In Seth’s blog, “The Last Interaction” I was again extremely interested in the truth of his post, so much so that I thought I had to put something up here. This is an extremely relevant fact to keep in mind when doing business. While the first impression is what gives you the consumers business in the first place, it is your last impression that decides whether you will get their business again. I can’t help but think of Future Shop when I was reading this post. When you go in to buy a product you have multiple salespersons to choose from. However as soon as there is a problem it’s as hard to find someone to help you as it is to find a drink of water in the desert. For this very reason I try to avoid Future Shop as much as possible.

As Seth mentioned you have to carry your excellent customer service through to the very end. Word of mouth is a very powerful device and while it works well when someone is praising a company about a job well done, it works ten times better when someone is complaining. It only takes one complaint to spoil a companies possibilities with a group of potential consumers. So as Seth mentioned it is important to follow up, make sure the customer is happy.

This is especially true now that there are more and more blogs starting every day. Now complaints of praises can reach consumers out side the direct circle of friends of the original customer. Say I start a blog tomorrow, and say that BUS 442 sucks and that no one should ever take this course, whether it is true or not it could affect the future enrollment of this class. If I wrote the opposite and praised the class and Dave then perhaps it will affect enrollment in another direction. This is just another example of how powerful the Internet has become.

I believe this will force companies to become better in their customer service, but I fear it may also hurt firms that do not actually deserve to be criticized. I feel that we as consumers also have a job to do, in that we must sort out the unjustified complaints, and only take the relevant facts into consideration. Much like Wikipedia we have to question the source of the information. If only one person makes a statement it would be hard to judge, but if 20 people make the same statement it would be safe to assume that there is some basis behind the claim.

-TAG

I’m Guilty

January 27, 2008

While reading Seth’s post on “Bad Judgment” I have to admit I’m quite guilty of this and I think we all are from time to time. As I’ve mentioned before I help moderate one of the online communities that I’m part of and I really have to step back and try to see the post that someone makes from the point of view of the poster themselves. I have to understand why they made a post that I feel the need to delete/edit/flag/report. Once I see this angle or think I do, I try to talk it out with the member of the site, most times it works, and of course some times people just like to be difficult, that is where the powers of removing people from the site come in quite handy. But this can be a great way to approach marketing as well as many other business problems.

In marketing it is an asset if you can understand your customers and more importantly why they react the way they do to your product. If you can understand your consumers personally I think you can rule the market. While I don’t think anyone can perfectly understand their consumers, marketers and developers must make an attempt to understand as best they can.

This also comes in handy in business situation where a conflict or disagreement arises, where a lot of time can be saved if we step back and try to see it from the other person’s point of view. Instead of arguing your point try to find out the basis that they have for making theirs. Perhaps you or the other party are misunderstanding something or maybe you are closer in your views than it appears and you just have different ways of expressing it.

Never judge someone until you walk a mile in their shoes, so never start a fight until you see their point of view. Some disagreements can not be avoided but you would be surprised the ones that could be quickly resolved if we all tried to understand the opposing party a little more before we stir the pot a little more.

-TAG

Layering

January 27, 2008

Well this week I wanted to get away from from Seth Godin’s blog, but none of the other entries even sparked my interest. In fact three entries of Seth’s in my mind deserved a post about them. While one was already commented on I will make an entirely new post about it since I tend to write quite a bit and was told to make long comments into posts. So here goes, I’ll start off with Layering.

What interested me about this post was that those companies that plan and plan and then execute will always find themselves behind those firms who planned and executed then modified and executed the modifications. This is incredibly true in that if you just continue to plan and plan, with the way the market and the world for that matter is changing, you will never reach the stage in which you are perfectly happy with your final product. The point is that you have to get the product out there and let the consumers decide what needs to be changed. The sooner you can introduce your product to the economy the better I think. That being said you can’t release just any old idea, it still has to be carefully planned, but once you have something that is a complete product it should be released for review. The longer you hold back your idea from the consumers, the more likely it is that someone else will think of the same idea and release it before you.

All products have to go through changes to stay in demand, take the Ipod for example. When the Ipod came out first it was a great hit, and it received lots of reviews as to what consumers think would improve the product. The original Ipod is still popular and you can still purchase the original styled Ipods. But smaller ones have been released, ones that play video, ones with more memory, and more technical ones like the new Ipod touch (which sounds like there are lots of suggestions as to what could improve this model).

This is a perfect example of releasing the product and then modifying it afterwards. The Ipod was a huge hit and continues to sell like crazy. Each new Ipod model release always sparks new sales, and will most likely continue to do so in the future. If Apple tried to release a perfect product they would still be designing, and would have a prototype of the Ipod Touch now but it would have to be modified again and again into the new model but never released.

