For some reason, I have had a hard time getting a post done this week. I wrote two lengthy posts, but ended up saving them as drafts. They may appear later on. Some of my ability to focus this week has to do with having too much on my mind. I thought I would share some of what has been bugging me (and sadly, this is but the tip of the iceberg).
Courtesy is waning
It seems to me that we are seeing a huge drop in courteous behavior. In the last few weeks alone, I have seen it both personally and professionally. On the personal side, I have left messages for friends that have gone unreturned. I have been cut off in the middle of a sensitive conversation. On the professional side, I have sent proposals that potential clients don’t even acknowledge.
Angie’s List won’t leave me alone (or, is trying too hard and being annoying)
When I moved into my house a couple of years ago, I joined Angie’s List. It was helpful when I needed to find different contractors (plumber, fence installer, etc.). After getting most issues fixed in my house, I found I was using Angie’s List quite infrequently. And then, one of the contractors I found on it (and who had decent recommendations) turned out to be one of the worst experiences I have ever had with any service provider. So I let my membership lapse. This was in December of last year. Since then, without fail, I have received offers EVERY week (and sometimes every day) from Angie’s List for discount membership…ranging from 20% to 40% off. I have stop reading the emails and just delete them. At some point, Angie and every other vendor, needs to realize it is not about the offer. You could give me Angie’s List for free, and at this point, I am not signing up. Oh, and I see their constant advertising every night on the CBS Evening News, which leads me to believe that Angie is lying when she says that nobody pays to be on Angie’s List. She cannot be making the type of money she is from yearly membership dues alone. And, vendors have told me that in order to show up higher in the rankings, they are asked to pay.
Customer service is marketing
A few weeks ago I had problems with my web host, Host Gator. In three separate instances, my website and email went down for a total of a few hours. I asked them for a credit (after not getting any information from them on restoration of service). They ignored it. Even after I told them in their survey that they would not be getting any referrals from me, they didn’t seem to care.
Another service provider who has been very slow in her service has had the nerve to blame me, in writing, for her delays. Apparently she doesn’t realize that even if it is the client’s fault (and in this case it isn’t) you don’t blame the client. By shifting the responsibility and accusing me (the client) all she is doing is making sure I will not use her services ever again, nor refer her any business. How you treat your customer is marketing, as Lisa Gerber points out in this blog post.
On the other hand…
I have been impressed with the responsiveness and interest I receive for this blog from some great folks that I have only met on Twitter. Thank you!