Service Suffers From Technology
Automated telephone systems, live online chat and other technological advances
in customer service have only succeeded in angering U.S. consumers, according
to a new study conducted by Accenture, a management consulting company based
in Manhattan. Sixty percent of the 1,000 respondents to a recent online poll
said new customer service technologies have only made it worse to deal with vendors.
In-person service was the most preferred method of customer service while automated
phone services were the least satisfying.
Nearly half (46%) of respondents said poor customer service has steered them
away from a business this year. Among the most common complaints: being put on
pitched extra products and having to
repeat information to the disembodied
computer voice at the end of the line
or annoying agents.
“Customers are loyal if you treat
them right,” notes John Graham,
owner of Graham Printing (asi/212472).
Graham won’t take orders over the
Internet because “the personal
touch is what it’s all about.”
Gifts: Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is in
this year as the holiday
corporate gift season
approaches. This once
overlooked sibling of
milk chocolate is among
a number of old favorite
gifts that are getting a new look. The reason why dark chocolate has become such
a tantalizing option for gift givers of late is the fact that it has been found
to possess flavanols. These anti-oxidants can help reduce the risk of blood clots
and help improve blood flow. Candy makers have jumped all over this good-for-you
finding as one third of new chocolate candy launches this year were dark chocolate,
according to Datamonitor’s Productscan Online. This was double the number
of introductions in 2002. Overall sales for dark chocolate were up 40% through
mid-August on the heels of a 29% increase last year.
trends have transferred over
to the ad specialties realm. “We’ve
seen a nice portion of people
ordering dark,” notes
David Miller, president of
Chocolate Inn (asi/44900). “People
are interested in the health
Arrasmith Promotions LLC (asi/124176) has signed a licensing agreement
to create, market and sell promotional merchandise for Reality Racing – The
Rookie Challenge. The new show will follow aspiring amateur racers as they compete
for an actual racing contract with a NASCAR-sanctioned racing team. Arrasmith
will supply the show’s Web site and retail with logoed merchandise that
includes men’s and women’s apparel and assorted promotional products.
always an unknown
when you do
the fact is
you are combining
be a huge market.
signed up to
on the show.
show will be
and it could
be a real boost
to our company.”
Magnet LLC (asi/68520) is creating a separate listing for its Innovations
line and will now do business as Innovations by Magnet LLC (asi/62663).
Magnet created Innovations to showcase the latest in magnetic home and office
peripherals with a focus on debut designs and trend-sensitive products. The line
proved so popular that it expanded to include non-magnetic products and spawned
a separate, dedicated catalog.
Creates Transparent Bag Line
At least one promotional products distributor is trying to make the trek through
airport security a little easier for passengers. ePromos Direct LLC (asi/188513)
in New York City has created a new line of transparent backpacks and tote bags
in response to the foiled terrorist plot last month on commercial airplanes destined
from Britain to the United States.
director of merchandise marketing
for ePromos. “These
products make it easier for security
monitors to inspect carry-on
which has been part of the promotional
products industry since 1998,
hopes security monitors will
be able to move passengers along
more quickly with the transparent
bags if there are no liquids
inside. Liquids were banned from
commercial carry-on luggage in
the U.S. shortly after August
10. Canada has taken
similar measures in its commercial
Apparel Week – Online
This week, Counselor is hosting two Webcasts. The first, titled “Expand
Your Business Through Uniform Sales,” happened today. Click
here to view
this event, which included a lively panel discussion and audience Q&A on how distributors can increase their revenue by breaking
into the uniforms market. This event also announced the launch of ASI’s
newest magazine, Uniforms. To subscribe to this exciting new magazine,
go to www.uniformsmag.com.
Thursday, Counselor will
be presenting a Webcast
For Selling Branded Apparel.” You
can go to asicentral.webex.com to register.
Products Inc. (asi/232668)
has relocated its
offices a few blocks
away to: 100 Executive
Groce was named
supplier rep of
the year by the
Roni Wright, president
of The Book Company
was named the recipient
of the SAAGNY Linda
On The Move
Crystal D (asi/47759) has hired Laura Jendersee
as marketing manager; Adam Oliver as Web master; Heidi College-Bohn as marketing
assistant; Toua Yang to its technical department; Katie Connor as new purchasing
coordinator; Joe Stupak, graphic product artist; and promoted Jennifer Willard
to art manager.
has named Steve
Dorrity the sales
counselor to sales
has hired Kate
Daly as account
manager in KS,
MI, NE, and Southern
Zimmer as account
manager in TX and
AK; and Denise
Brune will now
IL, and WI.
has hired Megan
Morse as new accounts
Keylights with New Looks & Great Pricesasi/45450 - These
Keyholders Light the Way.View Special...
