Dear Client, You're Fired

Dear Client, You're Fired

"The customer is always right" has become the industry standard for large and small businesses to keep the customer happy and continue receiving their business. But what happens when this ethos leads to the abuse of your employees? In this blog, NAC's CEO Tawana Bain answers the question, "Do you need a nightmare client?"

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In the Age of Digital Marketing, Print Is Not Dead

In the Age of Digital Marketing, Print Is Not Dead

It’s no surprise to learn that print marketing is still a very viable strategy for reaching customers, yet many teams question its effectiveness. In fact, with so many companies focused primarily on digital content, nowadays print can help you stand out among the crowd.

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NAC Client pulseM Helps Businesses Head Off Bad Reviews Before They Hit the Web

NAC Client pulseM Helps Businesses Head Off Bad Reviews Before They Hit the Web

Bad online reviews are unfortunately a byproduct of doing business in today’s fast-paced, digital world. But what if you could head off negative reviews BEFORE they hit cyberspace, and increase positive feedback in the process? NAC is proud to partner with a client who is doing just that with a new mobile app tool, PulseM. Read about it in our latest blog.

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7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Next Data Collection Project

7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Next Data Collection Project

Need to better understand the voice of your customer? Not sure what your industry best practices are? Have a need to analyze a specific market segment but not quite sure where to start? Check out this month’s blog of experts tips to better manage your next survey or data collection initiative. 

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3 Ways Hiring an External Project Manager Can Keep Projects on Track and On Budget

3 Ways Hiring an External Project Manager Can Keep Projects on Track and On Budget

In our latest blog, NAC shares three key ways a dedicated external project manager who is not caught up in your day-to-day distractions can help keep your next project on track and deliver superior results when your plate piles up with other priorities.

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Spread the Promotional Love... In the Office

Spread the Promotional Love... In the Office

Well, let's be honest — of course workplace love blossoms with your work family, especially when you spend 9 or more hours together in a given day! So with that much togetherness in the office, why not let them fall in love with your brand too? Who doesn't love a free gift? Whether it's a picture frame, portable charger or monogrammed business card holder, don’t you want your company’s logo there for everyone to see? Whether on their desk, in their hands or in their wallet...stay visible and eventually they'll give you your first dance. Click the picture below to read our blog and watch the video on just how much impact the love of promotional items has on your brand: YES- Spread the promotional romance and let the love happen...In the office.

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What Project Management Means to You

What Project Management Means to You

Project management is a popular business buzzword, but not many understand what it means. For our clients, it means full-service, start-to-finish process management. A good project manager works to support your vision so that when you need to step away to focus on serving customers, your project can still sustain itself and deliver results. Keep reading to learn more. 

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Ch-ch-changes: 2016 Is A Year of Transition for NAC

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Today’s world is powered by change. By forward momentum. By the ability to adapt.

During our 11-year history, NAC is proud to have been the engine behind many significant, positive changes for our clients. But we’ve come to realize that we’re kind of like the mom who spends so much time taking care of her kids that she neglects herself. It’s time to apply the formulas that work so well for our clients to our own business.

1. Learning from Our Stumbles so We Don’t Completely Fall Down

The past year has served as a good reminder that change can be hard, but it’s necessary. And sometimes it happens whether we like it or not.

We’ve had major staff shifts in our team. Yes, we’ve seen a lot of new faces, specifically millennial workers. For a while, we had a companywide bet going on who would be the next person under 30 to quit. (Not really, but we thought about it!)

All joking aside, we’ve learned that millennials have different needs and expectations in order to stay engaged with their work than past generations. Not all, of course — we currently have several millennials on staff who defy stereotypes and bring remarkable skills and enthusiasm to our team.

Just like any business, we’re learning to adapt our culture to the changing needs of the work force. So, while we work on better understanding the new generation, we’ve decided to stop beating our heads against the wall and revise our business model.

2. Committing to Doing Things Differently

No, our business model wasn’t broken. It has served us well for a long time. But it was clear that some of our old ways had gotten, well, old. And if we intend to outpace the competition, we’ve learned we need to keep it fresh. So, we’ve augmented our existing approach to encompass both an employee and partnership model. We see it like this: we’re creating a dual-stability framework that works from the inside out and the outside in.

What that means is, instead of hiring more full-time staff, we’ve decided to expand and deepen our relationships with external resources. We’ve always relied on freelance contractors to supplement our services, but now we are going to be more deliberate in how we position those assets.

