Are You a Twitter Snob? Why I am not following you.

Sad how all these years later, this article is still very relevant. Sad.

web|aggression.blog

twitter-bad-profile

The popular and much talked about micro-blogging site Twitter has received a lot of main stream publicity recently. Whether you have been on Twitter for years or just joined you may wonder why someone follows you on Twitter or why someone doesn’t reciprocate your following them. Well, I certainly have no clue, but below I have listed some criteria I look at to determine if I will follow someone.

Don’t have the default profile image.
Twitter Default Profile/Avatar

There is no faster turn off then to have your first impression be this lovely avatar. Don’t tell me you can’t find ONE decent picture of you. At least put something up, a logo or SOMETHING. Seth Godin (marketing guru) agrees on the importance of the profile picture in his article “The power of a tiny picture”.

Have a description of yourself or business.
You get a chance to tell me a little…

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How the Facebook Experience Has Changed Over the Years.

Facebook, then and now.
In the beginning:

Friend, friend, comment, post, post, block, comment, block, comment, post, block, block, comment, post, comment, block, block, unfriend.

And now:

Friend, comment, post, like, like, like, comment, like, like, like, like, comment, post, block, like, like, comment, post.

I like “Like” better then “Block” and “Unfriend” but Facebook would be a nightmare without the latter two. Enough said.

Bacon is Good, Good Customer Service and the Power of Twitter.

Bacon StripBacon is Good
Stick with me on this people. I love bacon. I am somewhat of a connesuir. I’ve tried all kinds of bacon from all over the world. My favorite bacon in the whole world is Niman Ranch Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon. It is AWESOME. I put this bacon in recipes, render it down to cook with the fat and straight up eat it.

Bacon StripGood Customer Service
Several months ago my local everyday grocery store Publix stopped carrying the Niman Ranch bacon. I gave it a little while thinking maybe they were just out of stock every time I came through (it’s possible, it’s dang good bacon). Frantic for my bacon I searched stores all around this area, nothing. I visited their website, they don’t sell the bacon online. Finally, I came to the sad conclusion that I would be without my beloved bacon. In a last ditch effort I visited the Publix website and completed the online email form. I simply asked why I couldn’t get my bacon fix anymore. Sure enough, the very next afternoon I got a phone call from an associate manager of my local Publix. He told me that my the product had been discontinued through out the whole division. Noooo! After my meltdown he calmly explained that he could custom order the product just for me. The only down side he said was they would have to order a whole case. Me, I’m thinking, where’s the down side? Awesome right? In less then a day I was contact by the grocery store to my total satisfaction.

Niman Ranch BaconThe Power of Twitter
As I am known to do with events like had just occurred I rushed to pimp what had transpired. The quickest way I know how was to tweet it. I love getting great service and when I do I want everyone to know about it. I tweeted the following:

Yah Publix! One email about discontinued Niman Ranch Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon (my fav) and they put in a custom order just for me.

To my surprise, more then my “followers” where watching. Less then an hour later I got this tweet from none other then Niman Ranch’s Twitter account:

@webaggression that’s great news! Let’s all start sending emails! 🙂

My emotional replay was next:

@Niman_Ranch Seriously, you have the best bacon I have ever had. I love it. I just wish I could order it on your website.

Fifteen minutes after my reply:

@webaggression Stay tuned! I’m working on it as we speak. You’ll be able 2 order the applewood smoked or the maple within the next 2 weeks.

Now I am SUPER PSYCHED! I have bacon coming at me in all directions. THAT is what good customer service is about and that is why, when done right, brands SHOULD be on social media. Oh, and by the way got this post from Niman Ranch today:

It’s offical! For all of you who have been patiently waiting, you can now purchase NR bacon online!

BOOM! I love it. Have you had any amazing customer service experiences like this? Share!

What brands do you think provide the best customer service?

Good customer service is a necessity for all brands, whether you are a multinational conglomerate or freelancer. It can be the difference between a loyal customer who sings your praises and a bitter customer who complains how bad you are to anyone who will listen. More than ever before, with our hyper-connected society, where John Doe can have thousand of followers on Twitter, its import to make sure you are providing the best in customer care at every opportunity. (By the way, you can argue (hopefully elsewhere) the relevancy and reach of “social networks” like Twitter and Facebook, but they do have an undeniable effect on brands.)

Duhh…right? We all know customer service is important, so what’s my point? With everyone else creating their own awards (Addy’s, Shorty’s, Grammy’s, Golden Globe(y’s), etc), I thought I would start my own award. I give you the 1st Annual Rob Davis’s Favorite Customer Service Brands sponsored by web|aggression or RDF-CSB-SBW’s for short. Seriously though, below is a list of my favorite company’s that I have NEVER had a bad customer experience with.

THE BEST
USAA (www.usaa.com) – Provides insurance and financial services to military and their dependents. Hands down the best customer services I have ever experienced. I use almost every service then provide, so I would know.

Publix (www.publix.com) – My “everyday” grocery store found mostly in the southeast, I think. If you have been to one, you know why they are on this list.

[Oops, I can’t believe I forgot them, but I was reminded by a friend!]
Chick-fil-A (www.chick-fil-a.com) – The ONLY “fast food” restaurant we eat at. the food is awesome and it comes to you fast and with friendly service. If you don’t have a Chick-fil-A near by, I am sorry.

