Rants and Raves

Medium Is A Great Place To Distribute But Still Shouldn’t Replace Your Own Spot Online has really become a force to know about online. It has a great community and readership. Many big names write on the platform. You know why? Eyeballs and engagement.
That’s all fine and good, but in the end Medium is like all closed source blogging areas, you really don’t control your content the way you would on your own blog.
The benefits to having your content on your own blog are immense. You control the content, you can design it the way you want, the visitors to your blog are YOUR visitors. You can sell ads against your content.
Now, I’m not saying to not use Medium. No, use it, but use it as a place to distribute your content and link back to your blog where the article orginated.
Just my quick thoughts. What do you think?
Rants and Raves

One-On-One Meetings In Business

I’ve been in the business world for more than a decade. Before that I was a journalist.

Throughout my adult post-graduate life, I’ve been hypersensitive to the effectiveness of a one-on-one business meeting. It astonishes me that some people, regardless of how long they’ve been in business, haven’t mastered the art.

Here are some tips to follow when doing a one-on-one that can prevent you from losing (business and your reputation.

  1. Set a time to meet and be there 5 minutes early – If you can’t be there early, being at least on time is absolutely mandatory. There’s nothing worse than having to wait for the other person to show up.
  2. If there is a family emergency or you need to cancel, reach out to the person on all forms of communication until you either run out  or you get in touch with them – Nothing’s worse than having a one-on-one and not having the person show up. Even if it’s for a good reason, be courteous and make sure they know. You can’t assume that the particular form of communication you chose to contact them is the one they will be checking.
  3. Always try and learn as much as you can about the other person when meeting. —  Just talking about your business and yourself for 30 minutes without asking about the other person and their business is just plain RUDE. It WILL hurt your reputation and you’ll probably lose that contact forever.
  4. A one-on-one is not a sales meeting. It’s a place to learn about the other company and figure out if there is any synergy to working together for the future. — Nothing’s worse than being pitched at a meeting, especially when you’re not expecting it.
  5. When meeting, try and find a place that is similar distance for both parties — Having to drive all the way to one person’s location is not always considerate. Sometimes it’s necessary, but meeting on mutual turf is often easier to network and learn about each other.
  6. Always write a quick note after the meeting to thank the other person for taking the time to meet you — A little extra goes a long way in keeping you top-of-mind with that person.

Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to get more out of your next one-on-one.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Did I miss a crucial one? Post it in the comments below.

Rants and Raves

Guns Do Kill People… At The Hands Of People

Policy Change For Orlando

I still can’t get over what happened at Pulse Night Club during the early morning hours of Sunday. The amount of hate that goes into doing something this horrendous is beyond me. My heart aches for all those involved, both the wounded and dead victims, those who were there that night and the family members and friends of those affected.

In the aftermath of this insanity, most “civil” people condemned the attack. Many encouraged people to not only use their words, but take action (ie. give blood, volunteer, etc.). Yet there has been some really ugly actions (verbal and otherwise) taking place. People have taken to social media to say things that, either implied or otherwise, the people at the club deserved it because of their orientation. This is so wrong on so many levels. No one deserves to be murdered… EVER.

I wanted to write a lengthy commentary on the gun control issue, but I’ve decided to put it in simple list form:

  • There is no need for an AR-15. The only purpose for this gun is to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
  • The 2nd Amendment was written in 18th Century when the best weapon was a highly inaccurate musket.
  • There is no need for a high-capacity magazine. Seriously, unless you’re out to kill people, there’s nothing wrong with reloading.
  • Background checks have to get better. People should be able to buy guns, but lunatics shouldn’t. The FBI knew about the gun man 2 years ago and he still was able to LEGALLY buy a gun. WTF!
  • Bad guys will always be able to get guns, with or without gun control. Though if they get them illegally, it’s harder and there are harsher repercussions for doing so.

Let’s make one fact perfectly clear. There is nothing wrong with owning a gun. It’s the kind of gun and who can get a gun (legally) that’s the problem. The National Rifle Association, was originally setup to be an association to self control guns, they are now just as evil as those who use guns to kill. They enable evil people, who shouldn’t have guns, to buy them legally.

I know this is a tough discussion. I know this issue divides many of my friends. But, regardless of what side of the issue you align, you have to agree, something needs to be done. We are 164 days into 2016 and we’ve already had 133 mass shootings. What’s wrong with that picture.

One more thing… LOVE IS LOVE (mic drop).

