Angry Customers: The Birth and Death of a Terrorist

It happened right in front of us – Meredith and I were talking with a client when a customer came into the client’s shop to return a large but barely-eaten custom cake. She was obviously nervous and upset. “It tasted like chemicals,” she said, apologetically.  Even the one year […]

Sales Smart and Customer Foolish: Understanding Spin & PR

I have a built in BullS#!* Meter in my brain. My husband loves to tease me about it. Basically, I have this alarm system in my head that tells me when someone is trying to pull the wool over my eyes or dodge a question.

I wasn’t born with the […]

Educating vs.Marketing – What Modern Customers Need to Know Before They’ll Buy

Customers view most marketing content with the same wariness we all have for blind dates – we never know if we’re going to get someone really interesting, or get stuck with some self-involved idiot who talks about himself the whooooollllle tiiiiiiiiime. That’s the problem with most marketing – a […]

LISTEN NOW: The First Rule of Explaining Complex Concepts to Customers… Without Boring the Crap Out of Them

photo credit here

Ready for an audio awesomeness double feature? 
AUDIO AWESOMENESS THE FIRST
Frank and I are almost ready to start releasing audio and video content!

That’s right – we are actual people who move and talk with voices you can even hear and everything.

Crazy – I KNOW.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be bringing you […]

Why It’s KindaSortaTotally Your Fault Your Customers Are Ignorant (and What You Can Do to Change That and Be More Successful)

photo credit here

This week, photographer Jennifer Harvey interviewed me about how to stand out in an industry of copycats. Jen’s one of my favorite clients and friends – we met two years ago when she worked her magic and did our headshots. Click on the link up there^ to […]

Why It Pays to Be Paranoid (or, How Frank Became Obsessed with Scanning Receipts)

photo credit here

 
 
Most everyone will deny that they’re paranoid, but the truth is that everyone is paranoid to a degree.  The only questions is: are you paranoid enough?  Do you put a letter in a mailbox, close the lid, and then open it again to be sure the letter […]

The Ten Commandments of Responding to Negative Reviews Online (Without Looking Like a Flaming Idiot)

 

Check out yesterday’s post on business owners acting badly:
 

How to Lose a Fight on the Internet
A flame war is a internet comment exchange gone nuclear. You’ve seen them. Two commenters talk around each other and never really address the other’s issues, and the conversation escalates to name calling and […]

How to Lose a Fight on the Internet

photo credit here

One of the most common issues business owners ask me about is how to handle negative comments online. Just the thought of it strikes fear into the heart of the most professional proprietor. And for good reason – we’ve all seen it happen. Someone posts a negative […]

Why Sending an E-mail to Customers in a Crisis May Be Worse than the Crisis Itself

 
We consulted on an emergency recently (shocking, I know). The very short of it is that a large service-based corporation contacted me after discovering an independent franchise owner skipped town without delivering services clients had paid for. It’s easily high-five-to-six-figures in fraud. The corporate isn’t legally responsible for his actions […]

Q&A: What Do I Do When Customers Want Me, Not My Employees?

Photo Credit here

Background:  Kate* is a victim of catastrophic success. She’s never done a minute of marketing, but she’s full to capacity with a long waiting list. People ask for her by name, and it’s all from word-of-mouth marketing.  Me2  has been helping Kate manage that crisis with a plan for […]

Personal Lean Day 2: Four Deadly E-Mail Sins That Waste Time and Make You Look Dumb

Photo Credit: kajarno via Flickr

 
1. Never, ever use email to avoid 
having a difficult conversation with someone. 
 
A lot of people do this, and they usually give the same excuse: “I feel that I express myself better in writing.”  It’s a self-centered justification that doesn’t actually improve communication. What they’re really saying […]

Escaping Buzzwurgatory: Part II – What to Do When Bad Buzz Words Happen to Good People

Click here for Escaping Buzzwurgatory: Part I – Why Bad Buzz Words Happen to Good People

KnockKnockStuff.com used to sell these
corporate slang flash cards.
They’re funny because they’re sadly, sadly true.

Language is a habit, and sometimes we forget to change our language when we speak to different groups. We babble on, blissfully […]

When Service Sucks, Complain Up

photo credit: Dell’s Official Flickr PageWhen you’ve been burned by bad customer service, the thought of subjecting yourself to even more phone calls and emails is exhausting. It’s why most of us never complain up — contact the company’s HQ directly to complain about a problem. We’ll gladly vent […]

Productivity isn’t the Number of Key Strokes

Photo credit: Key Foster via Flickr

Recently on NPR, I listened to an article on how companies are trying to increase productivity by monitoring their employees’ key strokes and sharing that information with the employees.  Essentially, what it does is catch people playing Minesweeper, visiting Facebook or surfing the web […]

My USAA Customer Service Nightmare (and what I’m doing to fix it)

As I discussed earlier, my family was in a car accident last month. Our was a totaled, and settling our claim turned into a customer service nightmare. I’m sharing my experience – not to bash USAA, which is a fine company and has an excellent reputation – but because […]

Why You Need to Learn to Back Brief – NOW

photo credit: Dell’s Official Flickr page

I considered titling this “Secrets of Back Briefing That Will Help You Lose Belly Fat and Win The Adoration of Millions,” but my husband suggested that it might be a weeeeee bit of an exaggeration.

Hyperbole aside, I’m a huge advocate of back briefing. It believe […]

Five Tips for Helping Flustered Customers (UPDATED)

photo credit: Dell’s Official Flickr PageYesterday, a phone call to my insurance company ended in tears.Oh yes – I’m a trained quality professional. I worked telephone tech support in college. I have endured a mostly unmedicated emergency C-section without shedding a tear. The word “badass” has been applied to […]