Soft skills are trending. A number of recent studies disclose that employees with strong communication skills, can work collaboratively in teams, and take initiative in problem solving are in high demand.
Soft skills have always been important, but not always valued within an organization. So what’s changed? Read More→
They will write blogs, not term papers
The words “term paper” strike fear into the hearts of students, followed closely by “essay.” I remember those dark days of burning the candle to finish a term paper in college. It usually wasn’t fun if you had been assigned a specific topic.
I was lucky that my English professor, Dr. Edward Chalfant, didn’t require term papers, but simply asked us to write what we felt about an American novel or a Shakespearean play.
He was ahead of his time and foretold the coming of the blog, an informal style of writing that can enable a more personal connection between students and professors and between companies and customers in the business world.
Blogging for Grades
The New York Times weighed in on this topic recently, quoting educators who advocate trashing the old-fashioned term paper and those who still preach that students need the discipline of the format: make a point, defend it, repeat it. Read More→
Richard J. Mast
A few weeks ago I was in Bloomingdale’s when a friendly young store employee approached me to ask if he could help. I wasn’t obviously shopping at the moment so I asked him who he was and learned he was Bloomingdale’s Director of Customer Loyalty, a new position in New York. This led to the following personal interview about the store’s robust customer loyalty program with Richard J. Mast, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Bloomingdale’s 59th Street in Manhattan. Mr. Mast discusses how understanding and responding to customer needs engenders customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Why did Bloomingdale’s create the Director of Customer Loyalty position? Is it part of a corporate branding program?
If you’re in the retail business you know that satisfied customers will continue to shop with you. So it’s our responsibility to enhance the customer experience. We’ve had employees assigned full-time to customer loyalty for several years. There are four Managers of Customer Loyalty in the Manhattan store but we decided to strengthen the structure by appointing a Director of Customer Loyalty with the other MCL’s reporting to him.
What are the responsibilities of this position and who does the Director report to?
The role of the Director of Customer Loyalty is to interface with the senior executives in charge of ready-to-wear, Men’s Young World, the Home Store, Fine Jewelry and other departments. They tell the Director what they need and what customers want, and then these needs are translated to the MCLs assigned to these departments who then implement the actions to be taken. Read More→