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Lots of posts in the queue.

If you remember, I ran a workshop titled Addressing Your Customer Service Challenges at Customer Service is the New Marketing in early February.

During the first part of the workshop, I asked attendees to write down their two biggest customer service challenges. At the end of each workshop, I collected these papers and told them to watch out for blog posts on the subject.

I finally got a chance to go through the responses in some detail and now have a couple of weeks worth of post topics. The challenges are really interesting and are topics I’m excited to write about.

Be sure to watch out for these posts (a majority of the posts in March I would say) related to challenges that a wide variety of organizations face on a daily basis.

Four by Four Things About Me

Maria Palma tagged me on the four by four (sixteen) things you don’t know about me meme. Maria was tagged by Becky Carroll, another customer service and customer experience blogger. It looked interested, so here are my responses.

Four Jobs I’ve Had:

  • Independent computer consultant. You know the neighborhood whiz kid you would call when your printer wasn’t working? I was the person that most of my neighbors called when I was younger.
  • Frontline CSR. I have worked on the frontlines before and did so for about a year at a small web hosting company. I learned a lot (about the aptitude and attitude parts of the job) and had a lot of fun.
  • Freelance journalist. I have done freelance writing for a variety of web sites and magazines. I used to write about the web hosting industry and technology in general, but I now write almost exclusively about customer service and related topics.
  • Event staff. I had not been involved with event planning or management since I was on student government in high school when Get Satisfaction hired me to help with Customer Service is the New Marketing. While I was still more of a content than an event planning person, it was a new (but very positive!) experience nonetheless.

Four Places I’ve Been:

  • All over Hawaii. I took a vacation to Hawaii several years ago and went all over for about two weeks. It was a great trip.
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’ve traveled to Puerto Rico twice, both times as a vacation.
  • Big cities. I’ve been to most of our country’s big cities – New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Charlotte, Atlanta, and San Francisco were the main ones.
  • All over California. The year before my Hawaii trip, I took a two and a half week trip to California with my family. We went basically everywhere from San Diego up to San Francisco.

Four Music Artists I’m Listening to Right Now:

  • John Mayer (favorite song: Waiting On The World To Change)
  • The Shins (favorite song: Saint Simon)
  • The Killers (favorite song: Mr. Brightside)
  • The Fray (favorite song: Over My Head: Cable Car)

Four Favorite Foods:

  • Brownies. I have a huge sweet tooth and love brownies. I usually leave with a brownie when I go into a bakery.
  • Salmon. My family eats a lot of salmon and I am a huge fan of it.
  • Milkshakes. I am a big fan of milkshakes, especially the brownies-a-la-mode one from Haagen-Dazs (it’s like $6, but well worth it!).
  • Teriyaki chicken. I really like teriyaki chicken for some reason.

I’d like to tag some of my friends who I think might participate in a meme like this and who I don’t usually link to, including: Sean Kelly, Kevin Palmer, Rico Mossesgeld, and Darlene McDaniel. Go for it, guys!

Apologies for Friday

My apologies for a lack of a post on Friday – I had (and still have) a nasty cold. Posting should be back to normal on Monday.

A Collaborative Book

We’re definitely living in the Internet age when a group of bloggers who often don’t know each other can write a book on marketing. This is what they did for The Age of Conversation (the story is here) and now the same group of people (plus additional bloggers) are going to be writing a new, collaborative book.

The book’s topic has not been finalized yet (you can vote on it here), but here are the three choices:

  • Marketing Manifesto
  • Why Don’t People Get It?
  • My Marketing Tragedy (and what I learned)

These are some great topics that could be very interesting. I personally voted for “Why Don’t People Get It?” I think that question could generate a lot of very interesting responses. The group of bloggers that ends up writing this will surely be a great group with a lot of experience in a lot of different areas.

I think this is going to be a lot of fun and I encourage you to look into it. Vote on the topic, look into helping contribute as an author, help promote the book. There are plenty of ways to help and the more people that help, the better.

The proceeds from the book are going to be donated to Variety, The Children’s Charity. I’m proud to be involved with this great project.

