Sunday, November 21, 2010

So upgrades are a bad thing... ?

Just ordered some gifts online from Chapters/Indigo. The checkout was easy and efficient.
Then I ran onto the following warning after I had placed my order.

Surely we have moved beyond blaming delays on "upgrades"?

And here I thought upgrades were all about improving service!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Soylent Green Blues

Yes, minimum-wage restaurant chains need to get more imaginatIve about how they recruit new staff.

But this particular ad from Hardee's looks a little - unappetizing?

How did this get past marketing, HR, production, and common sense?

New Management Welcome.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Demolition Debacle

A hotel demolition in Edmonton goes wrong....

(Fortunately, the street had been blocked off.)
New construction management welcome!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lies and the Liars who Tell Them

Is there no end to the evil of cell providers?

Tech blogger James Kendrick writes about his experience trying to cancel his service at Verizon (after studying the market, he decided to switch to Sprint to power his new Palm Pre).
"I entered the Verizon store to cancel my voice and data lines with mixed emotions," writes Kendrick. "The lying I was blasted with by Verizon employees made the process much easier on me than I thought it would be."

First, two Verizon employees ganged up on Kendrick to convince him that the Sprint 4G service wasn't equal to Verizon's, and that it wasn't available anywhere outside Houston. Kendrick stood his ground and told them that wasn't true. (But imagine if they had been double-teaming a customer who didn't know his stuff ...)

So they sent him to Customer Service, where two more guys peddling the same stories tried to talk him out of canceling. Kendrick refuted their arguments, then asked to speak to the division manager. They hastily cancelled his service.

Concludes Kendrick: "The whole thing left me with a very bad taste in my mouth for the way Verizon conducts business. Which is a shame after a decade of happy patronage."

The real shame is when a company deploys four people to strong-arm you into being a loyal customer, instead of winning your loyalty through the best execution every single day.

But it's also an experience you never forget. Or forgive.

You can check out Kendrick's article here. If you have time, you can also read the 70-plus comments attesting to Verizon's lack of management smarts. (And other mobile providers as well, of course.)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Well past its best-before date

Oh Pizza Hut, an artefact of the 1970s that has somehow survived into the 21st Century.

Checked out their website today to see if there was any reason not to order from the leading brand for a pre-Valentine's treat, and discovered that they have just wrapped up their Father's Day contest (from 2009, one presumes).
Not only that, but they're offering a bonus to anyone who submits their name to the Pizza Hut mailing list by five months ago (Sept. 21, 2009).

For forgetting about their website in this age of digital marketing, Pizza Hut wins an extra-cheesey salute from "New Management Welcome."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Messy Way to Waste Money

Andy Nulman's "Pow!" blog makes the great point that in snowy cities, companies pretty much throw their money away when they advertise on the sides of buses in winter.

Then he discoved this picture from fellow Montreal entrepreneur Bernie Malinoff. It pretty much nails his argument.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How NOT to win friends and influence people

I found a link this morning to a good article on “negotiating with difficult people” at the site.

As a consultant myself in content marketing, I think it imperative that businesses selling their smarts (AKA “thought leaders”) provide free content such as this to attract prospects’ attention and build respect for their expertise.

But that doesn't mean you broadcast what your intentions are. Letting people know they're just "leads" to you makes people feel they're being manipulated, rather than served.

Carnegie’s mistake? Look at the URL they choose for the page that hosts the story:

Maybe few people will notice the phrase “lead nurturing tips.” Nonetheless, this takes transparency too far.

Yes, providing relevant content is a marketing tactic. But most businesses use phrases that sound less mercantile. Examples: Free_stuff. Premium_content. Welcoming_wisdom.

Business should make customers and prospects feel they're being valued, and respected. Not hunted.
(Cross-posted from my "Canadian Entrepreneur" blog)