Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

Best Shipping Confirmation – I should do this on JibberJobber

Friday, November 8th, 2013

When you interact with someone, do they feel special?  Check out this AWESOME shipping confirmation from Woodworkers Source. I’m going to include the text here in case the original blog post goes down:

“I have some great news, Joe.

Our team of 107 hard working (and exceptionally good looking) employees has – with great care and attention – selected, packaged and shipped your order #XX629 on this beautiful day.

I wish you could have been here to see all the action. When I handed the order to Robert, our master packager, he looked at it, smiled, and slid a pair of Italian leather gloves onto his hands.  As he selected your order, he placed it all on a satin-lined chariot to move it to the packaging center.  And there’s more . . .

Everyone gathered around, held a candle, and watched with hushed awe as he wrapped the entire order in the finest gold-laced cardboard that money can buy – you could have heard a pin drop.

In the end, the guys were so thrilled that they wanted to throw a party just for your order.  We’re talking about a big fiesta with live music and good food. All the action stumped the UPS driver when he showed up.  He thought he was going to pick up the packages like normal, but instead we picked *him* up carried him down the street on our shoulders while the band played.  You can imagine what happened next, right?  Our neighbors came outside to see what the fuss was all about, and when they saw your beautiful order they all waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, and patted Robert on the back.

Someone must have called the local TV stations because the next thing I knew I had six interviews to handle for reporters who asked, “What does Joe Smith intend to make?”  But don’t worry, your secret’s safe.  I told them, “I don’t know.  Maybe world peace?”  Man!  If only woodworking could do that!

Anyway, the guys hope to see pictures of what you make so we can have another party (I know what you’re thinking . . .).  I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at Woodworkers Source.  We enjoyed every minute of it, and we’ve named you “Customer of the Year.”  That gets you a pretty good parking spot right out front if you ever come see us.  I gotta tell you, though, we’re pretty exhausted.  And we can’t wait for you to come back to Woodworkers Source.”

I think I can adapt this for my JibberJobber upgrades, and I’m thinking a job seeker could adapt it for people he communicates with (within reason).

Twitter is worth a lot of money, but…

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

I’ve wondered for years why Twitter could not stop all the spam and crap.  This is a DM I got in my email today:

I don’t understand how they continue to be relevant if they continue to allow massive amounts of spam to go out as direct messages (DMs).  I get too many of these every single day.

(that isn’t their only problem, but it’s one that they should be able to fix RIGHT AWAY (like, years ago))

Email is DEAD. Unless you are serious about communicating.

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

I’ve heard the Email is Dead argument a bit from young people.

They say that email is for old folks… GenX and beyond.  My heavens, they don’t want to be bothered with having to check their email.

Why can’t people get on the texting bandwagon?  Life would be so much better and more efficient, right?  LOL (if you are old, that is text language for laughing out loud, which means it’s funny)

I don’t think email is going to die anytime soon.  I think those young kids who think email is for the birds will get on email when they get a real job.

When their boss sends them an email (and not a text), guess what?  They’ll check email.

It will become important to them.

When a prospect or customer communicates with them via email, guess what will all the sudden become important, and not-dead-anytime-soon?

Yup.  Email.

For an excellent post on this, check out what Dave Girouard has to say: In Defense of Email

Tesla vs NYT: Absolutely fascinating

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

I have been blogging for almost seven years. I remember when journalist (real journalists) hated on bloggers.  Bloggers were naive, they didn’t fact-check, they were sloppy, they had typos, the were amateurs, etc.

Bloggers would never amount to anything compared to a real journalist.

As my business grew I tried to get any notice from journalists so they could write about the amazing JibberJobber.  Really, I think JibberJobber revolutionized the job search.  I think JibberJobber changed the landscape and empowered job seekers in a way that was never done before. I think JibberJobber responded to the need of a professional transitioning regularly (ever few years), which was a new thing.

No journalist would touch it.  Well, a few touched it. I was delighted to get some air time on the NBC news in NYC.  That was awesome.  Oh yeah, US News and World report did a full page article on me, which was probably triggered from my LinkedIn book. Here and there someone picked up something, but in general no one would touch it.

I learned that journalists:

1. Care about sensational stuff, which is what sells papers,

2. Play to PR professionals. I didn’t have a 10k/month PR team behind me making those calls and tapping into their networks, which meant no journalist would spend time on me.

This week there has been a dramatic soap opera playing out where a journalist from the New York Times test drove a Tesla car, and then slaughtered the experience in the newspaper.

I didn’t pay any attention to it.  My only thought on briefly hearing about it was “maybe electric isn’t quite ready yet?  I know Elon is hustling to fix stuff… ”

No big deal.

