Sunday, November 4, 2012

I am Voting on Tuesday

Dear friends, family and colleagues,

I am writing this today about the election to urge you to vote and to take the time to encourage other women to do the same.

This election, more than any other in the past, allows women to show why our voices and ideas should be heard.  We comprise over 50% of the population, our constituency can tip many of the races that are dominating the country.

Our issues are not only about equal pay, women's health and access to medical services, protection of women's rights, but also the economy, the budget and how it affects social services, and foreign affairs.  

As women who are invested in our community, please pass this note along to your networks and show that women are a formidable voting block.
I will be proudly be casting my vote for Barack Obama.  I believe that he is invested in protecting women's rights today and in the future. 



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What I did not get to say at the Philadelphia Geek Awards

This past Friday, me and my co-organizers of the Women in Tech Summit were fortunate enough to have been chosen the winners of the Event of the Year at the Geek Awards.  I honestly was not expecting to win.  I realized after we left the podium how much I did not get to say. I knew I should have written a few words down!

First, I forgot to wish my husband a Happy 22nd Anniversary.  Without him supporting all of the activities I am involved with in Phila., I do not think this or other events would happen. 

Next, I did not thank my co-organizers.  Gloria, Amy, Yasmine, Kimberly, Roz, and Pam took a chance on this idea of bringing all parts of the women in tech community together.  Creating an event that was a different direction than most women’s events out there was a challenge and a risk.  Their guidance and added vision made the event the success that it was.

Third, I did not thank my employer, Chariot Solutions, for encouraging and allowing me to work on these extracurricular projects.

Last, I want to recognize the Philly tech and startup community.  I believe the  reason we have been growing is due to the support we receive from everyone in the community.  I can't speak to other cities, but I do not see this concentrated activity anywhere else. This encouragement and help we receive allows each of us who is running these programs (Girl Develop IT, TechGirlz, Geek Girl Dinners and more) to further succeed in our missions.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Customer Service and Social Media

I recently had an experience with a national retail chain that had me thinking about the relationship of customer service and how a company uses its social media presence to solve issues.

Let me give some background.

The chain in question will remain nameless, but I recently had a rant on my twitter account if you are curious.  I will tell you it is a men’s specialty store, My son, preparing for his first prom, and I had visited the store for his fitting and rental.  When he went to pick up the rental, the tux was incomplete, the jacket was missing from the order.   The store clerk gave us a UPS tracking number and promised us it would be in the store the next day.

Before leaving the office to pick up the jacket the next day, I decided to check the UPS information.  The tracking number given was for the original delivery. Curious and suspicious, I thought it best to call the store first.  On hold with the store for 10 minutes, it did not surprise me that the store manager had no clue about the missing jacket.  Prom is the next day.  Second fail.

Next fail came when I had to ask the store manager the plan of action.  He promised it would be there the next day after I raised me voice to the next level.  Third fail. I asked how I would be compensated for my inconvenience after not being offered anything.  Did anyone teach these folks how to handle an angry customer?

Being a bit hot under the collar, I took to twitter and facebook to see if I could find anyone in corporate who could help.  I posted a disgruntled twitter note which posts to my facebook account as well with the company's twitter name.  I noticed their account was  pretty much inactive.  I posted directly on their facebook page, which talked about sports and had nothing about suits.  My reach after a retweet by a friend, about 2500 people in all. No response from their office. Fourth fail.

The story does have a happy ending after I called the corporate office directly (which took a while to find the contact number on their website).  I had an extremely competent customer service manager who helped get the jacket in time.

But, this was after I think the damage had been done.  About 10 of my friends asked me directly what had happened at the store.  Remember, not all social media happens on line. 

There was no direct answer from their marketing or customer service center, even after I had alerted the corporate office (I managed to talk to the head of North America's customer service) to the fact I had posted on their site.  How damaging was this to their brand, how many other people have reached out to them this way and it has been ignored?   

Remains to be seen but I did hear recently their stock dropped 15% the week after my tirade.  Coincidence?