This year, we are working on developing deeper strategic partnerships — with professional writers, photographers, videographers, event coordinators and many other consultants. Aligning NAC with experts in their respective fields makes us a stronger player in the game, which means we can be an even more formidable force on the field for our clients. But rest assured that we never hand over a job and completely walk away. Both NAC and our partners are equally invested in the outcome of each and every project.

3. Doing What We Do Best: Marketing

Speaking of investing in the outcome, we’re going to spend a good portion of 2016 investing in ourselves. We are a project management firm that specializes in telling stories. We love to spread the good word. And who doesn’t enjoy spreading good words about themselves?!

NAC is fantastic at marketing our clients’ messages, but we don’t always take the time to do it for ourselves. That changes now.

Stay tuned for details in the coming weeks. We’re gearing up to go on tour!

Coming to a city near you – and soon! #naccapabilitytour16

Teamspotlight: OJ Oleka (Director of Operations)

Teamspotlight: OJ Oleka (Director of Operations)

New Age Communications celebrates the addition of our new Director of Operations, OJ Oleka. Joining the team in June of this year, Oleka has adapted quickly and hopes to continue helping NAC expand its brand, dominating the fields of boutique marketing and support services. We quizzed Oleka to discover more about his background and his hopes for NAC.

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7 Tips To Crush Your Next Survey Data Goals

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“Regardless of size or industry, businesses need information to evaluate their standing, identify areas for growth, formulate strategy, improve performance and stay on top of customer satisfaction.” Says NAC Vice President and Production Administrator, Darbie Britt.

When conducting a survey, it is important that your turnout matches the data that you need. To make this possible, NAC has robust outreach strategies to entice as many participants as necessary. Through phone, email and social media, we make sure to access as many potential respondents as possible to ensure a diverse response across the boundaries of age and socioeconomics.  

7 tips to ensure your next survey is a huge success: 

1.     Rule of 3.  Use a minimum of three outreach strategies when boosting engagement.  We recommend email, phone and social media as top options.

2.    Survey Immediately.  Why put it off until after the event? Event surveys using NAC’s   trademarked R.A.R.E. technology guarantees improved response rates.  Start getting responses right then and there - don't wait until people have gone home. Administer your event surveys while you have a captive audience!

3.    Up Your Social Media Game.  Share your survey across your social media outlets by posting a link or email for more information.

4.    Be Strong, Simple, and Consistent.  Strong, simple, and consistent communication is essential.  Use the same language and graphics in the initial email, social media post or follow-up phone script.   Clear communication is key. 

5.    Be Ready For Questions.  Include FAQs to answer any questions that might be a barrier to participants completing your survey. Typical questions revolve around survey confidentiality, use of data, and who should take your survey. Have answers for these!

6.    Gifts! Lots of Gifts.  Regardless of how the survey is conducted, what’s in it for the customer should be obvious. It can be a small trinket, access to data or entry into a larger drawing.  What you offer, be sure it shows appreciation for their participation.

7.     Make It Fun.  Make it fun. In today's digital age you can engage your audience with all sorts of engaging graphics and online competitions.  We call it "gamification."  Turn it all in to one big game.

Britt assures that the survey process should be simple. “Companies need to focus their efforts on what they do best. Few businesses have an internal team that specializes solely in information gathering. That’s where NAC can conveniently augment their team and arm the company with the data needed to get, or stay, in front.”

Click here to read more about R.A.R.E. Events!

R.A.R.E. Events

For any business, understanding who your clients are and what they need from your services is an integral part of the business consumer/customer relationship. For instance if a customer is loyal and buys their vehicles only from your brand, it is great to recognize that loyalty. It is also important to know why the customer continues to come back.

The same applies to your employees. Keeping employees engaged and focused on company goals such as increasing safety or recycling is key in creating a more efficient and productive workplace. Engagement of the team is a proven solution for improving many types of workplace metrics.

NAC provides your business with a way to appreciate these stakeholders, gather useful data, and reward that participation while also providing a method for follow-up and further engagement. New Age Communications’ R.A.R.E. Event methodology presents businesses with a model of standardized and effective incentive programming that is ready for immediate deployment. The program, R.A.R.E.—which stands for Recognition, Automation, Reward and Engagement—emphasizes exciting participants while keeping them engaged for better relationships with a corporation. Further than that, R.A.R.E. puts a specific emphasis on corporate social responsibility.

“Safety is paramount for many companies as it impacts their insurance costs and keeps their employees safe. By implementing a R.A.R.E. workplace solution, companies can incentivize their team members,” says NAC CEO Tawana Bain.

