female Revolution Continues- Like Beyoncé says, “Who run the world? Girls” of course! But in this field, the Queen Bee is mistaken (sorry Beehive. I am a member by the way). Majority ownership of commercial television stations by a woman ONLY represent 6.8% in this country.  God has created 50% of our global population to have 2 X chromosomes, but they are also not represented in terms of media ownership. The women’s movement has been strong so far this year, but for some reason, the discussion of more women owning our media outlets has been dismal at best. This could change by also demanding that the voice of female empowerment is heard loud and clear.
  • People need to tell their story- It is very concerning that white journalists are reporting on sensitive and emotional stories like Black Lives Matter. By doing this, I think the message of what this movement actually means has been distorted unfortunately. If African American journalists, and ONLY African American journalist, be the voice of this historical declaration of free speech, the message would be made more clear and the critics would have nothing to criticize due to seeing the entire picture of this canvas of frustration.

As a minority and as a woman, it is important that the attempts of owning more radio and TV channels for someone who looks more like me. Everyone, and I mean everyone deserves a seat at the table. So when I asked myself the same question after I read the end of the article of “Does this matters,” my answer is an emphatic HELL YEAH more than ever.

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Social Media is So Awesome… Right?

The current headliners of the social media love fest (Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook) have made our newest medium very appealing to the several generations that uses them. As I’m thinking of that, I wonder “why?” I know there are several reasons but the ones that come to mind are:

  • The age old cliché, “Keeping up with the Jones:” Social media, with the help of the Internet, has made it much easier to follow up with the latest trends, slangs, and catch phrases. Take for example Twitter. The race for fan immortality  probably started with Ashton Kutcher with his campaign to be the first person to gain 1 million Twitter follows. Now he has been over shadowed by the person who has the most Twitter followers, Lady Gaga (20 million by the way). Also, having even more access to the ones who birth these trends, slangs, and catch phrases helps the everyday, awkward tween get more cool points with their peers at school. Hell, I’ve even gotten accolades from my 10 year old baby cousin for knowing the “Ju Ju on That Beat” dance.
  • Improvements to technology: Thanks to the brainiacs of Silicon Valley, having access to social media has made it as much a necessity as breathing. In the beginning of this digital age, it was very difficult and expensive to purchase a computer to surf the web. Now with the fierce competition tech companies have, we have advanced by not just having a personal computer in every home’s living room, but to everyone either having a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or all three. Also, giving access to the less fortunate has impacted the appeal too. The recent demand of “Pre-Paid Cell Phones” has made it very affordable to folks who do not have the means to purchase the next Apple iPhone that comes out every fall.
  • Value-added access: Now that people have the means of getting the vessel to follow their celebrity heartthrobs on Snapchat, getting to the front door of that person has to be at a low cost or no cost at all. Example, free apps; just because people want know what color lip gloss Kylie Jenner is wearing today, does not mean that they want to spend an arm and a leg to find out. Instead of app companies getting revenue from people like ourselves, they cuddle up to other businesses to purchase advertising from them. This forces us to have to go through all those boring commercials in an attempted effort to heal the scratching of the itch of spending money. Oh, did I also mention that free apps are FREE? I could not even tell you the last time I shelled out cash for an app, more or less admit to you that I do that either.

Now that we have opened the package of social media in the present, what will social media look like in the future? In my opinion, the sky is the limit. In the 20th Century, pop culture favorites like the Jetsons, and 2001: A Space Odyssey said that we were going to be in flying cars and running on treadmills in space (but that movie was accurate about video conferencing though). Well, what ever happens, I am ready to “Boldly go” where the next thinkers and trailblazers take us. Just as long as nothing bad happens to mankind, like apes taking over the world or robots holding us prisoners:)

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A Letter to Help You Understand Media Literacy

To the Freshmen Women of Syracuse University:

Congratulations on completing your first year of college! Take it from me, as a previous Freshmen of Undergrad (and the year that was is not that important), adapting to your new surroundings have made you more prepared to handle life in the real world. Making hard decisions, like deciding to study over going to that party, is only the beginning in your young lives.

But something you may not have picked up on is the importance of media literacy and being aware that it is something that will be a major part of you life for the rest of your life.

What is media literacy? I’m glad you asked! Media literacy is the amount of media that you are consuming on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Social media is where we now get our news and information from, but that old saying “Don’t believe everything that you see on the Internet,” is true.

Take for example our now POTUS and his army of “yes” men and women. Midway through his campaign, he did mention several times that the media is spinning “Fake News” and brainwashing his constituents for thinking he’s an  untrustworthy guy. With the exception of which media outlets he has accused, he was right. There are several websites that have to goal of spreading lies and calling it  “news.”

Don’t worry, I’ll help you maneuver through the good with the bad, and make sure you are getting the right information every time you scan through your smartphone, tablet, and computer.

  1. Weed out the real news from the gossip news: Many websites, like World Star Hip Hop, The Thirty-Mile Zone( TMZ),  and Media Takeout sometimes have true information and  but  most times do not. These sites are in the business of making money not giving real information. If you have to look at these sites, make sure you check a more reliable site that you trust and feel comfortable with to give you the honest truth about you favorite celebrities.
  2. If it has obvious grammatical errors, leave the site immediately: There is an unfortunate reality that people, from some foreign countries, plant websites that purposely spreads fake political and entertainment stories throughout the world wide web. The way to     figure out one is by  reading the headline and the first couple of sentences in the story. If there are any misspelled words or missing punctuation marks, 10 times out of 10 it’s a fake website.
  3. Focus on your education: Young ladies, social media is a very time consuming past time. Research has shown, the average person age 18-34 years of age spends over 3.8 hours a day rummaging  through  social networking sites from their computers, tablets, and smartphones. PLEASE take my advice and only restrict yourself to a few hours a day and spend  your  time doing real life activities, like  going to class and volunteering. And finally…
  4. Oversharing is an addiction: If you don’t feel comfortable with your would be post being shown to you Dad  from his fellow co-workers, friends, or another family members,  and blindsiding him in embarrassment, DON’T POST IT.

I know I might be sounding like an over protective mother, but think of me as a really wise, yet younger, auntie. Being literate about social media will help you in the long run and help you be a well-rounded person for the rest of your life. If you ever need, I’m a short email or instant message away!

 

Your friend from preventing you from regret down the road,

 

Allison Nicole Joyner

 

#DigComSU