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The 7 Deadly Networking Sins

From networking events, holiday office parties, to social networking sites, opportunities to “meet” new connections abound. Exactly how do you make the most of every introduction? Let’s start with what not to do. Whether you associate the “seven deadly sins” with medieval religious teachings or modern-day entertainment, they can be applied here to build your reputation and your business. Be sure to avoid these seven deadly networking sins:

Pride
If you don’t believe in you, who will? Self-promotion requires tact. Toot your horn too often or too loudly and all you can expect is a wave of unreturned messages and deleted connections. People are attracted to authenticity. Crafting a false image is a turnoff to all.

Solution:  Share your accomplishments and the spotlight with those who contributed to your success. You might even score bonus exposure by reaching beyond your network.

Greed
If your concerns are your only concerns, why should others care about you? But when you seek to meet others’ needs and do a great job, they’ll be more inclined to reciprocate. Reversing that sequence will surely prevent it.

Solution:
  Focus your messages and offerings on the interests and needs of your audience, not what you’re looking to promote.

Lust
If you’re too eager or lusting after the attention of others, your otherwise professional efforts can lead to a very unprofessional reputation. Nobody invites crossing the line of acceptable and professional efforts with that of becoming a pest revealing personal cravings over that of the other’s needs.

Solution:
  You can’t force someone to reciprocate. Do what you said you’d do or send what you promised and let the rest happen naturally.

Anger
If you read a comment with unintended sarcasm or interpret a short missive as an angry one, you might be tempted to reciprocate in kind. The power of a smile and laughter can produce priceless and ever-expanding opportunities, but the consequences of discourtesy are immediately and potentially irreversibly destructive.

Solution:  Consider communication carefully. Responding in anger can destroy your reputation and your relationships.

Gluttony
If you’re sending mass relationship-building emails or group texts in an effort to save yourself time and effort, you risk losing the opportunity for the gesture to be regarded as sincere and to be taken seriously. By default, “mass” is mutually exclusive of “personal.”

Solution:  Balance group messages by inviting personal responses of interest. Or, better, communicate one-on-one whenever possible.

Envy
If you’re building yourself up at the expense of others by putting them down, your need for the spotlight will backfire. Don’t focus on what others have or the connections others have made. Set your own relationship goals based on what you have to offer your network, not what you seek to gain from them.

Solution:  Congratulate others on their successes instead of stewing on what you haven’t yet accomplished.

Sloth
If your efforts to connect or stay in touch border on the apathetic, you need to shape up, perhaps in more ways than one. A lack of drive and determination to “exercise” meaningful connections and capitalize on opportunities will only result in relationship atrophy.

Solution:  Schedule regular communication and be sure to engage when opportunity presents–most certainly at holiday office parties and social gatherings. It may be drudgery as the start of any exercise regimen can be, but positive results will prove worth the time and effort.

Each and every one of these sins is easy to fall prey to but just as easy to avoid. However, it does take conscious thought, determined actions, and purpose of focus toward others to realize optimal relationship value that rewards all parties all the time.

What is ultimately at stake here is development of your personal brand. Fundamentally, there is no value in being unlikable. Generally speaking, the complete antidote to the seven deadly sins is nothing more than simply being nice to all people all the time. In fact, some relationship experts estimated that simply being nice can result in a 30 to 40% increase in success over those people and/or companies that are not nice. Who ever thought that simply being nice could in fact be the very thing that completely sets you apart and distinct from everyone else, and helps pave your road to success?

Short form bio for bylines:
CRM pioneer Mike Muhney, the co-creator of ACT! software (credited as the catalyst for the “customer relationship management” industry), is CEO of mobile relationship management purveyor vipOrbit—the first relationship-centric contact manager solution enabling mobile business professionals to manage their contacts, calendar and client/customer interactions across Mac, iPhone and iPad platforms. He may be reached at
www.VIPOrbit.com

 

 

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T-Mobile’s new plan to entice customers: free 4G LTE for tablets

T-Mobile US Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, will begin offering Apple's new iPads as well as other tablets with free 4G LTE wireless in November.