The crux of NAC’s R.A.R.E. event is data collection. Using activities to stimulate engagement and express appreciation, NAC is able to garner valuable data at R.A.R.E. Events. Via a R.A.R.E. Program Module, there is ongoing participant engagement to earn credits which can be used to acquire high-quality items including custom imprinted merchandise. This platform can be deployed for employees, clients, vendors, and other stakeholders. The added benefits of a R.A.R.E. Program Module are stronger buy-in, valuable data for tracking improvements and telling your story, expanded brand awareness, and measurable savings to the bottom line.

New Age Communications in Louisville, Kentucky developed the R.A.R.E. system in 2011. The program has since successfully aided organizations of varying sizes to increase stakeholder engagement and quality within their various initiatives. Some of the components of R.A.R.E. that have proven useful are survey participation; corporate programs and goals such as safety awareness, workplace improvement activities, volunteerism and conference trade show engagement.

When your company contracts NAC to conduct a R.A.R.E. event, you can expect an attractive and engaging display, easy to use data collection using the latest technology (tablets and touchscreens) and quality incentive merchandise. The more frequently your employees or customers engage with the programming, the more incentives they can earn. This helps ensure that you will have quality information available whenever you need it.

Ask us about our R.A.R.E. event for your next stakeholder engagement initiative.  Whether the event needs to be in office, at a tradeshow or at another off-campus event, New Age Communications is ready to put R.A.R.E. into action.

WMBOC: 2015 Diversity Excellence Award

NAC would like to thank One Southern Indiana for not only being trailblazers for Women and Minority Owned Businesses, but also for giving NAC the opportunity to be recognized as a local business that values diversity excellence just across the bridge in with our neighboring State of Indiana.

To be considered for the 2015 Diversity Excellence Award is a great honor and a privilege. “Diversity Champions award nominees are businesses committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce and/or supplier base. These champions recognize the value of diversity in every aspect of the workplace as well as including diversity in their products, services and supply chain.”  NAC understands the importance of reaching back while reaching up, and appreciates 1Si for recognizing our efforts in this area.  Many thanks to all who came out to this year’s Women and Minority Owned Business Conference and for all your support.

ORVBDP Inaugural Class

Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council & Procter & Gamble Partnered to Graduate the Inaugural  Class of the Ohio River Valley Business Development Program (ORVBDP)

CINCINNATI, OH, May 15, 2015 – Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council (ORV~WBC) partnered with Procter & Gamble’s Corporate Supplier Diversity and Women’s Purchases Network to launch a new business development program for second stage woman-owned businesses. P&G spends more than $2 billion annually with diverse suppliers and is proactively partnering with ORV~WBC to create lasting economic impact through the growth of regional WBEs. “Supplier Diversity creates value in our business and our community, and ORVBDP is an innovative way we can leverage our unique skills to empower regional women-owned businesses to grow and thrive,” says Andrew Butler, P&G Corporate Supplier Diversity Manager.

The Ohio River Valley Business Development Program (ORVBDP) merges an existing business curriculum with training and coaching from P&G business leaders to provide an enriching program to a small group of women entrepreneurs. Mentor relationships were also established with female entrepreneurs from across the country that are also certified with the national WBENC organization. “The greatest challenge for business owners is stepping out of the day-to day business to truly embrace the role of planning and strategically thinking about how to grow their business,” says Sheila N. Mixon, ORV~WBC Interim Executive Director. “ORVBDP commits business owners to weekly engagement in a group-oriented environment where they can learn from not only the facilitators and guest speakers, but from each other, while building a strong support system and solid business strategies.”

The inaugural class of ORVBDP began in January with eight (8) WBENC certified women businesses (WBEs) participating from across the region. This 12 week program culminated with a graduation at ORV~WBC’s Regional Catch the Wave Conference last month, where John Pepper, former P&G Chairman of the Board and CEO, provided remarks in support of the graduates, P&G business leaders, and ORVBDP.

Congratulations to the 2015 ORVBDP Inaugural class:

  • Erin Arnold, NextStep Networking (Mentor: Julie Auslander, cSubs)
  • Tawana Bain, New Age Communications (Mentor: Andrea Schrager, Consumer Centers)
  • Brenda Beyersdoerfer, Quest Associates of Ohio (Mentor: Sandra James, Private Eyes)
  • Traci Curry, Curry Electric (Mentor: Peggy DelFabbro, M. Davis Construction)
  • Julie Holderbach, Promotions, Etc. (Mentor: Joan LaGrasse, Imagen)
  • Cathy Lindemann, Evolution creative solutions (Mentor: Karen Tate, The Griffin Tate Group)
  • Franceene McKinney, IOS Consultants (Mentor: Patti Massey, MYCA:Group)
  • Beth Radford, Allied Shipping & Packaging Supplies (Mentor: Tara Abraham, Accel Inc.)

