Article | Customer Experience

Hallmark Cards Create Positive Social Media Buzz for SRP

Kim Totty
Female reading card from mail at home
Female reading card from mail at home

SRP customer service representatives recently shared their experiences with the Customer Care program.

“The Ultimate Question” as coined by Bain & Company, has become the leading indicator of customer satisfaction. Calculating Net Promoter Score® (NPS) or a similar metric is considered a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) at most companies to determine the level of advocacy within their customer base.

There’s nothing new about relying on referrals and positive word-of-mouth marketing to acquire new customers, but we all know the old adage, “It’s not what someone says, it’s what they do that matters.” To me, the reliance on NPS based on customers’ survey answers may or may not be reflective of their real behavior, since saying they’ll recommend a product or service is not the same as them actually doing it.

At a meeting of the Society of Consumers Affairs Professionals (SOCAP), I was invited to tour the Salt River Project (SRP) contact center. SRP is one of the nation’s largest public power utilities and the provider of electricity and water to more than 2 million people in Central Arizona. At that time, I was exploring how Hallmark could help customer service departments better engage their customers by extending positive interactions beyond the length of the phone call.

Am I glad I went on that tour. Not only did I get an insider’s view of the internal operations of a well-run contact center, I had the opportunity to learn more about how an organization goes about elevating the mindset of creating stellar customer experiences. SRP leads the way in what it really means to embrace customers and serve them beyond their expectations. As evidence of this, the company has earned the rare distinction of receiving J.D. Power’s highest ranking for western residential utilities customer satisfaction 14 years in a row.

I saw how our missions intersected—both are firmly based in building and strengthening relationships. Because of that meeting, the concept of Hallmark’s crystallized customer care solution and the results have been nothing less than remarkable. As SRP contact center associates use our program to send Hallmark cards to the customers they speak to every day, the response back has been immediate, heartwarming and public in the very best way.

Not only does SRP get calls back from customers saying they were moved to tears upon receipt of the card and that they “never, ever, ever, ever” in their lives received such personal customer service, they’re getting equally positive feedback through social media. Here are two of my favorites:

SRP Customer Feedback

All this great buzz helps keep the SRP team motivated and contributes qualitative evidence that their customer experience initiatives are successful. Best of all, it takes the survey question “How likely is it that you would recommend SRP to a friend or colleague?” and puts it into action. For SRP, that answer is not only yes, but YES! I’ll tell all my Facebook friends about you!

Seeing that SRP customers are so moved by receiving Hallmark cards that they’re posting online, I realized just how thoroughly our customer care solution completes a full-circle multichannel approach to customer experience. One of the most impactful outcomes we produce at Hallmark Business Connections is our ability to touch someone so much that they’re compelled to tell others. It’s how we’re different from other marketing and customer experience initiatives. When we help companies express their true feelings for their customers in a way that is genuine, meaningful and highly repeatable, customers feel recognized and appreciated. They’re motivated to take action on that “Ultimate Question,” telling their family and friends that you’re the kind of company that truly puts its customers first.