T-Mobile held a press conference on Twitter with streaming audio from its website Wednesday to announce the company will offer customers 200 MB of free data if they purchase a tablet through T-Mobile.

Beginning Nov. 1, T-Mobile US will sell thenewly announced Apple iPad Air (16 GB) for no down payment and $26.25 per month for 24 months, and the iPad mini for $17.91 per month for 24 months. The Retina screen version of the iPad mini will be available in November and will cost $22.08 per month for 24 months.

After the devices are paid off, the free 200 MB per month of 4G LTE data continues for the life of the tablet. T-Mobile will also have the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and the Google Nexus 7 available through the program.

“This is where the world is going,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere during the audio part of the press conference. “The growth here (in tablets) is huge and we want it to be affordable for everyone.”

The free 200mb will be applied automatically to existing T-Mobile customers’ accounts if they have tablets registered with the company. New customers can sign up for a $20-per-month Mobile Internet account, and then be eligible for the deal, Legere said.

Legere said that if a customer runs out of free data, T-Mobile won’t slow down the connection (called throttling) or charge overage fees. Instead, a screen will pop up prompting the customer to either buy a $5 unlimited day pass or sign up for a monthly 500 MB plan for $10 per month.

Wall Street appears to be less than impressed by the announcement, though. T-Mobile’s stock price dropped slightly as the press conference began, from $27.47 to $27.12. Overall, however, the company’s share price is up since it began its “Un-carrier” campaign.

The free wireless tablet service is a clever new tactic to try to draw more customers to T-Mobile’s network, something T-Mobile has been focusing on as part of the new “Un-carrier” strategy. The company now offers free international calls and cheap roaming plans for international travelers as well.

The program appears to be paying off: T-Mobile added 1.1 million customers last quarter, the most growth its seen in four years.

The Bellevue-based carrier is the fourth largest mobile network in the country after Verizon,AT&T and Sprint, and has not been a big carrier for tablets.

This announcement was clearly aimed at changing that.

“We’ll prove we have the lowest cost of ownership for tablets,” Legere said.

He said T-Mobile’s future announcements will be driven by consumer demands.

“You keep telling us exactly what to do to be successful and we’ll keep doing it,” he said.

 

 

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Silicon Valley Has a “Drug Problem”

“Crack on a handset!” He leaned forward and repeated what he obviously thought was a breathtaking achievement, “It’s crack on a handset.”.

The scene was an upscale London restaurant in early 2004. My lunch companion was a senior VP for an Asian mobile carrier. The “crack” he was referring to was a new service that had just been launched in a key European market: hard-core porn videos delivered to their branded cell phones. A pay to play service that had taken off and was reaping huge profits. Just like a new, fashionable drug that’s just hit the streets.

I shifted uneasily in my chair. Other diners were craning to see the moving images and to hear the loud groans and sighs. He put his phone away with a flourish as if anticipating recognition of his brilliant achievement. I decided to skip dessert.

Fast forward to this month’s issue of Fast Company. The cover article is titled, “I Have Left the Internet” and features the 25 day “digital detox” of Baratunde Thurston, he of “How to Be Black” fame. Sidebars ask, “Are You a Digital Addict?” and give you a questionnaire to determine just how hooked you are. There are also hints on how to take a break or to start a technology Shabbat. All very helpful.

However, later in the issue, we have the extraordinary story of Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram and his company’s integration into Facebook. Throughout the article, and in many similar pieces throughout the technology press these days, are references to the “stickiness” of the product or app. While comparing Instagram to other services such as Twitter, Tumblr and Flipboard, the article notes:

“But no one else has what Instagram offers – a singular focus on a narcotic flow of stylized imagery.”

And, enthusing about its spectacular early success, Steve Anderson of Baseline Ventures and Instagram’s first investor summed up his view of the app as, “Total dopamine!”