ORV~WBC will begin the application process this summer for the next ORVBDP class beginning fall of this year. For more information, visit www.orvwbc.org or send an email to lyoung@orvwbc.org.

About ORV~WBC

Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council (ORV~WBC) is operated by the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio under the authority of WBENC. The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio. ORV~WBC provides a national, premier WBENC certification to women owned companies in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. Major corporations and government agencies utilize the WBENC organization as a clearinghouse for women suppliers seeking procurement opportunities. Currently, over 800 women owned companies are certified through our region.

Boutique Call Centers

The rise of call centers made receiving and managing large volumes of calls from existing and potential customers more manageable. The problem that many call centers still  face  however,  is ensuring a quality customer experience with each call transaction. New Age Communications (NAC) facilitates both the volume and quality needs, by providing immediate solutions that are service-based and customizable. We offer flexibility, reduced hold times and a U.S.-based presence, which creates an overall improved customer experience.

We view our unique approach to implementing call centers as a “Boutique” service. While the technology used to operate a call center may not always vary from customer to customer,  processes will. Our goal is to ensure the caller's first interaction through the call center is so closely matched to the client’s customer care practices that they never know they’ve reached a call center. Essentially, NAC's call center becomes an extension of the client's day-to-day operations, ensuring seamless transactions for all calls. 

NAC is often requested to design custom call-handling mechanisms that mirror a client’s internal business culture yet allows it to facilitate more complex matters than a traditional call center. For one of NAC’s healthcare clients, ensuring emergent healthcare calls are sent to the appropriate physician or nurse is an absolute necessity for quality patient care. NAC takes this transaction an extra step to monitor the response time and ensure it is addressed within the period allotted by the primary client. Should a request remain unanswered, NAC works directly to expedite the matter until it is completed.

Call Center Communications Manager, Christy Fowler, says of NAC’s services, “Instead of having one large call center that serves many clients, we offer teams that are dedicated to each client, which fosters a more intimate work rapport. This is beneficial to our clients because it provides teams that can grow with them and an improved knowledge base for their clientele."

The service possibilities are growing. As opportunities increase, NAC is able to expand—meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse customer base. CEO Tawana Bain reflects upon the direction she sees for NAC’s boutique call center services, “I see NAC as a strategic partner in niche areas such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Our desire is to provide specialized skills and "big data" to these industries. Thus eliminating their need to seek out skilled personnel with unique  qualifications. They can acquire the desired skills, call center support and industry data with just one call. The ultimate goal is to become a global niche call center provider.” 

Fowler agrees. “The medical communication field is where NAC’s expertise currently lies. Our main challenge will be staying competitive. The same quality that attracts customers to us— a U.S. based Call Center workforcewill be rigorous to maintain while providing global services will be no easy feat."

An innovation and approach that serves a company like NAC well with this challenge is the ability for many of the call center representatives to work remotely. Not having to pay for vast office space, the increased availability of fast internet, mobile phone services, and the virtual elimination of long distance calling fees are only a few of the benefits we hope will aid us in our approach. “The future of communications is not tied to a desk,” says Bain. 

According to Fowler, the remote Call Center model is not affected by the issues of weather, power, or Internet outages in the same way that a brick and mortar call center would be—making down time rare. NAC can provide 24/7 customer care. Should a major outage occur in one area, operators in another area could continue support of the client’s calls. 

Having a non-traditional work environment increases the reach that NAC has with professionals in many disciplines, across nations, and with varying competencies thereby increasing the richness of the service. “NAC has already mastered the remote work force and I definitely see more call centers following this path.  Remote work forces that are as productive as those working in an office will help vendors cut costs and provide greater savings to their clients,” says Fowler. Our call center team members like it too!

Companies seeking the services of NAC should rest assured they will receive a high quality of service. Bain shares, “Some call center services just throw agents in a room to take calls without defined processes, adequate training, thorough logistics, or administrative finesse. People come to us when they feel their call handling needs improved process flow or more personalized customer service. At NAC, we treat our clients like part of our team and our client’s customers like our own.”

Having successfully served multiple industries—software, healthcare and insurance—Bain is confident in her team and wants her clients to feel the same way. 

