Cool post that I picked up from Twitter. Check out the article
My oh my – sometimes it’s painfully obvious that some people have no understanding of basic etiquette and or even a basic understanding of what’s appropriate.
Let me introduce you to Mr. Andrews from the Ketchum Agency in New York. He goes by the twitter handle of “keyinfluencer” and with his ridiculously insensitive comment about HIS CLIENT’S home city…I’m not exactly sure that he’s the kind of influencer you want on your side.
FedX is one of his largest clients and his tweet made it abundantly clear that he would “rather die” than have to live in Memphis. Maybe so, but he managed to offend so many people at FedX that I have to wonder if he’s still on the job.
If you are curious about the details of the entire story – check out the post on Peter Shankman’s website
Moral of the story – be VERY careful what you put in print whether it’s email, in community forums, Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn, Twitter or any other online tool. Remember that other people are reading and that includes your clients and prospects. Being stupid can catch up to you pretty darn quickly!
Mr. Andrews, I’m just curious…would you have the gall to say that in person to any one of the many executives scheduled to hear your presentation? Let’s hope not. So if you wouldn’t say it to their face – DO NOT say it on Twitter!
Recently, I allowed myself to get sucked in by a “trial offer” that combined the Pure Acai Berry we’ve been hearing so much about from Oprah and a product called Colon 700.
You know the offer. Buy now and pay only shipping. If you like the product, we’ll bill you the normal price of …whatever…and deliver the product to your door automatically each month until you tell us to stop.
This is a common sales tactic used on the internet and technically there is nothing wrong with it. The company has something to sell so they throw out a teaser offer. The offer almost always includes a fairly low financial barrier to entry and they tell you can cancel or return the product if you don’t like it at any time. Always sounds great.
The problem is that most of the time the terms are confusing. In the case of the products I ordered, I didn’t realize they would be coming from two different places and two different companies, which then meant two different bills down the road. Both are pretty expensive for a monthly supply of products I’m not convinced I’ll use. I decide to cancel the Colon 700 first.
Customer service or the lack thereof is a hot button for me. You can read the contents of the email exchange I had with the company when canceling my ColonMed order. Is it just me or is the person a bit hostile even though I’ve admitted that I blew it.
On 1/9/09, Barbara Giamanco <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I didn’t realize when I did the trial that I was also agreeing to be billed for more shipments every month. My mistake. Please cancel this immediately!! I did try to use the online service. Said it couldn’t find me. Not sure why.
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 3:29 PM
Subject: Re: Cancel my order
You received a charge of $88.97 because you did not cancel your account within the allowed 15 day trial period, as stated in our terms and conditions that you are required to read before purchasing. As stated in the terms and conditions, you have 15 days from your trial order to cancel or you will be sent another fresh 30 day supply of Colonmed700 for a total of $88.97.
This is a continuity program for customers who like the product. Any customer who cancels within that 15 day period is removed from the continuity auto-shipment program and does not receive any further charges or shipments. Here is a direct link to our order page which contains the terms and conditions on the page above the Order button (http://www.colonmed700.com/order.aspx). Please be advised that your order would not have been processed unless you agreed and accepted the terms and conditions.
You were canceled so you will not receive any more products and will not incur any further charges from us.
Barb says: OK, interesting service approach…slap down the customer with a reminder of how stupid you think they are.
Telling me that the product wouldn’t have shipped if I had canceled within the 15 day trial period isn’t helpful, especially since I’d already admitted that I made a mistake. My only request was to cancel future shipments. So I respond with…
On 1/9/09, Barbara Giamanco <email@example.com> wrote:
Indeed – I know why I was charged and was not complaining. Your form letter – fyi – isn’t very customer friendly. I realize I missed the fine print…said so in my email. I just realized that I needed to stop “future” shipments. Thanks a bunch. I see that you did that.
Barb says: I would have thought that was the end of it, but imagine my surprise when I received the following email response. Now I can’t swear to it, but I think someone has a bit of an attitude problem.
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 5:34 PM
Subject: Re: Cancel my order
The terms and conditions, which you were required to read and accept upon ordering clearly explained how the program works. If the terms and conditions were not agreed to, the website WOULD NOT process your order. We have thousands of customers who actually read these terms and conditions and either cancel their membership within the allowed time period, or choose to keep the product for many months.
Since you did not cancel your trial membership within the 15 day allowed time period, what I can do for you is to let you keep the (2) bottles and give you a refund of $34.99, which would be half of the total you were charged, minus shipping charges since we cannot refund those.
Barb says: Telling me that “thousands of people actually read the terms” is not very customer friendly. I said I goofed up! Just cancel the damn thing already. I’m getting a refund out of the deal even though I didn’t ask for it. That’s something. But heck, what’s the problem do you think? This guy was pretty caught up in “defending” himself even though I wasn’t asking him to do anything other than cancel future orders.
