Seth’s right that “you’re right.”

Seth has a great post that speaks to something that happened to me in my recent customer service call referenced in my last post.

Once I finally got someone on the phone again and didn’t cut out, I had to work through various levels of experience to fix the problem. The first person was basically useless except to tell me that their company didn’t have any training with Firefox. Good idea…I don’t think it’ll catch on. It’s not like you’re a technology company or anything.

Then, the second person, who I spent a good hour with, determined that I was having a browser problem. And the way he said it was very condescending. Not, “I think it could be something with your browser,” but much snottier. Plus, he seemed like that’s how he wanted to leave it. Not try to find a way to fix it but to just say it’s a browser problem and try to get me to hang up to solve it myself.

Finally, he passed me up the chain to the next person. That person had me change a couple settings in the router’s control page and everything started working perfectly. Hmmm, must have fixed the browser problem.

I know it’s hard sometimes to not just tell a customer they’re wrong, but that’s a dangerous game to play…for a couple reasons. 1) They may not appreciate being talked to that way and choose to not do business with you again, or 2) they may be right.

Seth’s right that “you’re right.”

Don’t ask for my information if you’re not going to use it!

Why do companies ask for information but not use it?

I was on the phone the other day getting tech support in setting up a new router. The first thing the rep asked (after the requisite phone menu) was my name and phone number, as well as my email.

About 20 minutes into the call, after a few unsuccessful attempts to fix the problem, my phone lost the connection.

Now remember when I said the first thing they asked for was my phone number?

Why didn’t the rep realize the connection was lost and call me right back?

I’ll bet they won’t have any problem using my number when they want to telemarket. If you ask a customer for personal information and then a situation presents itself through which the use of that information will build the relationship with the customer, doesn’t it seem natural to use the info?

Now I have to call back again and start over with a new rep. I understand that the call being dropped was my fault, but it seems that it was a missed opportunity for the company.

Don’t ask for my information if you’re not going to use it!

Good idea…but can I get Stormhoek?

Saw this post today about a new site called WineSide.

I think this is an outstanding idea.

Basically, you can get trial size tubes of various wines to determine what is your favorite. I think it would be stupid for a wine maker not to get involved if they have the opportunity.

Think of it this way. Wine basically comes in one size…for the most part. For some wines, that one size is fine because to buy that bottle isn’t very painful to the shopper. But, you get into some of the finer wines, and that bottle can get pretty pricey. I know…big revelation there huh? I know I have passed up trying certain types of wine because I figured that if I spent that money for the bottle and didn’t like it I’d be out all the money and stuck with 3/4 of a bottle of wine I don’t like.

Traditionally, this was addressed with wine tastings. That’s fine, but what if someone doesn’t have the ability to get to a tasting? The wine maker is missing out on those customers because they may not be inclined to buy a bottle of expensive wine on “spec.” It’s like a wine tasting in the digital age.

I think it’s important for any company with a product or service that can at all do something similar to this to do it as quickly as possible. If you remove some of the doubt and fear from choosing a new product, you greatly increase your chances of attracting new customers.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Good idea…but can I get Stormhoek?

A novel in Google Maps…wow!

Found this post today.

This is too cool. The story takes you through the locations in Google Maps. At each point it gives you a bit more of the story and then shows you where it’s taking place. At certain points you also get photos showing you landmarks or other items the story talks about.

I haven’t seen it use the Street View yet, but if that becomes part of it, this could get VERY interesting.

Either way, it’s amazing where these tools are taking us.

Technorati Tags: , ,

A novel in Google Maps…wow!

Decide on a story first

Seth has a great post today called “Which comes first (why stories matter).”

Essentially he says that if you don’t have a story, the work you do ends up being random. This random work causes “the story to be confused or bland or indifferent and it doesn’t spread.”

I couldn’t agree more. It’s basically the old adage of if you don’t know what you’re shooting for, you’ll never hit it.

This applies not only to us and how we do our work, but companies and how they are positioned. It is SO important to decide on a story, decide on what you stand for and then work in a way that portrays that story. Unarticulated priorities lead to confusion and ultimately mediocrity.

On the other hand, a clear message – or story – leads to ease in decision making.

Remember the story about Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines teaching the secret of running Southwest? He is quoted as saying, “We are THE low-fare airline. Once you understand that fact, you can make any decision about this company’s future as well as I can.” That’s dedication to the story the company wants to tell. It also makes things easier because it’s the measuring-stick you use to make any decision.

Does this match our story? No? Well, then we’re not doing it.

The problem is that so few people/companies take the time to really determine what they want their story to be and take the steps to make sure that everyone is dedicated to make that story a reality. They get so busy “doing” that they forget why they’re doing it. They just spend all day doing things to keep up that so many people never really think about why they’re doing it.

Or, their story is so vague and “all encompassing” that it’s ineffective as a measuring stick.

Find a story, a simple one (hat tip to Made to Stick) and make that the deciding factor in any decision for yourself or your business.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Decide on a story first