Call center support was the first service in NAC's portfolio suite. Due to customer demand for research and various other marketing support functions, the call center business model evolved and overtime NAC became a full service marketing support services firm, however our call center services will always be our sweet spot. 

Customers will be in good hands. We do what we say and say what we mean. When NAC chooses to take on a client or project it is because we know we can manage it and provide excellence in service.

EMPLOYEE HEALTH & WELLNESS WEEK

This week, NAC IMPRINT is focusing on your brand and your employees.

"Healthier employees build healthier relationships in all areas of life including their customers."

Our philosophy is three-fold:

1) Employee Engagement - Gifts, gestures of appreciation, and investments into your employees health and wellness shapes the culture of your business.

2) Brand Ambassadors - Your office culture is your brand. Your employees are the loudest voices for your business, so what you put in, is what you'll put out.

3) Influential Customer Experiences - The culture that you shape for your employees will overflow into your customer experiences.

So why not start now. For a limited time, NAC has hand-selected some imprint products that not only puts your business everywhere, it is sure to create a healthy and fun atmosphere for your employees. During this week there is NO SET-UP COST! Save Money and Shop Now! (Expires 5/5/15).  Additionally we will be hosting games and ideas for your company to earn 10% of your purchases.

THIS WEEK'S GAME CHALLENGE: DIG FOR BURIED TREASURE

RULES: Set up a treasure hunt in the office with clues to guide your team along the way. Break your staff members into teams - X marks the spot! ORDER YOUR WINNER PRIZES NOW! 

BONUS: Post your gaming experience on our Facebook, pictures, videos and we will give you 10% off of your order. Its like getting paid to have fun! LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

SMARTBANDS
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Teamspotlight: Kha Do (Communications & Media Specialist)

Having a Team to support the needs of a growing business is integral to its success. New Age Communications facilitates businesses with services that range from market research, strategic planning, technology & social media care, event & administrative support, to branding and imprinting. Partnering with a company throughout a range of activities allows seamless transitions and the ability to build a strong, consistent brand. What makes NAC great is the ability to capture the skills needed to make possibilities a reality. Our strength is our Team. Over the next few months, we’d like to take some time to introduce the people who keep our Team moving.

 

NACKha

One of our newest members, Kha Do, a local photographer and our own Communications and Media Specialist, is the liaison between client needs and the team. He is your concierge to all of the inter-working of NAC with his advance technical and creative knowledge. He also assists with the creative media produced by NAC. In our effort to help you get to know us, we asked Do a few questions about his professional aspirations and personal life.

 

 

 

NAC Blog: What are your hobbies?

Do: When I'm with my wife and dog I enjoy traveling and photographing our adventures. I also enjoy writing music, cooking, and styling creative portrait shoots for weddings and engagements.

NAC Blog:  What are your goals at NAC?

Do: One of the challenges I have accepted is to build NAC's Visual and Audio production. We’d like to offer added visual and audio services to clients such as videos and commercial photography in the near future. Another goal for me is to strengthen our internal structures of communication. The multi-faceted services that NAC offers can really challenge our team as project due dates collide. I can bring fresh eyes into the process and improve process flows. Finally, my goal would be to roll out the NAC re-brand process by May. NAC has been working hard to polish its image and I want everyone to see the value of NAC with utmost clarity, so I've been helping with the development of the new website and many of the internal marketing strategies.

NAC Blog: How does NAC stand out from competitors?

Do: NAC is the first of its kind that I have seen. NAC is an assembly of entrepreneurs, artists, researchers, communicators, and altruists. A firm of this diversity means it is constantly growing and changing. NAC doesn't just offer one genre of services; it is a host for innovation and opportunities. In other words, NAC is not just a Jazz radio station; it's a concert hall that hosts a variety of artists and genres of music. So as a company partners with NAC and grows, so do we. For instance, a company may need a rebranding campaign. What makes NAC stand out is that we don't just offer that business a new look externally; we have the tools and resources to conduct market research which can transform operations internally and even assist in the roll out. When that same company expands and needs further support, NAC can easily facilitate the expansion so its business doesn't miss a beat.

NAC Blog: What do you see in the future of the communications/marketing field?

Do: I think smaller, diverse businesses like NAC will one day be no longer limited to a local market, but a global market. Designers and artists will find a huge opportunity for employment, as communications and marketing is not just a field for those with communications and business degrees any longer. I also think the ability to tell good stories will dominate the industry.

It is our hope that meeting the Team will give you a better understanding—not only of our services—but the type of creativity, passion and quality that we bring to your business. If your business has event needs or is looking for an injection of creative new energy, Connect Forward—Connect with NAC.