Fleece Blankets from $2.45 and Pillows from
$1.95asi/92398 - Lowest
Price in the Industry - Fleece
Blankets and Soft Bead pillows
as low as $1.95!View Special...
Ultimate Temporary Display Available Now!!asi/63340 - Are
you looking for the temporary
sigh to display and advertise
your event or products? Our
inflatable display billboard
is easily to set-up, exchange
the banners and relocate. Can
be used on the ground or a
rooftop. View Special...
Customize Your Promotional Bottled Water with
'Bling!' from PLWC!asi/79349 - Custom
Labeled Bottled Water is
Perfect for all Your Promotions!
Celebrating, having a fundraiser
or just gathering for a corporate
event-put your message in
their hands with our refreshing
bottled water.View Special...
7-inch Digital Media Frame - Ultimate Executive
Gifts from CorporateKey!asi/63053 - Get
the Ultimate Executive Gift
- a 7 inch Digital Media
Frame. Display photos, run
slideshows, play music-even
video files, through this
beautiful desktop frame!
Go to www.corporatekey.com
to learn more about this
seasons perfect technology
Back Due to Popular Demand - Press-Up Booklightasi/49685 - For
our complete line, see ESP
Online ASI 49685View Special...
Kolder's best now available in 40 colors of
Neoprene with low minimumsasi/65535 - Take
your Beverage Insulator sales
to the next level with Kolder
quality products.View Special...
Silicone bands with adjustable laser engraved
metal closures, next column
pricing, Product By Design,
Inc. asi/79690 - Laser
engraving and adjustable
length for silicone bands
by the band experts at Product
By Design.View Special...
Sell Cross Creek and we'll send you to Hawaii!asi/84257 - Purchase
Cross Creek apparel from Broder
and you will be entered to
win a trip to Hawaii, a $5000
Cartier watch, or a $2500 American
Express gift cards! Outfit
your corporate customers in
Cross Creek's new product offerings
EQP Offer On All Writing Instrumentsasi/67675 - EQP
Through October 31, 2006 On
Breast Cancer Awareness Products
and ALL Writing Instruments!
Highlighters, Permanent Markers,
Pens, Dry Erase Markers, Mechanical
Pencils and More!!!! All the
BEST Writing Instruments from
Great Holiday Gift Ideas by Giftronicsasi/56778 - Giftronics
introduces several exciting
holiday gift products including
Technology Gift Sets, MP3 and
MP4 players, Digital Photo
Frames, Snowman and X-Mas Tree
light-up desk ornaments, along
with other great holiday gift
Unique Cell Phone Holder Stress Relieversasi/79525 - We
are committed to the highest
level of customer service,
quality products, and punctual
shipments. We expect our level
of service to exceed your expectations.View Special...
Fundraising Ideas to Show your SPIRIT!asi/88740 - Sports
Promotions and Cheering Accessories
from your 1-STOP SPIRIT SHOP!
When you need SPIRIT, think
Spirit Hand Line. View Special...
Fold Up Bucket - The New Idea Product for Outdoor
Use!asi/68248 - Fold
up bucket. Ideal item for
promotion! View Special...
Caps as low as 77 cents - Lead time 3 weeks
and up!asi/92398 - High
Value at a Great Price -
Guaranteed! View Special...
TAPE MEASURES & TOOLS by Graphik...Hot Sale!asi/58040 - Is
your current supplier's service
lacking? Try Graphik's legendary
customer service. Always Responsive,
Friendly and Knowledgeable!
Rush service is FREE. Visit
www.graphikpromo.com to see
88 NEW PRODUCTS and many special
features. View Special...
Custom Premium Playing Cards!asi/36543 - Visit
us on the web for our full
product line @ www.apollocards.com. View Special...
SuperX USB Flash Drive! Top Sellers! LIFETIME
Warranty!asi/90244 - Free
Virtual Sample! No Minimum
Quantity! 3-4 Day Turnaround!
Promotion Ends 9-30-06.View Special...
following are upcoming dates and
locations for TheASI
Advantages Road Show:
Sept. 11-15: San Francisco, San
Jose, CA, Culver City, CA, Irvine,
CA and San Diego
Sept. 25-29: Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Long Island, NY, and Boston
Oct. 9-13: Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City
If you'd like us to send Counselor
PromoGram FREE to anyone else at
your company (or to your off-site sales
reps), just send us a list of email addresses
to CounselorPromoGram@asicentral.com and
we'll take care of the rest.
4800 Street Road,
Trevose, PA 19053