This Rose Smells of GREAT Customer Service!

It begins with jewelry.  Jewelry is my friend and I like to keep mine in good shape all the while being a bit tough on my prime pieces.  When I began with Consumers Credit Union there was a tiny yellow house located near our office with a sign out front  – Rose Jewelers.

A smile as genuine as his service!
A smile as genuine as his service!

I walked into the jewelry store to meet Jim.  This was nearly 3 years ago and he was not feeling well.  Despite being under the weather, he treated me with kindness and I was amazed at his skills and his care (and his repair prices were right up my alley too!)

He asked about me, since I was a new face, and I explained I was the new Chief Marketing Officer of Consumers Credit Union.  Jim then beamed and said , “I was just thinking of switching to your bank, because I’m fed up with fees.”

I immediately took his card and said our business services team would be in touch.  Fast Forward 3 years and a few visits later  (Thanks hubby Rob for always keeping me in BLING) I stop by today to drop a few pieces off for repair.   Jim smiles and we chat a bit about vacation and how his life is going.  I thank him for his quick and painless service to my pocketbook.  He laughed and mentioned a woman who was in the month before and this is his story:

A woman came in to Rose Jewelers during a snow storm and  was charged $10.00 for a repair.   She pulled cash out of her pocket she was dismayed to only find $8.00 in her pocket.  She exclaimed, “Jim I know I had a $20!”  He said – no worries catch me next time and took the $8.00.     Last week the snow melted (finally) in Michigan.  Jim was walking to his truck after work and there on the ground was a $20.00 bill.   Jim went back into the store and called his customer to let her know he found her $20.00! He told her to come and get it! 

Once Jim told me this I grinned ear to ear.  I said, “Jim – that’s why you are such a valued member! You live and breath customer service – you are our member/owner and we thrive on your integrity!”

There are so many “Jim’s” out there!  To all of you who are touched by our member service teams every day, tell us your stories.  Let us know through how customer service has impacted your life or how YOU have made a difference in others lives.

We all can make someone’s day a bit brighter.  It may not be that exact day, it may be a month later when the snow melts , but we CAN brighten a person’s day just by taking that one extra step of servant leadership.



What are all of those symbols doing showing up in my Facebook posts? Don’t people know how to write a normal sentence anymore?

Simplify your Social!
Simplify your Social!

Here are two examples:


Do you know what the above two words mean? In social networks they are clear “directions” for posts and writings.

So what IS a hashtag anyway?

Growing up, we called a hashtag symbol a pound symbol and it looked like this: # It was also known as the number sign above the 3 on the keyboard.

In my school days an “at” symbol was the curly-que and was fun to doodle while avoiding homework. Did you know there is not a real name for the “at” symbol other than “at.” How cool is that?

Today the Hashtag # and At @ symbols have taken on new meaning. Their meaning is very simple:

# = Topic
@ = Name

That’s it. Nothing more simple than that. When you are networking socially the #hashtag and @at symbols are ways of communicating. Knowing how and why they are used help us in our career, school and daily life.

I was honored to be invited to present at the #NetworkingDivas conference to share how to use hashtags.

Note I used a # hashtag symbol before #NetworkingDivas. I did this intentionally as a form of thanks, recognition and later allowing me to search for content by awesome women and men who encourage networking at all levels. Recently, I attended the #Filene Research and Design Colloquium. When I’m ready to read all of the posts/links/notes about the conference I’ll only have to “search” #Filine to connect to great thought leaders.


Let’s start with the # symbol and then take a deep dive into the @symbol.

When you see a # in front of a word on twitter, facebook or any other social media network you are seeing what someone placed as a “remember” or a “trend” word to remember. I’m writing this blog on #TBT. On Thursdays you may see quite a bit of “old photos” and #TBT in the copy of the caption. That means Throw Back Thursday. #TBT is just one of the hashtags that people use to indicate they are part of the “fun” of the concept of sharing old photos.

Use Hashtags To Meet / Friend/ Follow People
I learned of a teenager who wanted to have lots of followers on #Instagram. The photo sharing social network is big on hashtags. You may see 10 – 20 hashtags ini a post. This teenager googled (searched) the top 10 Hashtags on Instagram and began using every one in every photo even if it had nothing to do with the photo. She instantly saw many followers appear in her network.

The above isn’t something I recommend but it showcases how you can have more people “see” your posts based on the hashtags you choose. Hashtags also allow you to find people that share your same passions for work and hobbies.
Use Hashtags To Make People Smile
I remember when my husband sent a hashtag to our group family text. It was the first time we ever saw him use a hashtag. #ForgotMilk. We all texted back and forth about his newfound abilities and we #lol (laughed out loud). Hashtags have the ability to make you smile, think, ponder, and scratch your head. My friend sent me a #WCW text. I had no idea what it was. I asked her and she said it was #WCW and #MCM. They mean: #Women Crush Wednesday and #Man Crush Monday. I smiled big when she said she and her daughters send them all the time. How cool that I was a friend who received one!

