On May 23, FCS Professionals and guests gathered at Land O’Lakes in Arden Hills for an evening of fabulous food, a dynamic speaker, awards and recognition!
After a delicious dinner (including some Land O’Lakes products!) we were treated to a presentation by our own member (and President-Elect) Vicky Cherne. Vicky is currently the Manager of Consumer Affairs and Customer Concerns at Land O’Lakes. Her department plays two roles–one to be the voice of the brand to the consumer and second to be the voice of the consumer back to the business. At one point in time it was merely thought of as the “complaint department” customer care is now reached beyond handling consumer gripes. The platform for communication has changed also from being primarily phone contacts to now encompassing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Vicky shared how consumer ratings effect customers perceptions of a product. A consumer review is trusted 12 times more than a manufacturer’s description and 92% of people will look at product reviews before making a purchase. Consumers are wary of too many 5 star reviews as it is perceived as “fake” or “paid to give high marks.”
Vicky also talked about the new world of self-service and artificial intelligence in the form of chat bots and voice assistance. These tools can be very helpful to companies but can be frustrating for consumers to interact with. The third trend discussed was consumers need for personalization. In a contact center, that might mean a customer’s contact info popping up on their screen to better assist. In marketing that might be personalized emails, personalized selections or suggestions based on past consumer behavior. These can be well received by customers but as we discussed, can also give pause to consumers feeling like companies know too much personal information (big brother is watching!).
After Vicky’s presentation the annual meeting and awards portion of the evening began. Guests were welcomed (Catherine Fox, Dorothy Rademacher, Royalee Rhodes, Sharon Smith, Karoline Stoerzinger, Sydney Wyffells and Karen Wyffels ) and introduced as well as recognition of two new members Sierra Kaptain and Molly Lass. The 2018-19 officers each presented a brief report on their respective areas. The full reports were provided in the annual report.
Next it was time for awards. Karen Smith, Nominations Chair presided over the awards ceremony.
FCS Professional of the Year—Susan Vance
Volunteer of the Year– Vicky Cherne
Spirit Award– Marge Ryerson
Behind-the-Scenes Star– Alyssa Ambrosius
Emerging Leader Award: Lisa Krause
Award winners were presented with a certificate and a beautiful plant. The meeting closed with a reminder to sign up for the final 2018-19 program of the year–a Nordic cooking class limited to 25 participants!