service

Ecommerce and Tolerance

I’ve ranted verbosely in the past about the customer service industry going down the tubes (Adventures in Small Business Banking, One Voice, A Representative Will Be With You Shortly, Network Solutions is Utter Garbage, and recently, Guaranteed Value vs. Value Assessments) where much was stemming from experiences with online orders, so the following short tirade will certainly not seem out of character.

In an industry where 90% of the transaction is automated and inexpensive, unlike that of real estate, used car sales or even graphic design, it would seem pretty obvious that the best way to retain ecommerce customers is through a gratifying and easy online experience. If I collected money from a client under the agreement that I would deliver a design work on-time, I could assume the client would be dissatisfied when I followed up with a form letter informing them of upcoming truancy.

Their anger might even be compounded if the letter was cold, impersonal and offered no explanation for the reason of this delay—other than the fact that the issue was on my end and I’m working on it. To further add insult to the client, I might also include that I couldn’t tell them how long the delay was, except that it could be as short as 12 hours. Not communicating the reason for an issue, but sending a templated response informing the client of the second best possible scenario (other than the product being delivered on-time) is an empty method to pacify the disgruntled. I certainly understand that not all industries can quantify this equally, so providing graphic design services and mailing a widget from a colossal warehouse do not perfectly correlate. However I do think that expectations correlate, customers—particularly in a competitive market—correlate, and the services-for-cash system correlates.

Continue reading…

Apple gives up…sorta

Over a year ago, I posted about ZDNet’s 10 Most Annoying Programs on the Internet, where Apple was ranked #2, forcing users to install Quicktime with each upgrade of iTunes and also pre-selecting that the user wanted to install Safari and Mobile.me onto their computers as well. I’m a strategic marketer, so I understand the logic behind it. More than half of the users probably just click “Continue” without reading what they’re installing. It’s the same guiding principle behind bundling installers with Yahoo! and Google browser toolbars. Continue reading…

tr.im goes out of business

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Without trying to sound too bitter about it, tr.im announced today that they’re no longer offering their services in the URL shortening war against bit.ly and TinyURL:

tr.im is now in the process of discontinuing service, effective immediately.

Statistics can no longer be considered reliable, or reliably available going forward.
However, all tr.im links will continue to redirect, and will do so until at least December 31, 2009.
Your tweets with tr.im URLs in them will not be affected.

We regret that it came to this, but all of our efforts to avoid it failed.
No business we approached wanted to purchase tr.im for even a minor amount.

There is no way for us to monetize URL shortening — users won’t pay for it — and we just can’t
justify further devleopment since Twitter has all but annointed bit.ly the market winner.
There is simply no point for us to continue operating tr.im, and pay for its upkeep.

We apologize for the disruption and inconvenience this may cause you.

It truly is unfortunate as I really liked their services with reporting and statistics, though the site was 90% visual fluff and the offering was otherwise no different from bit.ly or TinyURL. Now I just have to find a way to apologize to the clients that I recommended their services to.