Happy New Year, everyone!
Welcome to 2017. I’m starting off the year right by guest blogging on the new year, new traditions. Read the post here, and thanks to Angela for allowing me to guest blog!
Hello everyone and hope this time of year finds everyone doing well and surviving the holiday mayhem.
Many of you know I LOVE the Irish Rock Band, The Dropkick Murphys. And while Amazing Grace live on stage is one rocking fantastic rendition of the old hymn, this latest Christmas video is better. It’s hilarious, and it begs the question – And you thought your family was weird?
This past weekend, Labor Day, I attended Dragon Con. For those who don’t know, this is a HUGE sci-fi/fantasy, gaming, film, anime, writing/books, celebs, type of conference and more. While many think of it as a Star Trek convention continuation, it has morphed into much more over the years. This year was the 30th year, and the crowds grow with every passing year.
This year’s crowds were estimated at 65,000 – 70,000 people. Spread across 5 downtown Atlanta hotels: The Marriott, The Hilton, The Hyatt, The Sheraton, and the Westin. Along with the 2 Americas Mart buildings for vendors and other activities.
My first DragonCon 2 years ago was not great. I didn’t know how to navigate panels, didn’t know how to navigate the crowds, etc. This being my 2nd year and I was on 2 panels, I had a better idea of what to do and what to avoid. So here you go! My tips…
Elaine & Adam Baldwin
Elaine & Alan Tudyk
I recently wrote a blog post about customer service, and how it can make or break a business.
Today, I’m expanding on that theme by talking about the social media platform Twitter. And how it can do the same thing as customer service: make or break your business. Perhaps not in the same dramatic rise/fall as customer service would, but every choice you make on social media can move you ahead, or leave you falling behind. Worse, leave you alienating potential customers.
Why am I ranting about Twitter, you may ask? Well, sit back and grab a cup of coffee. I’ll tell you.
Many people out there don’t understand social media. They don’t know the rules and may not use social media or the Internet that often. I get that. It’s easy to forgive someone who doesn’t use a computer much when they send an email in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Why? Because I know they are likely not trying to scream at me (as all caps signify, according to etiquette). Rather, they just may not realize that’s what they are doing. Or they don’t know how to find the caps lock button to unselect it.
But let’s move to the next group of people. The ones who, if they took 3 seconds to THINK about what they represent, what their brand is, they would never respond in the way they do. I had an encounter today with 1 such person. On Twitter.
This was a woman who ran a company for book blog tours. Someone had retweeted her post about how she wanted to help indie authors get the word out about their books. Now, retweeting is a good thing because it allows more people to see the tweet and find out about her business, find out about her book tours that she offers, etc.
Since I’ve had some not-so-great experiences with book blog tours in the past, I sent her a tweet and asked for an approximate number of people who visited the blogs she used in her blog tours. I wanted to make sure that the “blogs” she used for her tour promos were actually active, since many of the ones I’d been part of in the past had been inactive for years. Blogs with no traffic, no engagement, no visitors, don’t help at all for book blog tours. This is a completely valid question and until today, no one had ever had a problem with me asking it.
Now, this woman had 2 ways she could have responded to me. Unfortunately, she made the wrong choice.
Choice A – Tweet back, thank me for my interest, refer me to her website, tell me to contact her there if I had further questions. Many businesses don’t want to give information in tweet format and they prefer to refer the person to their website. No big deal. This would have been the professional response, and, had I ever needed her promo business in the future, I would have considered her. But she didn’t make Choice A, sadly. She went with Choice B.
Choice B – She gave me a lecture in numbered points, beginning with “First of all…”
She said I should never have contacted her without following her first. Then she said she doesn’t talk pricing or answer questions about her business on Twitter and I should have known to go to her website. I was a bit stunned about being lectured, but I figured I would go follow her and then follow up on her website. I tried. She had blocked me completely so I can not see her tweets or follow her again.
She had the chance to create a future customer, but she failed. With 1 tweet. With 140 characters, she made it abundantly clear she doesn’t value potential customers. And it goes without saying that not only will I never use her business, but I will tell every author friend I know to not use her.
Think about how you respond, whether in person or on social media. It matters.
Hope everyone is enjoying the nice beginning of Spring with the many blooms and chirping birds. Oh, and lest I forget, one less hour of sleep due to daylight savings time. (Groan)
Today, let’s chat customer service. I want to hear the good and the bad from you. Best customer service experience? Worst?
Mine was recently with a doctor’s office. This is a doctor’s group I’ve gone to for about 20 years. The various physicians have changed over the years, but I’d say I’ve been pretty loyal. I had an appointment for a brief check-in and bloodwork this past week. My appt was 7:45 a.m. Second in line to be seen.
Two men came in who needed prescriptions but they hadn’t been seen in a while, so they had to be seen to get their pills. Standard for a doctor’s office to insist on that, but then the staff PUT THEM AHEAD of everyone else. As in, everyone else who had made an appointment months prior. Sorry, dude, but if you wait till the last minute to fill your meds, you have to be fit into the schedule, not go before others who had early appointments.
I spent close to 2 hours there for what amounted to a 10-minute appointment. And, to add insult to injury, the doctor didn’t even make eye contact. She bobbed her bouncy hair as she asked, with her back to me and her face toward the computer, all the general health questions.
I’d been through this before, but talked myself into continuing to go there because I do like some of the doctors and it’s close by. But this one day last week took the cake. And my patience with it.
I began calling other physicians, and am now changing after 20 loyal years. All because of a series of events which amounted to poor customer service. This has made me even more sensitive as a small business owner that customer service is essential.
To my dismay, I’ve heard several big-time business owners scoff and make fun of their customer base recently. They put comments on Facebook about how they never answer their customers’ emails because the questions are so elementary and mundane. Ahem. Well, I was one of the customers in that person’s class, and I demanded a full refund within a week. Why? Because there were repeated incidents with a lack of customer service. Had the guy actually exhibited courtesy and customer service, I would have stayed. He would have kept a customer.
But he didn’t.
If you’re a business owner, be thoughtful and aware of your customers and their feelings. If you’re a consumer, don’t settle for crappy providers. Find someone who knows the meaning of customer service.
Tell me your stories. Good experiences? Bad?