As mentioned before you have to let the market decide what it wants. Firms have to stop their planning somewhere and release the product, and then perhaps the most important planning is still ahead. Reacting to what the market is telling you is the most important part of a product’s life cycle and will decide how long the product will last in the market.

-TAG

Ha Ha just kidding, but I thought after the discussion in class today I could post up a few things I have noticed and my thoughts. Personally when I sat there in the first class I thought I had made a mistake by signing up for this class, I thought it was completely over my head and would be something I just wouldn’t be able to follow. After I got home from the first class I did some searching to what all the acronyms meant and a little background on some of the technologies. I started to feel a little bit more comfortable with the idea of Networking, Knowledge and the Digital Age. To be honest I really did not think this course would be this technical and this deep into the topics, i know we could go a lot deeper but I didn’t think we would go as deep as we are. This isn’t a bad thing, I’m quite happy with what we are doing now that I understand it a little better.

As for the material we are covering I think it’s a very good balance of technology and “skills”/”tools” that we can use personally and that we can also relate to our business degrees. I don’t think I would ever get into blogging, I had a my own blog awhile back and pretty much got sick of it after a few months, just not for me I guess. I found the RSS feeds particularly useful, for a lot of different uses. I am currently looking to replace the engine and transmission in my winter car and I have used the RSS feeds for local classifieds to keep an eye on them, and that way I will be notified quicker. I do the same and have bought most of my parts for my summer car/toy and love the deals that I can find. I also use it to keep up on sports scores and it has served as a great reminder to why I don’t watch hockey anymore, being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan it gets rather depressing. I like blogs like this for if you were planning a project or had a rather small group you wanted to keep track of and I will most likely use this in the future for business related projects, or for projects and planning for the car club. As for the other things we have learned about I am not really interested in them . . . . yet. I personally don’t like Flikr, most likely won’t use the other blogs we were shown today. I don’t use bookmarks either so del.icio.us is not much good to me. But it is still very interesting to have the information to pass onto others.

I think this course is going to be interesting all the way through, at first I thought reading the blogs was a little overwhelming and too much work, but I think I got the hang of scanning through them to see what is relevant to my interests and what would be worth reading in detail. I think I’ll enjoy it, but really have no idea what direction it should take, I don’t have the knowledge currently to decide what I want to learn more about, more or less I’m just along for the ride and will learn what I’m taught, if something really interests me and we don’t cover it in detail I’ll look into it myself or ask for more information. Hope this helps a bit.

-TAG

The post was

Encyclopedia salesmen hate wikipedia…

And CNET hates Google
And newspapers hate Craigslist
And music labels hate Napster
And used bookstores hate Amazon
And so do independent bookstores.

Dating services hate Plenty of Fish
And the local shoe store hates Zappos
And courier services hate fax machines
And monks hate GutenbergApparently, technology doesn’t care who you hate.As stated in a comment of mine to Tasia’s post about Music Lessons, a company that refuses to change the way things are will lose business. There has always been competition in the market place, but now when the competition is something digital, firms are starting to call foul. Of course you’re going to hate your competition, if I was competing against another class mate for marks and only one of us could receive those marks then yes I would hate to see them get the marks and not me. Competition makes the economy healthy, and if companies refuse to compete than they will be left behind.

Many companies today are finding it very hard to make the change from the “way it use to be” to becoming a more digitally based firm. I believe that most companies do not realize just how easy and cheap it is to become part of the online community. Many small businesses see it as hiring a computer savvy employee, and allowing a great deal of time for a website to be made at a great cost to the company, and feel that the small sales they will gain from it will never out weigh the costs. In actual fact it is more likely that a small company has more to gain from online commerce than do the larger companies. A small company situated in little PEI can build a global website as easily as a retail giant such as Wal-Mart. Wal Mart is already recognized and has an established clientèle and can survive on consumers coming through the doors of their buildings. The little company on PEI may not have the available customers to make a go of it without the online community. No one outside of the residents of the island would know about the little company, until they made a website. The same is true, that the company would not be able to know what kind of global market is out there for their product until they made it available online.

I strongly believe that for any business to be successful today it must have a portion or all of their items or services available. I know that some businesses that only want to stay small can survive without being on the Internet, but if a firm really wishes to grow than the web really is the only way.

In closing I just want to repeat the fact that competition is a way of life and that any business that can not handle a little competition, and that is capable to adapt to compete will be left behind in the dust of the companies who can and will.

-TAG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkzNOEiW4M8

I found the start of this video comical. The camera phone, and the addition of the Tv was good. But when they added the toothbrush I almost burst out laughing. I find it is typical of some of the technology out there today, where you wonder as to why they added the features they do. I love this little gadgets that come out that have what appear to be completely useless features. such as a cell phone with a built in flash light that actually shines less light than the phone’s actual screen. I just thought people would like to share their useless technology stories.

-TAG