Feb. 21 Sponsor Spotlight: SAP

The wonderful team at SAP are sponsoring our Tuesday, February 21 event on Social CRM. Please welcome them into the SMCLA family!

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP  helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. Today, SAP is on an innovation hyperdrive.  With a user-centric lens on Big Data, Mobility, Cloud, and Social, SAP is helping people like you to have relevant and smarter 360-degree customer conversations like never before – without requiring you to dig up your ERP and CRM foundations.  In addition to solutions for the B2B sector, SAP CRM extends its reach to companies representing B2C consumers – delivering the entire customer experience unified across multiple channels.  Stop by and experience the new SAP. http://www.sap.com

“It’s incredibly exciting to be a part of Social Media Club LA,” says Vinay Iyer, VP of Global Marketing for SAP CRM, “not only can our offerings inspire the social CMO, but we are exemplars of social inbound and outbound marketing – we grew our own social channels two-fold last year and we’re leveraging best practices through our participation in Social Media Club.

For further information on SAP CRM, visit them at http://www.sap.com/crm and follow them on Twitter @sapcrm.


Feb. 21 Speaker Spotlight: Charles Miller

Chris here. Our fellow board member, Charles Miller, will be on our Tuesday panel on Social CRM. Don’t know what that is? Come by and learn more from the pros! We’ve changed venues – so please head on over to ING DIRECT Cafe LA on February 21!

Charles Miller - @chasmiller

A leading Social Media practitioner, speaker and panelist, Charles Miller has advised CMOs, CIOs, and CTOs on Social Media best practices, sCRM, and customer communities nationally. Within DIRECTV, he has influenced and helped employ Social Media use throughout the enterprise including advising PR, Marketing, Engineering, Research, Field Services and Mobile Advanced Services. His operations team is both U.S. and internationally based with overseas travel to Manila, Hong Kong, London, Paris and Rome.

Forrester Research and Frost & Sullivan seek out his insight for studies, publications have noted his expertise, and case studies are now featured in recent business books for adapting business practices based on online feedback. Charles has been featured on Mashable, ComputerWorld, ZDNet,
Financial Times of London, and CNNLive.com. In addition, he’s spoken at the Harvard Faculty Club, Stanford Faculty Club,  and the SOCAP International Conference in Atlanta.

For those of you who are DirecTV customers, here’s your chance to ask Charles about your satellite account. I kid. Seriously speaking, I think you should ask about the complexities that he and his team deal with – not just with the usual customer service issues but the integration of social media with the customer service department(s).  With Charles, I’m interested in whether he thinks DirecTV’s social CRM program has moved the needle for the company. Have they saved money by integrating the two?

We’ll find out on Tuesday, February 21 at ING DIRECT Cafe LA! RSVP and we’ll see you there!

Feb. 21 Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Natalie Petouhoff

Learn more about our President and speaker for next week’s Social CRM event, Dr. Natalie Petouhoff. Haven’t RSVP‘d yet? Here’s your chance – see ya at ING DIRECT Cafe LA next Tuesday!


Natalie Petouhoff

Dr. Natalie, a former social media Forrester Analyst, heads up the Social Media
Executive Education Division at UCLA and is President of the Social Media Club Los Angeles. Her experiences as an Ad Agency executive and management consultant provides unique business insights that she shares as an accomplished keynote speaker, quoted expert and featured guest expert on TV and radio. Dr. Natalie helps companies understand how social media affects the bottom-line and to create executable strategies that provide real business value. She does this by benchmarking the “As Is” state of social media initiatives and compares them to “Could Be” via best practices. With this insight, businesses can create a world-class social media and digital presences and monetize their investments. Dr. Natalie wrote the world’s first social media ROI calculator.

What are you going to ask Dr. Natalie? I am interested in her thoughts regarding bad social CRM. I bet there are some compelling case studies on companies whose CRM programs have not integrated with their social media team’s customer service ‘program.’ Of the companies she’s worked with, I’d like to know if she thought there was one superstar that married social media and CRM well.

