Microsoft is finally allowing the 80GB Zune to be directly ordered and customized from its ZuneOriginals Web site. We reported about the ZuneOriginals launch earlier this month, when Microsoft was offering orders for only the smaller Zunes 4 and 8. The laser-etched designs being offered for the Zune 80 appear to be identical to the Zune 4 and 8 designs, only bigger, and thereby, way cooler. The service costs nothing, and the shipping is free.
The Putting People First blog by Experientia has pointed me toward the excellent essay "The Long Wow" by Adaptive Path's Brandon Schauer. Schauer outlines a vision of creating lasting customer loyalty and brand value that runs counter to the fixation on quick wins and instant gratification, which many companies, under the pressure of shorter product life cycles and CMO tenures, seem to pursue these days. He defines "The Long Wow" as "a means to achieving long-term customer loyalty through systematically impressing your customers again and again."
This goes far beyond adding new features … Read more
Concerned about what your customers say about you online? Well, you should be.
You probably think you have your bases covered by allowing product reviews and client testimonials through your Web site, but the truth is that the blogosphere can make (or break) you as a company if Google includes a customer's blog post in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Prominently positioned customer blog posts in the SERPs that either love you or hate you can be more powerful than product reviews for several reasons, the most obvious one being that many blogs act as word-of-mouth advertising when … Read more
These days, there are several ways to get a customized or internal search engine free of charge. Google's Custom Search Engine (CSE) and Yahoo's Search Builder lead the way, and their products are fairly easy to implement. After the Big Two, there are several services trying to make their mark, but one that that stands out is the Swicki from Eurekster.
A Swicki is a combination search portal and widget that can be customized on any topic or topics either within a Web site, group of Web sites, or the Web at large. The end product is a … Read more
While Power Downloader was sifting through criminal case files recently, he received an e-mail from Kitty Kilobyte who had gone back to school. After telling him of her latest "impossible" assignments and new "amazing" friends she had made, Kitty had an interesting software request. Kitty wanted some way to make her computer stand out from the rest of her classmates. She figured, if she's the niece of a famous software superhero, it should show--perhaps even if it's just in her computer's interface.… Read more
So you just picked up a new Enzo at the friendly neighborhood Ferrari dealer and are bringing it home for the first time. As the garage door rises, it hits you: How can you possibly park a world-class sportscar here with all this mess?
If you're like many American homeowners and suffer from Ugly Garage Syndrome, this may well be of interest--with or without a multimillion-dollar car collection. An Arizona-based outfit called GarageMahals will design and construct a luxury garage to your custom specifications for prices ranging from $50 to $125 per square foot, offering such amenities as steel … Read more
I read with interest about Lowes (DIY/home improvement store in the US) and its attempts to silence a critical customer with a trademark infringement suit. Give me a break. Yes, Lowes (and everyone else) should protect its trademarks, but when you look into the facts of the case, it's fairly clear that trademarks aren't at issue.
Shoddy customer service is. Perhaps Lowes should care more about what this customer is saying rather than how the customer is saying it. I suspect doing the first item will take care of the second.
From the article:… Read more
Sometimes, you can just be too direct.
VentureWire announced today that a company called Get Satisfaction Unlimited, which provides a forum for consumers to discuss customer service issues, has secured $1.3 million in funding from First Round Capital, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and a group of individual investors.
It's a great idea. But there are probably a lot of names that wouldn't make a 13-year old laugh. Kvetch.com, Alwaysright.com, Whining Old Ladies. If I were a naming consultant, popping off those three would probably net me $50,000. Not bad for 45 seconds of labor. … Read more
Tim O'Reilly writes glowingly about O'Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures' latest investment in Satisfaction. It's kind of a dumb name for a company (sounds more like an adult novelty store than a customer-support site), but the premise behind the company is interesting, though I'm not yet sure how practical:Satisfaction is people-powered customer service for everything. It's a Web service that uses "community-sourcing" to provide better support for products and services, with or without company involvement. Satisfaction's open discussion-based system allows companies, their customers and partners to work together to answer questions, identify problems and bugs, share great ideas for how to make products better, and connect in unexpected ways.
It sounds like a reasonable way to harness the web-based support that already happens around companies, both open- and closed-source alike. But will it work? And do we want it to?… Read more
No, it's not. If it were I wouldn't still be on hold for 43 minutes. And if I were so important I wouldn't be speaking to a know-nothing idiot from God knows where, who doesn't even understand my question.
Lets face it, customer service can be a cruel joke. And sure, there are exceptions. I was truly impressed with Lexicon's staff; their tech crew was absolutely top notch and I didn't have to punch my way through an automated phone directory hell to get to the right person. Lexicon is a high-end audio manufacturer; … Read more