Other #Hashtags that are seen often and can help you connect with others:

#MM = Mention Monday – Shows you recognize the talent/like a post
#WW = Writer Wednesday – Shows you recognize talented blogger/writers
#FF = Follow Friday – Gives you @Names of people to follow /friend

Use Hashtags to Research and Search
If there is one thing that hashtags do for us that is a game changer, especially on twitter, is they allow us to search in realtime. If you search on Google you may find documents a decade old that come to the forefront of your results. If you search on Twitter you will find tweets and links to articles and authors that are real time. Searching and Researching is an invaluable tool for anyone in all walks of life. We never stop learning. Why not learn from the most recently published articles as well as the tried and true? You don’t need to have thousands of followers to do searches- that’s the beauty!

Want to know trending #hashtags? Here’s a GREAT site with the top ones!

You’ll be happy to know the top five are #AWESOME words:
#Love #InstaGood #Me #Like #Follow.
Why is everyone @ChangingNames?

@ = Name

Whenever you see an @ in front of a word that is the person’s name on social networks. My name on twitter is @MojoCMO. It means Mom Johnson of Six Cool Kids and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) You can make your name your own clever one or your own birthright name. (popular names are often taken -and why you may see numbers following the name) @RobJohnson1241

When you see a lot of @Name, @Name, @Name in a row, it’s often a sign of regocnition.   Example, if you see:

@MojoCmo, @SpartyLynne, @SallyJayJohnson, @EmJohn12, @The_Ellie_ >>> #ILY

The above  means  HEY I LOVE MY DAUGHTERS!  It’s my four daughters Twitter names with the #ILY (I Love You)

To refresh:

# = Topic
@= Name

Social is here to stay. It’s always been with us, we now have more tools to use to stay connected.

April 14 – 17 we celebrate these connections with Kalamazoo Social Media Week. #KzooSMWeek. We’ll highlight amazing marketing talent that exists in our community. @ConsumersCU is proud to sponsor the awards to showcase the industry leaders who exemplify the best practices and strategies that we all strive to attain. From awards to a really cool Social Media Scavenger Hunt and a Small Business Lunch and Learn with @MoJoCMO! Details coming soon – link to the award nominations:

Follow me @MoJoCMO





Monkey See, Monkey Do. If Marketing is so Easy a Monkey Could Do It.

The email started off like this:  

“Dear whoever designed your web site.  Are you a bunch of gorillas running the zoo over there?”


When we work day to day in the “zoo” (Literally I work in Kalamazoo) the day to day can sometimes get in the way.  Deadlines. Meetings. Phone Calls. Texts. Planning.   We all have the daily grind and that grind can come to a screeching halt when a customer beats their chest in dissatisfaction. 

The qImageuestion is – THEN what do you do?  You can do one of two things.

1) The customer is wrong.  I’m right. I’ll make sure the customer knows that.

2) The customer is spot on.  My pride needs to take a hit. I need to reach out to see how to ease my customer’s pain.

In the case of a web issue we have become a society of immediate response. Almost 50% of people now say they expect a response from an inquiry in 60 minutes. Over 50% expect the same response time during business hours as nights and weekends.*

When the “do you work in a zoo” email came into our system we had an alert set up so we could respond quickly.  Within 15 Minutes our social media coordinator learned the individual was having a difficult time signing up to online banking for the first time.   She sent educational tutorials and a step by step video on what you need and how to sign up quickly to online banking.

She did this at 9:10 PM EST. 

There isn’t anyone who wants to hear that a service or product you bring to the table isn’t receiving glowing remarks or high interest.  It’s what you DO learn from your customer frustrations and how you ease their pain that matters.  How can you take steps to ensure the frustrations stop with that one person.

Marketing is like a ripe banana.  It looks so pretty on the outside.  You must peel away the outside layers to see the ripe fruit of work going on that is based on research and planning.  If you strip away the peel to find a center unripe, your peel will fall on the floor and a customer just may step on it.  If she does, she may slip and fall, breaking a loyal relationship.  Or, she may email you at 9:00 PM at night calling you and your team a bunch of monkeys.

•Is your “peel” thick enough to stand the criticism?              

•Can you clean up the messes that you may not even know are there?

•Can you learn from those messes and then teach others the steps to not have to “clean-up” over and over again?  

If the answer to the above questions are yes, then I have your ticket for entry to the most fabulous zoo in the world.  It’s the zany zoo of marketing.  Step Right Up.




