It's Amazing What a New Red Dress Can Do!

There’s nothing like what a new outfit does for you – you feel good, you walk upright, you are confident in every action. At the recent Avaya Evolutions event in Dallas, TX, everyone had the opportunity to wear a red dress for a cause. For every person that participated $1 was donated to the American Heart Association. Of course, many of our husbands, including my own, at first had similar questions, “Let me get this straight, they are donating $1 and we are paying how much for that dress?”.

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Doesn’t seem like much, does it? $1. But, between the dresses and the tweets Avaya donated $3,500 to the American Heart Association, who also happens to be an Avaya customer, with a 1-day fund raising effort. But I don’t want to forget one other major contributor. There was flash mob at the event too! Mobbers are often provided a small stipend for their expenses such as travel time and gas, or so I learned. Well, guess what? Almost half of those mobbers donated their stipend back to have it go to those in need. How great is that?!?! A special thanks to all who supported this effort!

So let’s talk about that new red dress. People loved it! They were happy to be there, part of the team. It unified everyone, including those who didn’t wear the dresses. Sorry guys – but you could have worn a dress if you wanted! The effort created a community, all in support of the same cause.

But why ramble on about it? It made me think. What are businesses today doing to create that attitude, that swagger in their step, that air of confidence in their products, their people, their actions – the sense of community and joint cause among their employees globally? Are there more effective ways to do this? Could it extend beyond the enterprise? To a community within a global universe? And, how does it make a difference for the business? Why would they care?

With the advent of social over the last several years we see our society spontaneously creating communities with people who have similar interests to their own. How do we create collaborative environments for our employees? And for our customers? Better yet, why not enable them to engage directly, and together, in a trusted forum? And, on the other side of that equation… how do we leverage that information to understand our customers better? To take that insight and apply it to our business – potentially influencing product direction, strategy, brand … how do we listen effectively?

These are all common questions – and of course I am going to tell you that Avaya can help your business do just these things as you begin to determine how you leverage new technologies to advance and grow your business, and your bottom line. But let’s talk a little more about WHY you would want to do this. I presented a session at the Dallas Evolutions event , “Emerging Trends and Best Practices in Customer Experience Management”. The long and short of it is everything starts with your Customers NOT the technology. As I noted in my session… 70% of consumers are willing to spend more money with a company that provides good service! Sounds like this could come together to be the perfect storm for your business.

But here’s the question – and we have been asking it for a few years now – are YOU listening? Are your employees and your business part of a culture that understands and thrives on serving your customer? Are they a community? Do they need some new red duds? How would you answer this question? : Do we have someone designated to understand and ensure a consistent, top notch customer experience with our business? Think about it and check back in next week when I’ll share with you some interesting results of an informal poll I took at Evolutions Dallas!

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