Ages Later . . . #AskBostonTweet Lives!

April 21, 2011 at 2:36 AM (Happenings) (, , , , , , , )

Remember that post I had stickied to my blog not too long ago, asking you very nicely to tweet your questions for @BostonTweet using the hashtag #AskBostonTweet? Well, you did tweet your questions, and Tom O’Keefe/ @BostonTweet was nice enough to to answer most of them – I would have asked all of them, but Twitter ate a couple.

The official video for RaceTalk is included below, but stay tuned for the director’s cuts, which will include bloopers (mostly me laughing hysterically and losing my place) and the questions that weren’t included on the agency blog. Enjoy!

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Richies Pizza: A Mini Brand Loyalty Case Study

April 6, 2011 at 3:48 AM (Food, Happenings) (, , , , , )

Let me tell you a little story about seizing a sub-ideal moment in customer service and turning that into an opportunity.

I originally found Richies, a pizza (and stuff) place in Washington Square when I was moving to my current apartment. At the time, I was actually hoping to get my first taste of Publick House, but for whatever reason that magical place doesn’t believe in opening its doors during daylight hours.  Oh well.  Anyhoo, desperate for sustenance (moving oodles of possessions up four flights of stairs does that to people), we meandered into Richies.  The food did the job, and the staff was more than welcoming. When a Richies Groupon made its way into Gmail, I was happy to buy two, particularly as I had recently gone cold turkey in my battle with my Dominos addiction.

Fast-forward four months and one of my two Groupons later. Once again, I had no food in my fridge, and needed some dinner on a late Friday night.  Unable to get through on the phone, I figured I’d place an order online. Unfortunately, it didn’t look like I’d be able to use the Groupon online (weird, given it’s an online coupon, but whatever), so I resigned myself for paying full price for my pizza.  After entering my credit card information, a confirmation screen told me I’d get my order in 60-70 minutes. A bit excruciating, but I knew I’d manage.

Fast-forward two hours – and no pizza – later. Cranky and hungry, I went to bed, figuring that the website flubbed and my card wasn’t actually charged.  It was.  A bit crankier, I called Richies tonight to see about remedying the situation. And remedied it was!

I quickly (and politely – always try to be polite!) explained my dilemma. Moments later, not only did Richies promise to refund my card, but when I asked if I could just get my pizza a few days late, i.e., today, they told me “Sure, definitely.” Oh, and it would still be free.

How great is that? No back-talk, an explanation* accompanied by genuine humility, and a speedy recovery.  Had this exchange gone less pleasantly, I probably would have contacted Groupon and asked for a refund on my second (unused) coupon. Instead, I’ve been reminded of the great customer service at Richies, and even after I’ve used my final Groupon, I’ll definitely be calling them back.

*As it turned out, Richies closed early that night, but the website was still operating up until the usual closing time. The restaurant is working on syncing that all up.

Richies
1632 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 739-1114

 

Totally Unrelated Shameless Plug
This Thursday, I’ll be interviewing the one and only @BostonTweet for RaceTalk, my agency’s blog. I’ve got a few questions for him, and I’m sure you do, too.  So between now and then, tweet your questions for him using the hashtag #askbostontweet. Thanks!

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Now’s Your Chance to #AskBostonTweet

April 4, 2011 at 7:51 AM (Happenings) (, , , , , , )

I recently started writing for my agency‘s blog, RaceTalk. Following my first post not too long ago, I eagerly sent my mother a link to show her that yes, my college degree wasn’t going to waste. She Emailed me a short while later to say that she learned a lot from my post, and oh, by the way, she found a typo.

Thanks, Mom!

I haven’t been discouraged from contributing to RaceTalk, though. Rather, I figured I’d just work around my flawed typographical skills, and switch to a new media platform: video. Onto the meat of this post.

Many of you who read my blog are active on Twitter, or are at least familiar with it. Either way, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Tom O’Keefe, or more likely his Twitter persona, @BostonTweet.

BostonTweet was created […] as a way to create awareness for local business in a down economy.Got questions for @BostonTweet? Tweet 'em to #AskBostonTweet! Tom developed BostonTweet in November 2008 when the financial markets were at a precipitous decline and his two former startups had become worthless after the crash. Fearing that Boston would become a 1929 ghost town, O’Keefe created BostonTweet to make sure everyone knew that our favorite restaurants and bars were still open and needed our business for survival. Needing a very economical platform to promote local business, Twitter was hands down the best application to talk about everything Boston.
— Gotta love “About” pages, right?

Anyhoo, over the last couple of years, @BostonTweet has developed into somewhat of a hyper-local Twitterlebrity, with almost 30,000 folks following him on Twitter for updates on Boston goings-on, including special events, Boston city-living, food and drink deals, burritos, and his whereabouts. While we have oodles of social media gurus telling us how businesses can benefit from social media, we’ve got a guy in Boston who is demonstrating it before our very eyes.

Now, if you’re at all like me, you may have a couple of questions for this guy: how was the idea of @BostonTweet conceived (why not Facebook, or a blog or forum), and what made it take off the way it did? Can a man truly live on burritos and beer alone? What’s next for social media-fueled citizen journalism? And seriously, what’s with the burritos?

I have wonderful news for you: the man, myth and legend behind BostonTweet has agreed to a video interview (see, there was a point to the beginning of this post) on Thursday evening, April 7. Between now and then, tweet your questions for BostonTweet using the hashtag #AskBostonTweet. We’ll pick out a few gems to answer on Thursday evening, then post his answers to your questions – and a couple of mine – on Friday, April 8. Start tweeting!

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