So by now we all know what the neuroscientists are telling us about the impact of digital stimulation on the brain. That for every text alert, Twitter update, email notification and phone vibration, we get a little shot of dopamine – a chemical reward that keeps us coming back for more. Addictive, in other words. Not unlike what happens when you use (or abuse) cocaine or amphetamines.

And then there’s the matter of the teenage brain. We now know that kids go through a re-wiring that begins around age 10 and doesn’t get fully re-connected until the age of 25. Or the age that car rental companies will begin hiring out their vehicles. So add the “addicting” nature of many apps, games and web experiences to an overhaul of a young person’s head and you have a recipe for all kinds of problems.

Of course, it’s hugely desirable to have extraordinary innovation that leads to compelling devices and wonderfully enjoyable online experiences. Just look at the joy of a two year old holding an iPad for the first time. The intuitive nature of the very best products. As Paul Simon once sung, “We live in the age of miracles and wonders”. The best technology is akin to a kind of magic. Elegant. Beautiful. Life enhancing.

But there is much we don’t know about our digital companions and the immersive environments they provide for us, uninterrupted, all day and all of the night. Will our children’s’ children ask us, “What were you thinking, granddad?” when reports begin to emerge in 10, 20 or 30 years time about the impact of this electronic tsunami is accurately measured? Will we regret this headlong rush to adoption of the latest gizmo, regardless of the potential dangers?

Or should we just take a chill pill and relax? No doubt there’s an app for that.

Photo: Shutterstock

 

 

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Saturday funny: So you thought auto-correct was bad?

 

17 hours ago via iOS

When someone is kind of anyway you’re trying to park , And instead of responding with my usual snarkiness, I should have a great ride. You responded with a heavy Norwegian accent, Tanks.
My grandparents were from there. I could’ve an assholes to them, instead I was kind and realize the strength of that Makes it always imperative to be kind of

  •      PERSON 1 –  I’m confused.
  •      PERSON 2 –  Steve, you OK? The sentences you posted are not making much sense – did you use a new mobile device or is something going on?
  •     Steve Ulrich Apologies to all. One should never try to use speech recognition, while driving!
  •       Steve Ulrich It should have read: when someone was kind of in the way when I was trying to park, Instead of responding with my usual snarkiness, I said “have a good ride”…
  •      PERSON 2 – Hahaha, the equivalent of the “spelling corrector” on the iPhone’s SMS

 

 

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Thank You LinkedIn – NOT Part 2

PUBLISHERS NOTE:  I was able to find this, that explains how to simply post videos and images.  It seems to work pretty well and is self-prompting. It still does’t have the flexibility, of the old SlideShare application, like autostart.  I can’t figure out why they are taking this approach after spending $116M on SlideShare, but it’s not my dime….

PUBLISHERS UPDATE – 5.31.13 – Ive just been informed, and sadly confirmed, that the features below are indeed NOT available to all accounts.  Although it seemed to be no problem to drop the applications across the whole platform, for some reason LinkedIn is only allowing some accounts to upload files.  It has nothing to do with premium status, but I can upload and some of my clients cannot – yet?

 Olympus
BY EMILY PRICE
LinkedIn added the ability to showcase users’ talents in a whole new way Wednesday: pictures and video. Now LinkedIn users can add visual content to their profile pages, giving more depth to the written content already displayed on the site.For instance, a photographer might choose to include several of her best photos, or a copywriter might upload a video of that ad he wrote for last year’s Super Bowl. Architects can upload the blueprints for a building they designed, and musicians can upload videos of past performances.

Visual content can be added to your summary, work experience and education sections on the site, and can come from your computer’s hard drive or from the web.

On the flip side of the equation, people who are browsing profiles on the site can now like or comment on media uploaded to others’ profiles. A sharing option — for sharing content you find interesting with others — is also in the works.

New media-rich profiles are available now for LinkedIn members in English-speaking countries.

To add media to your own profile on LinkedIn click the “Edit” button on your profile page and follow the prompts in the summary, education and experience sections.

What sorts of content will you be adding to your LinkedIn Profile?

