Iterate Your Way To Success

This post focuses primarily on how to improve an e-newsletter bit by bit, but Christopher Penn’s lesson can be applied to anything you do in life. If you begin anything you do with the idea that it can be improved, criticism no longer becomes criticism – it becomes a guide that will help you get better and better. How can you apply this excellent lesson to your life, where you are right now?

Iterate to Success

Listen to customers, but really hear too

Ken Mueller makes a great point in this post about exaggeration. How many times do you say something like, “That was the best meal ever!” or, “That was the worst service I’ve ever had!” People talk this way offline – they also tend to talk this way online and on review sites like Yelp. If you’re interest lies in customer service, this can make your job kind of difficult. Ken has advice for you though. Check it out!

Customers Exaggerate, So Don’t Overreact

When Customer Service Goes Wrong

Let’s face it – sometimes customer service does not go as planned. Customers become unhappy. They complain. They want their problems to be fixed, and immediately, too. This is often labeled as one of the greatest fears for companies considering the idea of marketing via social media platforms. However, negative customer service experiences can actually lead to better, deeper relationships in the long run. Erin Verbeck explains how in this post.

How to overcome mistakes in your small business

From Dell Hell to Casting a Spell

Dell computers and Jeff Jarvis will likely be forever tied in the great annals of the online world. Back in 2005, Jarvis wrote a post that helped spread the idea of “Dell hell.” The way Dell responded from that time forward not only made Dell a social media and customer service darling, but it also opened peoples’ eyes to how social media can be used to influence people, companies, and events. In this post, Kunal Gandhi does a good job of summarizing the evolution from Dell hell to social media darling.

How Dell Has Reinvented Itself Thanks to Social Media

Can Courtesy and CRM Co-Exist?

For many companies, CRM can have the effect of making customers seem more “generic,” if you will. We lose track of names and faces and instead talk about profit value and massive amounts of acronyms. Given this, how can a company incorporate CRM while also maintaining a “mom and pop” sense of knowing and loving the customers? Tristan Bishop explores this paradox in detail in a post that offers several great tips along the way.

The Paradox of Social CRM

To Serve Customers, Serve Employees

Barry Dalton notes that companies need to make sure that employees are happy where they are. It’s been proven over the years that a happy employee is more likely to provide good customer service – just look at Zappos if you want contemporary, tangible proof of that fact. But do you know if your employees are happy? Have you asked them recently? Regularly? Lots to think about in this post!

What would your customer service reps say?

For Good Customer Service, See Troubleshooting

In an ideal world, customer service would just be checking in on people, making sure all is well, and offering to take them out to dinner when you’re in town. As any business person knows, however, customer service is more a problem solving game than a make-nice game. In order to keep your customers happy, you have to know how to troubleshoot a multitude of problems. How can you do that? Rachel Miller has some excellent tips on how to evaluate the problem and then get it solved. What would you add to her tips?

The Role of Consistency in Professional Support – Part 2: Troubleshoot Skills

Delegation Versus Good Customer Service

Doug Rice brings up an interesting point in this customer service post. He recounts a story a friend told him. The friend had gotten all of their work done and they noticed a co-worker was severely bogged down, so the friend started helping out the co-worker. After all, the top priority is to get the job done for the customer. Right? Well, as it happens, the friend’s boss reprimanded them for doing someone else’s job. When does job delegation outweigh getting the job done? Thought provoking question, no?

It’s Not My Job

60 ways to build influence

Back in 2010, before Klout was even an apple in anyone’s eye, Hubspot hosted what it called The Influencer Project. Sixty people offered a one-minute explanation of how they recommended you build influence online. It’s pretty interesting to see how people were talking about influence before Klout and Kred were in the picture. This post is a great resource to return to now and then. Who can believe that 2010 is already “the good old days?”

60 Ways to Increase Your Influence Online

Influence and the Personal Brand

If you are trying to build a brand around your own products and services, the topic of influence may weight a lot more heavy on your head than it might for someone who is working for someone within a more corporate, traditional structure. For some people, influence may become the new way to measure how they are doing in terms of reaching out to the right people and making an impact on customers – existing and potential. Has influence become the new online currency? To me it seems that currency should still be the currency if you are in business. Read this post and see where you fall on this issue.

The Day that Influence Became the New Online Currency