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How to Provide Customer Support to Your Patrons

Alright–– So you’ve created a product or application that is so good that it can cure leprosy and bring your “Meemaw” back from the dead. Sweet! You’re rolling around in cash and sleeping on mattresses made up of dollar stacks –– good for you. But wait until you have to provide technical support or any kind of customer support for that matter. You’ll soon want to jump off the observation deck of Burj Khalifa. Why, you might ask, is customer support such a big deal? Well, before we go down that rabbit hole, let’s give you some examples of companies that failed, crashed and conflagrated into a pile of slag heap because of bad customer service. 1) US Airways – Before it was purchased by America West, this airline was notorious for its terrible customer service. They made the mistake of slashing their customer service budget and outsourcing this department of critical importance to someone who clearly didn’t know what they were doing. Result? The company nosedived into the ground and filed for bankruptcy. 2) Blockbuster – Remember the once famous video rental chain? Yeah, no one does. And that’s exactly what happens to those who subject their customers to exorbitant late fees and otherwise takes them for fools; until the customers decided to make Blockbuster their bitch by not buying from them. Getting auctioned off to Dish Network in bankruptcy court was an end well deserved. Kids, we can go on and on about companies that either went bust or came perilously close to this fate because of bad customer service, but that’s not what you’re here...

Web Usability Blunders That Make Kittens Hate You

A fair amount of my time as a user-experience (UX) professional is spent fixing all the bullshit that my clients have created and subjected themselves to out of complete ignorance. And not only do they put themselves through the ringer without really knowing it, but their audience as well… If that’s you, don’t worry too much because you’re not totally at fault. For some reason, once most people own a slice of digital real estate, they completely forget what it’s like to be a web consumer. Did you grow up in modern web culture? Generations X (millennials) and Y created the web experience as we now know it in this aspect: every digital trend from gaming to social media that’s led us to today was chosen by them. You either “get it” or you don’t. It’s just that simple folks. You either speak their language and understand what it takes to engage web consumers these days, or you don’t. In this article I’m going to outline 7 gargantuan blunders that make marketing online and community-building feel like taking on an entire pack of wild Alaskan wolves with nothing but a pea-shooter. Let’s begin. Usability Blunder #1: Insta-Pop-Ups Why these still exist is beyond me. Some claim from the analytical perspective that pop-ups improve conversions and manage to grow robust email lists. Horse$#%! Ask yourself, how many pop-ups have you filled out in your entire life? Generation X and Y didn’t choose these. They’re annoying and ill-timed 90% of the time. No, you shouldn’t have a pop-up surprise attacking organic traffic within seconds of them arriving on your page. They...

6 Obstacles to Getting Started in E-Commerce

Let me just go ahead and say that fear and reluctance to take the first step is probably the biggest obstacle standing between you and your dream of making passive income from an e-commerce venture.