Images courtesy of Flickr, Alex Murphy

 

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Thank You LinkedIn –NOT!

LinkedOut

Well they have finally outdone themselves.

I thought all the crashes and “try later” warnings were bad.   Just like the “your contact list is currently not available.”

Then we had to deal with the totally random attacks on keyword stuffing by the LinkedIn Trust & Safety team.  If you look up any keyword on LinkedIn, I guarantee you that the first 4 or 5 pages of results will be keyword stuffed in the projects section. So you do the same thing, or you can’t compete.  I explained this and the fact that they could write a pretty simple algorithm to detect this, not anything like Google, but they never made an effort.

Now, just as I am getting used to my profile supposedly among the top 1% viewed in 2012, we get a total new look:  They have changed all the tabs, removed all the applications, stopped supporting blogs altogether, and cannot tell anyone when they will have the “new application” that will allow you to put up your experiences now supposedly in your summary section -all without any kind of announcement or warning.

WTF?   I make my living (in part) as a LinkedIn coach.  I have spent the better part of a complete day scrambling to read what little documentation they have, and emailing back and forth to other supposed LinkedIn Guru’s (like anyone can figure out what they are likely to do next) to figure out how to work around this latest “improvement.”

Could this have anything to do with their attempts to monetize LinkedIn?  To this point it hasn’t really made any sense to upgrade.  Keep your eyes and ears open for some sort of suggestion that there are plug-ins and gizmos available to Premium users, like video upload etc.

I’ll keep you posted as I sort this out (another day or two I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel) as it is excruciatingly apparent that they won’t.

 

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The New Rules Of Customer Complaints Management

complaints managementCompanies in the business of dealing with people know how important customer complaints management is – after all, there are very few companies that do not interact with customers on some level; even if there is no direct interaction.

The rules have changed a lot over the past few years, and they are changing even more just about each and every month. What worked in the early part of the 2000s will not work in 2013 – consumers have a far greater soapbox now for one thing, and the way that we communicate in general has also changed greatly.

Customer Complaints in the Era of Technology

What exactly are the ‘new rules’ that need to be considered for our current era, and what should companies be doing to adhere to best practices on complaints management? Here are some important things to keep in mind…

  • Customers are no longer limited to posted letters, limited email and telephone calls. Now, they have all of those channels, as well as personal blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, consumer feedback websites, forums AND word of mouth. Worse still, feedback posted online that mentions your company will show up in internet search results when people are searching for your business online.
  • Customers are more likely to report on a bad experience than a good one. What this means is that even though the past 150 customers who have purchased your wildly popular gizmo via your snazzy online store are thrilled, not all of them will be shouting your praise to the world. The one or two customers who were not too happy about that gizmo (or your store, or even your delivery process) are another story. Those are the ones who will tell everyone they can just how terrible your company, products and store are – often, on multiple channels for good measure.
  • Customers can not only become happy again, they can even become your number one fans. This is however, provided that you deal with their complaints properly. Complaints should not be seen as a bad thing for starters – this is a chance to improve your services and goods for the better. For another thing, the way that problems are addressed makes a lot more difference than the actual issue in many cases. In order to effectively address the complaint, you first need to catch it early, escalate it properly and route it to the right person though.

As you can see, the rules continue to change pretty much all the time. What doesn’t change however is the fact that response time and reaction are both vital when it comes to making a bad situation into a good one.

Automating the complaints process with a good software tool is one way to improve your overall systems. You may also want to think about other tools such as competency testing for employees who deal directly with customers. Product reviews and preventative measures such as customer surveys, and also making sure that customers can easily air their views should be top of mind too.

At the end of the day you see, it is far easier to handle a small upset soon after it happens, than risk dealing with the public relations disasters that can (and do) happen overnight when customer complaints are left unchecked. Quite an easy choice really when you think about it that way.

Featured images:

Christopher Stainow is actively involved in the streamlining of business quality processes and procedures through the use of quality management tools & document control software. Learn more at lennoxhill.co.uk.

 

 

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