Software updates are a part of life in this day and age, but they don’t always have to be painful. Case in point: during a recent update to my favorite writing software, Scrivener, a known issue popped up during installation.
How Scrivener Did It Right
Instead of having to google the error, hunt down the solution, and then follow a lengthy list of instructions to delete the appropriate file, Scrivener walked me right through the entire process.
First, it notified me of the issue — and that there was a simple solution. Second, the program walked me through deleting a framework file on my Mac through a short series of prompts that were so well-designed that they included buttons to “Open Folder” rather than telling me to hunt for it. The entire process took about 10 seconds, and then the install completed successfully.
I already loved Scrivener, but making this process so easy made me love it even more.
Learning from Scrivener’s Customer Service Performance
Here’s what we can learn from Scrivener’s performance.
Do Your Research
It’s no accident that Scrivener programmed this solution right into the installation itself. I stay on top of updates, so there was no lag time to my knowledge between users being affected and the solution being provided.
If you’re getting ready to introduce a new product or service, run through as many scenarios as you can to ensure all your bases are covered and that you know how to handle issues if and when they pop up. Not even the big wig companies succeed at this all the time (ahem, Apple Maps, anyone?), but the better prepared you can be, the better.
Develop Solutions and Make Them Easy for Customers
If you do foresee problems — even minor ones — develop solutions and make them as easy as possible for your customers. Ignoring the problem and leaving the hunt for the fix to your customers is a surefire way to engender their frustration at best and to lose them entirely at worst.
However, showing your customers that you care by responding with correct, quick and easy-to-use solutions can actually improve your position.
Admit When You’re Wrong
Now, because Scrivener did everything right in this case study, I’m going to point to the Apple Maps issue again. When the product came out and users found it to be extremely subpar and sometimes even completely wrong, CEO Tim Cook responded quickly with an apology, a promise to do better, and recommendations for other apps to use in the meantime.
It was a bold move that Steve Jobs probably wouldn’t have made, to be honest, but it created goodwill within Apple’s already loyal user base. No person is perfect, and neither is any business, but we can all make strides to turn less than ideal situations into opportunities.
Effective Communication is Key
If you’ve got a public relations problem on your hands, it’s important to make sure you respond to your customers correctly. There are plenty of corporate social media horror stories out there, so it’s worth hiring a professional to help you tell your customers the right story when there’s a snafu.
If you need help responding to your customers via your website, blog, email or social media, I can help. Let’s chat about how we can work together to help you and your business keep your customers happy and loyal.
When you think of Pinterest, do you only imagine recipes and crafts? If so, think again!
Pinterest has become another great tool to share what your company is doing. People use it not just for recipes and crafts, but also for tips, tricks and information to make their lives easier and better. So if you’re writing great blog content, then there’s a good chance there are people on Pinterest who want to see it and pin it — and that means more people visiting your website.
How to Use Pinterest for Small Business
You can set up your boards just like you set up categories for your blog. For instance, on my Sarah Writes Stories Pinterest account, I have boards for Content Writing, Organization & Productivity, Recipes for the Busy, Keeping Fit & Healthy, Social Media, Growing Your Business, Staying Motivated, Holidays, and Finances for Freelancers & Small Businesses. As I develop more categories on my blog, I add them as boards on my Pinterest.
Once you have these categories, you can pin your own posts as well as repinning other appropriately themed pins from other Pinterest users. Once again, social media is about (you guessed it) being social. You should also have one board to which you pin all of your posts, in case people want to keep up with your blog that way.
Making Your Blog More Pinterest-Friendly
The best way to make your blog more friendly to Pinners is to incorporate logo-tagged images with your posts’ headlines. Take a look at the image on this post for an example.
Whether you’re using your own photos or using stock images, it’s a good idea to tag them with your logo & website so people immediately know where the information is coming from when they see it. The added bonus? Pinterest-friendly graphics look sharp and professional on your website, too.
Pinterest-Ready Images at Sarah Writes Stories
If you’d like to incorporate Pinterest-ready images into your blog posts, I can help. Whether you’re looking for a template you can update yourself or a batch of ready-to-go graphics, I’d love to work with you to create images that grab attention both on your blog and on Pinterest.
There’s a lot of pressure these days for businesses to get up to speed with social media, and there are absolutely a lot of good reasons to do so. But where there are ways to succeed at social media networks like twitter and facebook, there are also plenty of ways to fail.
How NOT to Succeed at Social Media
There are plenty of places out there that will tell you how to succeed at social media, but here are three ways to fail big. Steer clear of these tactics if you want your customers and business associates to appreciate your social media efforts.
#1: Make Accounts & Ignore Them
One of the worst sins of social media is to completely ignore your accounts. Don’t go months without an update. That’s a sure way to show people you’re not serious about using social media — or about interacting with potential customers.
#2: Only Post Duplicate Content
Confession: This is a social media sin to which I fall prey pretty often on my own accounts. We’re all busy, and it’s easy enough to set up automatic posting from your blog or facebook or twitter so you only have to update one thing. But what’s the point of someone following your twitter and blog and facebook page if it’s all the same content? Luckily, this isn’t a particularly offensive sin, but we can do better. Duplicate content is to be expected, but try to save some original content for each separate account so people have incentive to follow each one.
#3: Don’t Interact with Followers
What’s the worst social media sin of all? Not interacting with your followers. If someone replies to a tweet or leaves a comment on your facebook page or your blog, you absolutely must respond. Ignoring a comment is a surefire way to create not only one unsatisfied customer but to show a culture of failing to appreciate and interact with others. Imagine visiting a store’s counter and asking a question only to have the employee manning it stare blankly back at you. You wouldn’t stick around long, would you? Nor would you likely return any time soon. Treat your customers with the same respect on social media as you would in person.
Hire a Social Media Manager
Just like there’s no shame in hiring a professional blogger to help channel your story and voice into a relevant, informative blog, hiring a social media manager can be a great way to ensure you’re getting the information you want posted to the channels you want in the way you want. If you need help setting up and/or managing a facebook or twitter account, I’d love to chat with you to see how we can work together to create a social media success story for you and your business.