If you’re interested to hear her answer, drop by the ING DIRECT Cafe LA on Tuesday, February 21! I’ll be there and so will several other sCRM pros. (Make them work for their dinner!)

Change of Venue: 2/21 Social CRM event now at ING DIRECT LA CAFE

Hello, fans and members! Please note our venue change!

Our “Loving Your Customer: Social CRM” panel on Tuesday, February 21. The good people at ING DIRECT Cafe Los Angeles are graciously hosting us again, with all-you-can-drink sodas, coffees and teas, as well as (my favorite) FREE PARKING!

ING DIRECT Cafe Los Angeles is located at 11175 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025.

They’re right on the corner of Santa Monica and Cotner. Entrance to the parking below the building is located on Santa Monica Blvd, just east of Cotner.

RSVP to our Social CRM panel now! We’ll see you there!

ING DIRECT Cafe LA: http://ow.ly/95uJB

Truly Love Your Customers? A Top 10 Brand Relationship Guide – Guest Post by Charles Miller of DirecTV

Truly love your customers?
Here’s your Top 10 Brand relationship guide.

More and more, brands are focusing on how to build stronger relationships with their customers. While tools are important, they are only a means to the end. In keeping with this time of year, the following list will seem very familiar to the best advice on build lasting relationships in our personal lives. How many of these values are present in your brand today?

1. Be important in their lives
Unless your product or service is an important part of your customer’s lives your relationship is doomed from the beginning. Find out what matters most to your customers and fill those needs. Yes, they have the right to change their minds.

2. Do not nag your customers
The value of your product or service should be clear and complement their lives. Frustrated brands trying to get even more from their relationship can sometimes be demanding or complain about — and sometimes to — their customers. Don’t do it. It’s a relationship killer.

3. Show mutual respect
Long lasting relationships are built and maintained by respecting others time and values. The values you project as a brand will attract customers — both good and bad.

4. Maintain open communications
Customers can make the best decisions with good information. Customers today trust the collective wisdom of strangers over friends, families and brands. Share all you can in the open to clear up misunderstandings and myths.

5. Be trustworthy
With brand trust at all time lows, brands that can be trusted and counted on in both good and bad times will attract customers. Why leave one of the most important differentiators on the table for short term gains?

6. Stay relevant and be innovative
Times and tastes change. Even “classic” companies need a fresh approach to keep the relationship alive. Long time customers are rooting for you to bring them new things that enhance their relationship with you.

7. Be open to constructive criticism
It’s hard to hear criticism, it can be uncomfortable and even awkward. As tempting as it may be, don’t shoot the messenger. Criticism is a gift to be valued. Remember, they can always leave instead and never share how your could have done better.

8. You will make mistakes.
No brand is perfect and everyone makes mistakes once in a while. Where the difference begins is how a brand responds. Acknowledge the mistake and move quickly to resolve the issue. They will appreciate knowing they are worth your efforts.

9. Don’t forget special days
While every day and interaction matters, don’t forget the important days in your relationship. Anniversaries, birthdays, key customer milestones or announcements. Remembering these show you are paying attention and want the relationship to last.

10. Be responsible, you are part of a larger community.
Finally, it’s more than about just you and your customer. Brands are part of a larger community of brands and you will be weighed in context with partners and actions outside the relationship. Stay aware and active, and you will know how to fit in and participate.

If all these seems like too much work, perhaps it’s time for you and your customers to reevaluate your relationship.


Charles Miller – DirecTV

Charles Miller is the Director of Digital Care and Social Media for DirecTV. He is also an SMCLA Board member as well as one of our speakers at this month’s panel “Loving Your Customer: Social CRM.” Stop by McCabe’s Bar & Grill in Santa Monica on Tuesday, Feb. 21 and talk shop with Charles! RSVP HERE.