Segment Director, Customer Engagement
At Hallmark Business Connections we talk a lot about employee engagement. But it’s not just something we advocate for our clients—we’ve ingrained it into our culture as well. When you meet Rhonda Basler, the Director of Customer Engagement, you’ll find she exemplifies employee engagement in every way. In no less than a minute, you’ll pick up on her enthusiasm for business, for Hallmark, and for the work she “gets to do” every day.
Customer engagement was the natural next step in Rhonda’s career. She started in business development doing data-driven marketing for major corporations as well as small companies learning how even the little guys could make a splash and get great results. She now uses that experience and expertise to work with more than half of the Fortune 500 companies to engage customers and create long-term strategies that promote not just brand loyalty but brand advocacy.
An avid business trend watcher and strategic thinker, Rhonda’s customer advocacy expertise stems from more than 15 years experience in data-driven and brand marketing.
What business accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’ve gotten the opportunity to implement many triggered marketing programs. When we meet with our clients, there’s always a lot of collaboration and energy in the room as we map out touch points where Hallmark can help a company engage their customers. We always uncover occasions that normally get missed. The next step is building a delivery mechanism that interfaces with the company’s existing systems and database. Bringing all that together makes the difference between a missed opportunity and an enhanced ROI.
What was the best advice you ever got about business?
When I was in college, I went through the usual student dilemma of settling on a major. My dad told me to go for a solid discipline, a defined set of business skills. In his mind, he believed that strategy and marketing techniques could be learned through experience, so I went into finance. Dad was right: Understanding the numbers never lets me down. Analytics underlie everything I do every day.
Why are you passionate about your job at Hallmark?
Because I can do so much more than traditional marketers can. With our customer engagement program, a company can reach out, embrace its customers, connect with them as individuals, and make them fans for life. You can’t do that with a marketing message.
What gives you insight into industry trends?
I’m a student of human nature and curious as to how we evolve and play over time. Sure, a device can be a step forward in technology, but how does that device change the way we relate to each other? How does it change the way people interact? How does it change the way companies communicate? Just think about the online world. A customer review can have more impact on buying behavior than a Super Bowl ad.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for businesses today?
Since 2008, the economy has been trying to regain momentum. As businesses work harder, the competition is fierce. Everyone is clamoring for customer attention, and the customer is on overload.
That’s where Hallmark Business Connections can play an integral role. We’ve got the numbers to prove our brand can cut through the clutter. Not with a shout, but with an authentic, genuine touch.
How do you balance out your work life?
I don’t have to. It’s not a juggling act here at Hallmark. I describe it as work/life integration—a healthy ecosystem of family and career. I can come to the office and feel as comfortable in talking about my kids as I do talking about business in a social situation. There is no turn-it-on, turn-it-off in my life.
When I’m at home with my kids, we’re jumping on trampolines or playing freeze tag. When I’m at Hallmark, I’m creating customer engagement solutions, and that’s more fun and exhilarating than going backwards down a rollercoaster. I have a career and personal life that truly make me happy.
Click here to read Rhonda's blog posts