Then, I saw a post on LinkedIn about how Tesla, with its blog, went head-to-head with the NYT.  This would have been unheard of seven years ago.

But Tesla SLAUGHTERED the credibility of the reporter, and the NYT (journalistic integrity?  Whatever).

How did they do it?

  1. They had a platform.  They had a blog where they could write posts.  And they used this platform, with a built-in audience to respond to the horrible journalism of NYT. Do you have a platform?
  2. They stayed calm.  If you read their response you know they were disappointed, and mad, but this was not an emotional gloves-off name-calling unprofessional post.  They took the higher road and kept the tone reasonable.  Otherwise people would have thought they were too emotional, trying to hide stuff, etc.
  3. They used data. I think it’s brilliant how they could take every data point the journalist used and say “well actually, according to the data here’s what really happened.”  And they backed it up with charts/images.  Comparing the claims to the hard data (who knows if it was real data, but it sure looks good!).

It’s so good to see bloggers really stand up to what I call yellow journalism, which is my term to say “You really trust media?  Are you serious? Do you think for yourself?  The media has an AGENDA, folks, and they are bought!”

Here’s my question to you: if the NYT or whoever were to write about YOU or your company, do you have a platform where you can respond?  A blog, with a history and maybe even some readers, is a great platform.

Are you ready for that day?

 

Why Twitter is failing, and what their demise would be

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

This is one of my biggest frustrations with Twitter (the frustrations have mounted over the last 18 months):

Have you ever seen a DM (direct message) in your email inbox with that exact message?

I get them regularly… probably once or twice a week for over a year.

Clicking on this link will infest my account with gremlins and probably spam all of my followers.

It’s a great virus/scam.  People are always like “oh my gosh… a picture of me? And it is an LOL, so it is either flatter, cool or embarrassing!  I’m so cool/vain I better click on it. ROFL!”

These very few words totally play into human nature.

I do not understand how Twitter continues to let this type of crap perpetuate their social network.

Why isn’t some brainiac at Twitter saying “Oh, we should filter messages that say “Did you see this pic of you? lol” and then have a bit.ly link.

HOW HARD IS THAT?

Why have they not done it?

There are third party apps/services that you can subscribe to to keep the spam down, but in my opinion this is Twitter’s responsibility and obligation.  They MUST work to keep this crap out of their system, and from what I’ve seen they don’t care.

Every single time I get another spam message from Twitter I think it’s another nail in their coffin.

I am dumbfounded.

Skype Skrewup

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Something monumental happens tomorrow.

Seriously, monumental.

Somehow my PC’s clock got changed to 10/31/2012 a couple of months ago.  I didn’t catch it for a while, and all of my calls and chats in skype were logged as sometime in October, through October 31, 2012 (today!!).

So, when I was looking for chats, calls, voice mails, etc. it was hard and frustrating.  I couldn’t go by date… it was seemingly all jumbled up.

But tomorrow… oh blessed tomorrow… my skype life will go back to normal.

Yeah!

Two Important FOLLOWS for your business

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

This morning my wife mentioned to things in our morning prayer that I thought were pretty profound. She was praying for JibberJobber and she prayed that I could follow through with certain things, and that I could follow up on certain things.  I thought it was really quite insightful on what makes a company successful.

Follow-through:  More than once she has been asked by a spouse of a would-be entrepreneur how she gets me to follow through with things (projects, a book, sales, etc.).  I think her reply is that she doesn’t get me to… that I just do it.

If you don’t follow through on your stuff, and the right stuff, you will not have a business.

Follow-up: This is one of the most important parts of your business.  I know that not following-up is leaving money on the table.  Nurturing relationships, asking for deals, closing loops, and staying in touch more than once every three years is critical.  You can continually prospect new people, but the relationships you have right now might simply be waiting for you to follow up with them.

Thank you, Kaisie, for reminding me of two critical follows!

Like a good neighbor: When your insurance company kicks you in the teeth

Friday, August 17th, 2012

This post is long overdue.  It’s been brewing for over a year (since around March or April of last year).  I haven’t written it yet for various reasons, but unfortunately I just read an article on the news that brought back all the bad feelings.

That means I’m mad right now, and I shouldn’t write when I’m mad, but I’m going to anyway.

Check out this nasty article/story about Progressive insurance: Progressive insurance on defense after court case.

In a nutshell, a lady died, Progressive was supposed to pay the family because of an insurance policy, but they went to court to try and save $75,000 by blaming the lady who died.  In court it was decided that it was not her fault, even though Progressive tried hard to make it seem that way.  Luckily blog posts have a way of getting out into the public the way that media should. I think this is the link to the blog post.