RUNNERS UP
Total Wine (www.totalwine.com) – Provides wine, beer and in some stores liquor. They give expert advice and recommendations on wine choices. Unlike most warehouse type retail stores, none of there sales people duck and dodge to avoid a customer in need.

Whole Foods (www.wholefoodsmarket.com) – Natural and organic grocery, focused on fresh and local products. Everyone there is always smiling, except the fish monger but he has a dry sense of humor. J

As I am made this list I realized that two of the four are grocery stores. I am a foodie and I suppose I shop there more then anywhere, but interesting none the less.

So, what are your favorite customer service brands and why?

Social Media, “you ain’t all that”…and websites your not “and a bag of potato chips”.


The title is a stretch; I think I was looking for anyway to quote Dr. Evil. You are probably thinking, “what the heck is this idiot rambling about this time.” Put simply, social media and a great website are nothing without a great product and great customer service.

To start, I am a web designer and I use social media a lot for learning, networking and connecting with communities, friends and colleagues. I also understand people who don’t like social media or don’t understand it. I am not going to debate that here, I am just saying…so with that said on to Social Media and websites.

Many social media “gurus” and “experts” will tell you that if you don’t have a social media strategy, if you’re not on Twitter and Facebook, you’re missing out. Most web strategists and designers (like me;-) will tell you that if you don’t have a great website, if you’re not selling your product on the web you are missing out. For the most part I would tend to agree with both of these opinions. Most companies could benefit from a well thought out social media strategy. Yes, most companies should have a well put together site and if possible your products should be available for search and or purchase. I could take this tangent and talk about all the reason why, but instead I wanted to point out a company that doesn’t really do either, but that I LOVE!

Total Wines. If you are not fortunate enough to live near one then I am truly sorry for you. For you all, Total Wines is the Costco of wine shops. They literally have every bottle of wine ever made (okay may be I’m exaggerating a bit). The stores have a HUGE selection of wines, beers and most have liquors as well. Not only is the selection awesome, the prices are cheaper then Costco. Needless to say I think they have a great product.

Other then prices and selection, when you go into a Total Wines (or at least the ones I have been in) the staff are amazing. You never have a staff member walk away after eye contact like many other warehouse stores. When they engage they make sure that you find what you are looking for. Their customer service goes beyond the normal since all of their floor staff have intimate knowledge of the wines and can recommend based on your tastes and price range. Great customer services.

As far as I can tell Total Wines has no presence on social media. No Twitter followers, no Facebook friends or fans, no LinkedIn connections and no MySpace what ever they have. If you visit their website, uh..well…umm, well (sorry guys) it SUCKS. Put in a nicer way, it leaves me wanting more. No product search, no ecommerce, and heck the navigation doesn’t even work in all browsers. Guess what? I DON’T CARE. I still LOVE them.

I hope by now you see where I am going with this rant. I know what some of you are thinking (besides you just wasted 5 minute of your life you will never get back). Total Wines could improve their customer interaction by initiating a social media plan. They could increase sales by improve their web presence, for sure. My point is they don’t HAVE to.

So at least one company tells social media and websites to “talk to the hand because the face don’t want to hear it anymore”.

Spelling – A Lost Art?

thx4readingmyblog
I will be the first to admit that I am not what you would call a strong speller. It’s not that I can’t spell; it’s just that I am too lazy to sound out the word and spell it correctly (at least I admit it). With the advent of spell checking software and word processors I have become spoiled to no end. I wrote my first paper on a word processor that had a spell checker.

Now that cellular phone texting and micro-blogging applications like Twitter have become such commonly used communication tools for both individuals and businesses, has spelling gotten lost? Twitter has a spelling checker as does most of the software that are used to access them like TweetDeck. By limiting you to 140 or 160 characters (for text messaging) spelling many times goes out the door. In some cases you are forced to truncate your message by abbreviating words.

How important do you think spelling is in common communications or in business communications on social media? Are you less like to do business with a company that has misspelled or abbreviated words in their communications?

BTW if U want to B my BFFL U can CMB, THX and HAGD.

What’s your excuse for not connecting with your customers/clients?

 
connecting with your clients/customers

I was speaking with a colleague this week about a potential advertiser who wanted to secure “leads” as a part of the deal. My colleague told me that this company doesn’t use email or even have a fax machine. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? And just so you know, this isn’t some Mom and Pop, nickel and dime store. This is a large company with a presence throughout the northeast.

 So maybe that is the extreme example and just maybe I am the other extreme. I’ll admit that between, email, voicemail, text, cell phones (yes, that is plural), blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media, maybe I am a little overly connected. So where do you see yourself or your business?

 I am not going to go into how important it is to stay connected to your customer or client base. There are many, many people much smarter then I to preach those virtues. But given all these tools that are available (many of which are FREE) why not make yourself available to your clients/customers? You might be surprised how a phone call, an email, a follow, or “friend-ing” someone can create a connection that is so much better then an expensive print or web ad.

 I know that some feel social media isn’t for every company or person. If you don’t feel you have the time or resources, you’re best choice might be to stay away. Many would argue differently. At the very least, have real contact information on your website and reply to voice mail and email in a timely manner. Treat your customers and clients like you would like to be treated if not better.

 In these days of hyper-connectivity, what is your excuse for not connecting with your clients/customers?