Okay, now’s your chance to tell me that your agree with me or that I’m crazy socialist, anti-gun, lunatic, who wants to take away your freedom. And go…

Rants and Raves

Bad Customer Service Has To STOP

Bad Customer Service Has To STOP

Last night a friend of mine posted on Facebook that her Android phone wouldn’t let her login. She said she called Verizon and and the customer service representative told her that the ONLY thing she could do was to exhaust her login attempts and have the phone erase all the data and start over.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. She’s not a techie by any stretch of the imagination, so I don’t blame her for following rep’s advice. Afterall they’re the experts, right? WRONG!

After about 3 minutes on Google and Reddit, I found a possible solution would avoid having to restoring her phone from scratch. Unfortunately by the time she saw my replies and pleas for her to not listen it was too late. Thank God restoring your Android phone isn’t all that painful, just time consuming.

This Laziness Is Rampant In The Customer Service World

I don’t know why, but I’ve seen this laziness and ineptitude over and over, not only with Verizon, but other companies.

One particular industry notorious for are Website hosting companies. Many hosts tout that they have great 24/7 support, but if you have a problem with your WordPress site (the CMS powers more than 26% of the Web) their only solution is to have you uninstall your plugins and reinstall them one at a time to find the culprit. Seriously? This is your GREAT support? These companies should, instead of racing to the bottom of the price ladder, charge a little bit more and provide good support.

There are a few WordPress-only hosting companies that do it right. The one I use for all my clients sites is FlyWheel (Full disclosure, they are sponsors of my Netcast Network, and link is an affiliate link). Not only are their servers optimized for WordPress, their support doesn’t make you jump through hoops to fix problems on your site. They will find the issue and tell you what is causing it and how to fix it. Often they will even fix it for you.

Now, the hosting isn’t the cheapest. Starting at $15/mo, for the tiny plan, they are a bit more expensive than those $2/mo servers, but the quality is clear.

I Have Experience On Both Sides

I’m not just talking out of my backside here. I have lots of experience on both sides, both as a consumer and on the brand side.

As a consumer I frequently communicate with brands through social channels. I praise them when they do a good job and I let them know (often strongly) when they do something wrong. I’ve also worked with brands, both in-house and as a consultant. I’ve seen first hand the old-time mentality of the call center and an over-focus on return on investment (ROI), rather customer service and customer happiness.

Jay Baer, the great social media and customer service expert said in his latest book “Hug Your Haters,” that you should want complaints, because those customers who complain are the customers that actually care. If a customer has a bad experience and doesn’t tell you, instead just writes off your business and goes somewhere else, that’s not helping you. A customer who complains wants to like your brand and wants you to improve.

It’s Worth Paying More For Good Customer Service

It’s worth paying more, because additional resources and training costs more. A good friend of mine, Ted Rubin, is a huge proponent of good customer service. He coined the phrase “Return on Relationship” and even wrote the book on it.

Ted is a social media and customer service visionary, who is constantly on the various social media platforms talking about both good and bad customer service. Throughout his travels, and he travels a lot, Ted stays in nice hotels that cost more, but have great customer service.

A great example is the Ritz Carlton. Ted loves them, because they go above and beyond for their visitors. Just check out Ted on Facebook and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

The point that Ted makes, as do many others (like the great Jay Baer and Frank Eliason), is that companies need to focus more on RonR than ROI. That spending more money to improve your customer’s experience will pay back much more than just one visit. It’s all about the relationship.

So Where Does This Leave Us?

Well, it’s up to both the brands and the customers to change. The brands need to invest in better customer service and the customers need to be willing to be smart consumers. And when in doubt there is always Google. If someone tells you that the ONLY way is to do it their way, doubt what they’re saying and do your own research.

Seth Goldstein is the principal creative director of Goldstein Media LLC, a interactive agency based in suburban Philadelphia. He has worked with clients of all sizes improve their presence on social media. Seth is a big proponent of Ted Rubin’s mantra Return on Relationship. If you want to be sure to receive all his updates, signup for his newsletter.


Rants and Raves

Bike In Shop Getting Some TLC. I’m Home With Allergy Attack.

Cycle Sports Doylestown, PA

So my bike is at Cycle Sports in Doylestown, in the capable care of John and Eric. While she gets some much needed TLC, I’m home, not riding and suffering from an allergy attack. So I guess I wouldn’t be riding her today anyhow. But man I miss my bike and the open road. I was on such a roll before my migraine and now I just feel sidelined and blue. I know soon enough I’ll be back in the saddle and riding again. Hopefully tomorrow.

All for now.