Category Archives: Customer Service

Tesla, Consumer Reports and Exceeding Expectations

Some at Consumer Reports were no-doubt trying to figure out a good way to explain how their much-vaunted ratings system had broken.

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

As it turned out, Consumer Reports cleverly decided to trumpet that their ratings system had been broken. The strategy worked so well that their web site crashed, apparently under the load of all the interest raised by the headline: Tesla Model S P85D Breaks Consumer Reports’ Ratings System.

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Emerald City Comicon draws 80,000 fans to Seattle

When I previously wrote about comic book shows and their fans, I was talking about small-to-medium shows like the Jet City Comic Show. Their site states that “Jet City started in order to fill in the void for a quality one-day show for fans and dealers.

Comic-Con International is the 800 pound gorilla, and Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) bears a strong family resemblance. This year they brought in 80,000 fans and took over the Washington State Convention Center in the middle of Seattle, despite the Department of Transportation shutting down multiple vectors into town. The DOT earned some jabs from Comicon attendees after declaring that there would be “no major events this weekend,” but it didn’t keep the fans away.

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What You Can Learn from how Costco and Consumer Reports Deal With Quitters

I’ve been simplifying my life, which included a cancellation binge. I cancelled my Consumer Reports subscription, and allowed my Costco membership to lapse.

Deafening Silence

Costco logoI was puzzled that Costco never made any effort to find out why I was no longer a member, and never even acknowledged my departure as a customer. Their emails kept coming, and when I unsubscribed from those there was again a deafening silence.

My experience with Consumer Reports was completely the opposite. I unsubscribed online and was immediately surveyed as to why I was leaving, how they could do better, and whether I’d consider coming back. They even asked if I’d be interested in joining a focus group with fellow ex-subscribers.

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3 Reasons Your Web Site Needs to be Mobile Friendly – and how Google is Forcing Your Hand

More and more people are using mobile devices to access the web. Why does that matter to you?

Your Customers Care

Increasing numbers of your customers use mobile devices, not only to look at information, but to buy things using those devices. For example, 37% of US iPhone Users are Buying via Mobile.

If your site isn’t friendly to mobile devices, your potential customers may go elsewhere. Even existing customers may be tempted by the web sites of your competitors.

Apps Can’t Do Everything

Your web site needs to work with mobile devices. Smaller companies, and those that don’t regularly interact with their customers online via their mobile devices, may not even have an app. People who want to find out more about the company or the products will still need to use your web site, so it had better work well with mobile.

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How Far Would Your Fans Travel to Meet With You?

Anticipation

Before the show, fans were lined-up in the lobby, waiting to trade their tickets for wrist bands. Some fans hoped to snag some of the freebies on the tables outside the exhibit hall.

James Holliday, "Seattle's Captain America"
James Holliday, “Seattle’s Captain America”

The Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show recognized they share an audience with this show and had one of the many tables in the lobby near the registration table. (The very narrow product focus of one of their sponsors, PinballBulbs, caught my attention last year.)

At opening time, when the clock struck 10, the show was still waking up. The check-in line had become blessedly short, some of the vendors were still stocking their racks, and some of the artists hadn’t yet arrived. “Artist Alley” saw the artists (“comic guests“) chatting with the early-arrivers, and some of the media guests didn’t even have lines yet.

The Fans Come Out

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Find a Need and Fill It

I enjoyed reading about the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show, and not just a because of my interest in retro technology. Logo for PinBallBulbs, offering light bulbs for pinball machines at http://www.pinballbulbs.com/I was particularly intrigued by a company listed in the Show Sponsors section. When I saw the logo for PinballBulbs, the lightbulb above my own head lit-up. I was reminded of the rallying cry for sales and marketing people to Find a need and fill it.

Seriously? A company that exists to sell lightbulbs for pinball machines? A bit of investigation confirmed that they specialize in lights and lighting upgrades for pinball machines!

Sharing What You Know

Light bulbs for pinball machines? That’s an awfully narrow niche, but apparently there’s a need for them. I suspect the proprietors didn’t start with a brainstorming session and end up with an inspiration to sell a very specific product into a very specialized market. They were probably already involved with pinball machines and saw the need to replace or upgrade the many light bulbs they contain.

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