Unrelated to this, I wanted to point out this post by Seth Godin. It’s a post about how an inflexible policy / those not caring at Apple degraded the experience. One would think they fix the problem, but since no one at the store seems to care (unlike some of the customers that do care), they don’t fix it.

Happy New Year!

It seems as if every business in the United States is closed today, so there won’t be a post here on Service Untitled for New Year’s Day.

newyear

Hopefully you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and the first day of 2008 will be just as good. Take some time to relax and contemplate your New Year’s resolution (you can always start doing it tomorrow, right?).

I would like to thank HostColor for advertising on Service Untitled.

If you are interested in hosting with HostColor (their plans start at $25 a year), just send them an email and let them know that you read Service Untitled – you’ll save 20% on your first order. Click here or their logo above for more details.

Happy New Year!

Service Untitled Year End Numbers

I’ve been using a detailed analytics program (Google Analytics) to track Service Untitled’s traffic and such since late March. So, the year end numbers are really late March through today (evening of December 28), but I feel they are accurate enough to be useful.

  • The blog’s traffic and and number of subscribers have all increased significantly since March.
  • I’ve met a lot of interesting people and companies. I’ve had the pleasure to interview quite a few interesting people, feature their guest writer posts, and more.
  • Since January, I’ve written 283 posts about customer service, the customer service experience, and related topics. Excluding a few holidays, I think I have only missed one or two days of posting.
  • I’ve seen hundreds of comments about various companies including Spirit Airlines, Verizon, United Airlines, HP, and more. If I know someone at the company, I forward the comment there and the customer usually gets a resolution.
  • Aside from my regular writing and consulting, I’ve spoken in front of a sizable audience, helped organize a conference, and have been quoted by ABC News.

Here are the most popular posts on Service Untitled since March:

  1. Sample Client Thank You Notes
  2. Sample Email Signatures
  3. Interview: Dick Hunter, VP of Customer Experience at Dell
  4. Spirit Airlines doesn’t care about your call.
  5. Dick Hunter of Dell – Part 2 of 3
  6. Jack Hightower of CarMax – Part 2 of 2
  7. Interview with Jack Hightower – VP of Sales at CarMax
  8. United Airlines Customer Service
  9. Interview: Robert Stephens – Founder of The Geek Squad
  10. Verizon Customer Service Does Well!

It looks like readers like interviews and travel posts. Ironically, of all the categories on Service Untitled, the angry customers category is the most popular. The next most popular category is customer service.

Most of all, 2007 has been a great year for me personally and professionally. I’ve made a lot of great new friends and contacts. Service Untitled continues to be a lot of fun to write. I’m thankful to have the opportunity and I thank all of you for continuing to read Service Untitled and refer it to your friends and colleagues.

I’m looking forward to an even more exciting 2008.

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Service Untitled on Satisfaction

I created a site for Service Untitled on Satisfaction yesterday. After just a little bit of time and effort, it’s all setup and ready to go.

Get hepl related to Service Untitled.

Feel free to post your ideas for blog posts or just say hi. If you own or manage a company, consider adding it to Satisfaction. It is a really interesting way to get feedback from your customers / users.

While I’m on the topic of Satisfaction, I think I should remind you that early bird pricing for Customer Service is the New Marketing (written about here) ends on December 31. If you want to save quite a bit of money on your ticket price, register before then. If you use the code SUBL, you save 15% as well.

The one day summit is going to be in San Francisco on February 4, 2008. It’s going to feature speakers from companies like Zappos, Timbuk2, Ning, Virgin, and more. Robert Stephens from the Geek Squad (interviewed here on Service Untitled) will also be a featured speaker at the summit. I will even be there! It’s going to be a really interesting event and not one that you want to miss.

Thanks for listening to this news. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about Service Untitled, please let me know.

Disclosure: I am being paid to help organize Customer Service is the New Marketing. Get Satisfaction did not pay for or ask for this post.

Merry Christmas!

I’d like to wish all Service Untitled readers a very Merry Christmas!

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Take the day to enjoy and spend times with friends and family. There won’t be a customer service related post today. Posting will resume as normal tomorrow.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, a happy December 25th to you.

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