80 “DUH” Lessons I’ve Learned From My Father-In-Law! (Happy Birthday Dad!)

My Dad is 80 today.  Most people would correct me and say, “your Father-In-Law is 80 today” and they would be accurate.  But make no mistake about it, he’s my Dad too.

When you were raised with a family in a community like Rob and I (we’ve known each other since before Kindergarten in the Mayberryesque town of Grandville) then you know that both of us have two very loving Mom and Dad’s.  My own Dad died 18 years ago at the young age of 67.   It means a lot to be able to tell my Dad Johnson the 80 “Duh” lesson’s I’ve learned from him.  Each one is a memory and each one is a gift he’s given me.

80 “DUH” Lessons I’ve Learned From My Dad

1.    You can enter a jump rope contest at any age.
2.    Your smile is the best weapon you have.
3.    It is a good thing to marry up.
4.    Your work colleagues become your life colleagues. Treat them well.
5.    Don’t be afraid to start new adventures.
6.    You can have more kids than you can handle, and then some.
7.    Treat everyone with respect.
8.    Scratching the top of your head is a sign of extreme intelligence.
9.    Build a foundation of love.
10.    Have others strengthen your foundation or it will fall.
11.    Believe in your dreams.
12.    Get up and go to work every day.
13.    Quit complaining about getting up and going to work every day.
14.    Grinning is contagious.
15.    Your father knows more about “romance” than you think he does.
16.    You will be much happier if you just ignore the drama
17.    Eat the food people put in front of you.
18.    Raving fans are the only kind of fans.
19.    The fear of disappointing others is stronger than the fear of spiders.
20.    Bozo isn’t scary.
21.    Bowling with assistance devices should be a requirement for all those who bowl less than 3x a year.
22.    Dogs are man’s best friend.
23.    Dogs are mom’s best friend.
24.    Pulling people behind a boat is exhilarating.
25.    A penny is a lot of money when you have no money.
26.    A dime is even more money when you have no money.
27.    Sports brings families together.
28.    Sports can break bones.
29.    Trees can break more bones.
30.    Grandchildren are the best.
31.    Great Grandchildren are the GrandBest.
32.    To lose a grandchild through death is to have a broken heart, never to repair.
33.    Your family is the best duct tape on the market.
34.    Golf on Sunday is good for your soul.
35.    Golf on any day is good for your soul.
36.    Keep doors open, invite people in, it’s not a good feeling to be shut out.
37.    Sometimes you can’t make it to all of your kids events. You love them all the same.
38.    Big families bring big chaos and bigger blessings.
39.    Tempers are meant to be lost, in hopes of never finding them again.
40.    The person you share your life with deserves the real you.
41.    Your spouse is the only one who knows who you really are.
42.    Times change but ice cream at night never should.
43.    Go ahead, reach out your hand.
44.    Values never changing are invaluable.
45.    Baseball is the best.
46.    You can learn to watch Hockey.
47.    If your Grandkids attend the same school, or a school with Green and White in it and you cover all bases.
48.    Walking to get a morning newspaper should be a religion.
49.    You choose to be lazy.
50.    You should probably tell someone if you fall and hit your head.
51.    White T-shirts make the man.
52.    6 is an awesome number. 6th born had 6 grandkids.
53.    Not all successful business owners graduate from college.
54.    Setting goals for 9 kids in a family to graduate from college is attainable.
55.    Going to get ice cream twice because someone missed out is cool.
56.    Buying cars is fun to do.
57.    Starting in a business then owning it is possible.
58.    Dads are priceless.
59.    Sit still in church.
60.    Go to church.
61.    Listen to your Mother.
62.    The best Johnson stories are not for print.
63.    Neighbors keep your secrets at home.
64.    Never purchase an above ground pool.
65.    Holding tiny babies is a gift.
66.    Holding memories is a joy.
67.    White socks in brown shoes can look good on some people.
68.    Always know who to pick for your Euchre partner.
69.    You can learn new technology if ask for help.
70.    You can learn new technology if you ask for help again.
71.    You don’t need to worry about learning new technology.
72.    It’s cool to name your GPS system.
73.    It’s cool to disown your named GPS system.
74.    Your best friends deserve time to prepare for tee time.
75.    Life is like sports. Sometimes Winning is important – most of the time it isn’t.
76.    Stocks are like sports. The stats may change but the W/L record does not.
77.    A remote control should come with three buttons:  On, Off, & Change Channel.
78.  You can figure out the satellite system if you bug the operators enough.
79.  Maize and  Blue can be cheered on if your Grandson is on a team.
80.  In laws are much better than outlaws. (But outlaws can be fun)