Category Seasons Greetings
We would like to wish everyone a safe, enjoyable
and a relaxing Holiday Season!
If you do happen to be in Orlando in January for Lotusphere 2012, be sure
to stop by our booth (#529).
Best wishes to everyone in 2012.
Click on this image to hear "Feliz Navidad" and see Allison lead
Jason, Dan, Nick and Frank in some Christmas celebration:
Category Social Business
From Wikipedia: The term Social Media refers
to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into
an interactive dialogue.
I would like to first say that Twitter, Blogging,
Facebook and LinkedIn make us a more social business, and it is true to
a degree. We have made many new connections via these social networks.
They seem to be used mostly as "micro-advertising" services,
which serves a useful purpose announcing a product release or researching
software fixes or people who you may be hiring.
There are two new and undiscovered social
networking tools that we find to be extremely useful: Email and
the Telephone. Yes, I know, we are talking 20th century here. "Legacy
systems". Tools that are definitely not hip or cool.
Email is only a one-to-one communication,
is private and cannot improve Google rankings! It is also a time waster!
All true! However, we have a unique spin on email, a rather
radical one at that: We publish our email addresses on our
Crazy talk! We don't even do the frank at maysoft dot com thing. I
just write email@example.com There! I did it! Why people list 100
ways they can be found on their self-published blogs and yet don't list
an email address if they want others to connect? Isn't that the meaning
of social business, or did I miss its meaning, which otherwise would only
The second social networking tool is the
telephone. Not for calling others, but for letting them call you. So, we
also list phone numbers on our support
website. More crazy talk? Perhaps.
I personally am dumbfounded when a company spends all this time and money
advertising, leading me to a website where I cannot find a phone number
or email address! If I hunt enough, I get a generic phone number
and then get a recorded message that sounds like this: "Thank you
for calling Micro-company! NoBody is here to answer your call, but if you
leave a message, Someone will get back to you." Is this a script that
they are required to follow? Who is Someone? In a bow to Odysseus,
they should change "Someone" in the script to "NoBody".
NoBody will get back to you!
As a small business owner, we have always
had a live human being answer the phone (being a living person is a job
requirement here). That is a very social thing to do. We also have
the same live people respond to customer emails. Our customers can call
and ask for people by name. There is no one here whose name is "Support".
If a customer calls and asks for "Support", Allison (who answered
the phone) says "Let me connect you to Frank". Very, very social.
If that customer calls back, and has the temerity to ask for Frank by name,
then they get connected to Frank. Scary stuff, almost radical by today's
standards of "NoBody" support'.
I have often been asked "Would that
work in a large organization"? My very crisp answer is: "I
have no friggin' idea! I don't run a large organization. Let them figure
it out themselves". It works wonderfully for me. I had one prospective
customer who asked me during Lotusphere "do you return support calls
within 48 hours"? I replied, "We normally take calls immediately
during working hours. However, for you, I can make an exception and make
you wait 48 hours if that's what you want". This gained me a
So by all means do the "social networking"
thing. But don't forget with all this "broadcast" micro-marketing,
that at the end of the day, business is conducted not by two companies,
but by two people who must connect by phone, email or in person.