Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Green Roofs and Customer Relationships

I subscribe to few newsletters mostly because I don't have much excess time.

But I always look forward to the Daily Feed - now rebranded the Weekly Feed, put out by Mark Maunder of Feedjit (the company who provides the blog visitor software here on my blog).

Mark's free newsletter has really helped me with my blog.  As a botanist and lawyer, my IT skills earlier this year were the not so good to say the least.  In fact - over the holiday season I will be redoing our website as it is not very user friendly right now.

However with Mark's advice my green roof blog went from 4 visitors per week to over 100 per day in less than 3 months.  But that is not the reason I am posting an article from his newsletter today.

I have read and re-read Marks latest newsletter article about customer service because it is so true.

As with newsletters, I am also choosy about the stores I go into and can relate to what Mark says.  So here is the excerpt - enjoy!  Kevin

Happy Holidays and Happy Green Roofing!

Welcome to Issue #52 of The Weekly Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page. The Weekly Feed is published once a week when we have news, information and helpful tips to share. Unsubscribe instructions are at the end of this message. You can read previous editions of The Weekly Feed on our blog but note that posts to our blog are delayed 24 hours or more.

We have rebranded The Daily Feed to The Weekly Feed. We'll be publishing the newsletter once a week from now on usually at the beginning of the week.

If you, like me, have left your holiday shopping until the last minute, you've probably paid a visit to the Apple store recently. I'm in Colorado right now and paid a visit to the Park Meadows Apple store to get something I didn't really need but that made a good excuse to give Steve more of my money.

A few minutes later I walked into the Microsoft store. I've managed to get over the fact that they cloned Apple the same way I don't mind that Pepsi cloned Coke. Hey, competition is good for all of us. The experience was basically the same but the details were different and there were so many of them it was startling:

The store employees weren't smiling, there were less of them and it was hard to get their attention. I wanted to buy Windows 7 and the price was $200 and the sales guy told me that "sorry, but that's what it costs" even though I bought a new licensed copy (also the full install) on eBay this morning for $117. When the attendant swiped my card for my PC game he had to reach under a table and use a non-portable swiper. They didn't offer me an email receipt or even take my email address. They assumed I wanted a paper receipt so that's what I got. The guy who helped us had this look on his face like we weren't supposed to be there.

The Apple store on the other hand was friendly, portable card swipes, email receipts, the store was packed and about 1 in 5 people were super helpful Apple employees. I stood in the wrong line (for the genius bar) and a guy came up to me and offered a checkout without making me feel like I'd screwed up. It was awesome and it's the reason we own more Apples at Feedjit than PC's for the first time this year.

Apple is big on the details of the impression they leave you with. Note the Apple Keynote Cutdown video. Not a single cut is repeated in that video. Business insider has a blog entry today about how Apple refers to it's products grammatically as person's and not as objects.

All these little touches add up to a whole that has far more marketing power than the sum of it's parts. When you are thinking about your blog or website, take note of the details. Load times, color scheme, unpleasant distractions, how long you take to reply to your comments or respond to customer requests, the tone and language you use, how you moderate your comments, forums or wiki. All these details add up into a complete user experience and they all matter a whole lot.

Our news roundup for today:

Royal Pingdom published some revealing data today. They did a survey of a handlful of popular blogging platforms over 2 months to see which provide the best uptime. Blogger, Wordpress and Typepad came up on top with Tumblr performing terribly. Tumblr had a total of 47 hours of down-time over a 2 month period. You can read the full report here.

Thomas Weber has a guide in The Daily Beast today that shares how he cracked the New York Times "Most Emailed" story list and got his story to #3 on the list. Thomas and his team figured out that the TImes counts individual senders per story. After 1,270 individual (volunteer) senders had emailed a story they made it to number 3 on the overall list. The times gets roughly 30 million visitors per month, and it takes around 1 in every 25,000 readers to email a story to get that story on to the top 10 most emailed story list.

And finally, if you're in the Northern Hemisphere tonight at 12:41 Mountain Standard Time, enjoy the Lunar Eclipse. The Feedjit founders will be watching it at 7000 ft from Colorado.

Happy Holidays!!

Mark Maunder
Feedjit Founder & CEO

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