Disgusting.  

It reminds me of The Incredibles, when Mr. Incredible worked at an insurance company and got fired for doing what was right, and within the contract.  I heard from someone who worked in insurance that standard policy was to reject claims twice, for no reason at all, before they would do anything with them.

Disgusting.

Last Spring our good neighbor insurance company sent us a nasty letter saying that on July 1 our auto coverage would be discontinued. I seriously thought it was a mistake.

After a few phone calls I learned it was NOT a mistake.  There were two distinct reasons we were getting let go. According to them, either of the two was cause to be let go.

The first and main reason they said we were getting let go was because we had too many claims.  We had six claims in about a year (I’m not positive on the timeframe).

The 5th (I think) and most significant turned out to be a $30,000 accident (more on that later). The rest?

Two calls for a locksmith. I’m guessing this cost less than $100.

One windshield replacement.

NOTE: When we called our agent’s office to ask about these, they bent over backwards to encourage us to get a new windshield, and THEY called the locksmith for us.

We had NO idea there was a tally to keep track of the “incidents.”  They said we had six incidents in a way that made it sound that a locksmith call carried the same weight as the $30k accident.

Another of the six was a “fender bender” at a credit union parking lot.  Unfortunately the other lady involved submitted a claim for a dent, and was paid for it.  The only thing was that my wife got pictures, which we emailed to our agent, and there was NOTHING to repair.  I think she took her car in, got claims for OTHER dents, and submitted it.

Guess who got stuck holding the bag?  Our insurance company dinged us, even though we had pictures to prove it was a fradulent claim.  They could care less.

So, that was their big claim: we had too many claims in too short a period.  3 were meaningless and very cheap.  One was fradulent (by the other party).

When I pressed this issue with my agent, who was super awesome at selling insurance (but turned out to suck when representing us to his company), his next big argument was the big $30k accident.

It was clearly a business decision, he said, and how could we expect to pay in just a little bit but get $30k of value from them?

EXCUSE ME????

My understanding is that is how insurance works. You pay money, and if you need to file a claim, they pay out what is right, and according to the policy.

You know those minimums and maximums they say they’ll pay?  That’s what I expected them to pay…

Well, they did pay the $30k (or whatever they paid)… and then sent us the nasty letter breaking up with us.

My wife calls them the “paper plate insurance company” because once you use them you have to throw them away.

How very disgusting the insurance industry can be.

Even though we had about 16 years of NO claims… a very clean record…

I’d be hard pressed to go back to that good neighbor… I’m sorry for recommending people to them, and I’ll never recommend them again.

101 Alternatives to a Real Job, The Guinea Pig (me)

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Did you know I’m writing a book titled 101 Alternatives to a Real Job?  One of the alternatives seems really easy and fun, and has potential to make good money.  And, I can involve my kids!

Yesterday I went on a 1.5 mile walk and all but one house needed this service.  It was a nice day (even though today I’m looking at snow outside!!), and I was convinced I was ready to try this out.  Who knows, maybe I’ll try it out as long as it’s nice – through October.

This morning I bought a kit to start a business spraying numbers on curbs.

I didn’t check with the city yet… but I’m pretty sure it will be okay.  I might have to get a license to solicit door-to-door.  I also have no idea how the competition is… maybe this is a saturated market. I’ll never find out, though, until I get out and knock on doors.  I’m sure I’ll recoup my $200 investment (I haven’t bought the paint yet, which should be about $50).

The kit I bought (the biggest: Master Kit) from Express Your Address. It includes a ton of stuff (except the paint):

I got a 10% discount because of a current special they have, plus free shipping (since it was over $50):

From what I read, I should be able to make that up in a day, easily.

Now, the fun part. I’ve recruited my two oldest kids (11 and 14), and I’m sure the 8 year old will beg to go with us… My goal is to see if, together, we can have a $500/day.  They say we should be able to clear $300.  I’m not sure how many hours that is.

This weekend I’ll try and pick up the paint (I’ve gotten instructions on which paint to get, which colors, and the estimated price).  And then we’ll start knocking on doors.

Cool, huh?

 

Want to write a book? Kill your darlings :)

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

I just saw a link to a Harvard Business Review article by Jerry Weissman titled In Presentations, Kill Your Darlings.

I’ve talked a lot about being “concise,” but I’m not sure people know what that means.

So, here’s another way of saying it: GIVE THE SAME MESSAGE, BUT MAKE IT SHORTER.

In the spirit of keeping short, I’ll end with this: go read the post.  This applies to anyone who communicates (written, oral, body language, etc. :p).