But this little incident is indicative of what’s wrong with so many customer service situations. Companies are quick to defend and very, very slow to listen. What they’ve forgotten is it is not about them. With an economic tightening of the belt, maybe it’s about time they remember.
As a side note…I googled this product and have since found a number of complaints about the business practices of this company. Maybe they have a reason to be defensive after all:)
If you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book – Outliers – do yourself a favor and pick up a copy right away. As with his first 2 books, Tipping Point and Blink, Gladwell manages to turn your thinking about his topic upside down.
The why of success (and it’s not always what you think!) – how it happens, what factors lead to monumental success, how it is that some gifted individuals never quite achieve the success in life you would expect.
You will better understand why the kids in Asia are really so much better at math than the average US citizen. How players are chosen to become elite hockey players. Why school cut-off dates give some kids an unfair advantage. And so much more.
I was drawn into the stories and case studies immediately. An intense read that I found difficult to put down, Gladwell’s Outliers certainly challenges traditional thinking about the subject of success.
Amid the pessimistic reports of recession, bailout battles and the jailing of yet another corporate thief, there is a brighter side!
Did you know that 92.8% of Americans ARE employed?
Prior to my interview last night on Andy Greider’s Uniqueness is Power business radio show, Andy and his co-host Lee Kantor were talking about the economy. BTW – if you missed the show, it should be available for download by Monday. Anyway, Lee pointed out that the media types like to make the 7% unemployment rate the issue when in fact a really significant percentage of our citizens have jobs. It’s easy to overlook that fact when we are beaten to death with gloom & doom.
It’s up to us to change our mindset. What’s the upside of whatever problem or challenge we perceive? What is a positive way to look at it?
We must…Think positively. Use positive language. Set our goals. Take Action on them. Maintain focus. Close our ears to noise. And darn it, just keep pushing forward.
I am posting here Brian Tracy’s Seven Rules for Success, which I hope you will not only be motivated by, but be inspired to take the action he suggests.
1. Take Action – Act of taking 1st step separates winners from losers.
2. Always Forward, Never Backward – The ability to persist in the face of setbacks and disappointments.
3. The Only Time You Have is Now – Deal with what lies clearly ahead, not what lies dimly in the distance.
4. Fly with Eagles – Watch out for naysayers, get around positive people.
5. Obstacles and Difficulties Instruct Not Obstruct – Learn from mistakes in order to achieve success.
6. Be Clear on Your Goals. Keep Your Mind Open – Not what you have but what you do with what you have. Be willing to change, try something new, and accept feedback from your environment.
7. No One does it Alone – Asking for help is a mark of strength, courage and character.
What do you use to build your network? Linked In, Plaxo? – once you have your profile, how are you using it?
What about Facebook, Twitter – using them? What things have you done that have successfully attracted clients?
What’s your blog strategy? Do you know why a blog is important?
Love to hear how you are using social media to attract more clients and sell more often!
Good discussion which will give you information about current media tools. His book is all about outsmarting, outmanaging, and outmarketing your competition.
Chris Brogan is President of New Marketing Labs. I love following his blog posts. On Monday, his post talked about how each of us is the president of our own career. I couldn’t agree more. It’s an excellent piece. You really should read it!
I have believed for some time now that we are the architect of our own lives. We must be accountable for the doing whatever we need too to achieve our career goals. What do you think?
Here is my response to Chris’ post:
Right on! Last year I gave a talk at Verizon titled Whose Career is it Anyway? I lack patience for people who cry the blues about how their company doesn’t do anything for their career. Of course, I believe they should, but who said they were obligated too? The investment that a company is willing to make in their people will vary, but one thing holds true. It’s up to each individual to manage their own career success.
Back in my corporate America days, my employers didn’t always pay for the classes I took to improve my communication, management skills, coaching skills, etc. Books are cheap and these days there are so many great FREE webinars on every topic imaginable. Or, read blogs – like this one!
There just isn’t any excuse. I worked to remain lay-off proof then and now as a business owner. People are buying. We just might have to work a bit harder or pay more attention to the opportunities that at first glance might not seem like they will lead to something. I keep my attitude straight and stay on my priorities and coach others to do the same!
So? What’s your plan?
1. Do you have clearly defined goals written down?
If you need to sell products and services, you better! I challenge you to focus on the 3 things – nothing more – the 3 most critical things you need to do to create value for your clients and soon to be clients. Learn new technology? Learn a new skill? Broaden your network?
**If you work for someone else, what’s your plan to take charge of your career? What do you need to learn? Who do you need to know? Do you need to seek out a mentor?
2. Is your attitude in check?
Now is NOT the time to focus on the negative or worrying about a “down” economy. Of course, focusing on what we don’t want is never a good idea. Soooo – be positive. See in your mind what you want success to look like and it will manifest in your reality.
3. How will you innovate in your business or career this year?
Now is the perfect time to be creative. Looks for what’s needed. Where is there a gap – either in your company or in the your customer market – that you can fill with what you have to offer?
Get going. Take charge!