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Don't be skinny withya love now, spread it like buttah

Don't be skinny withya love now, spread it like buttah

Sorry, but I've wanted to use that line for a long time :)

In this case I'm talking about spreading the love with your clients, and there's no better way to do that than sharing information that helps them.

Often people think, "if I do that they don't have any reason to pay me." If that's the case, you should be looking for another career. There are tons of things you can share with your customers that help them without undermining your ability to make a living. In fact, you'll find it actually ends up helping you.

Think about it, there are a number of reasons for that:

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Poor usability costs more than simple, well-designed usability

We've all heard the saying "beware the cost of the lowest price," and this also applies in design.  The best option doesn't necessarily have the highest price, but often the lowest priced option has the highest cost.  "How?," you ask... Let me share an experience I had today, and how poor usability cost Walmart a sale. Add enough of these sales up and it could be a substantial chunk of change, even for a company of that size.

wal-amazFirst off, remember that price is the sticker price of an item but true cost is arrived at by combining that price with what you stand to lose in sales, time, goodwill, efficiency, etc.

We needed an item for the office that wasn't available locally so I decided to order online.  I was on the road and a quick search on my phone gave the exact item I wanted for $99 at Walmart's online store.  Being in a hurry, I was prepared to order without shopping around.  The problem arose with the poor design of their mobile checkout process and Walmart's sale became Amazon's sale.

I chose the free "ship to store" option but in the next step found that the item wouldn't arrive until near the end of the month; the initial shipping options step didn't show the prices of the various paid options, so I went back to change to standard shipping to check the price & see how much quicker I could get it. The mobile checkout process didn't have the option of changing the shipping choice after it had been selected. I couldn't even select a new choice if I deleted the item from the cart and then re-added it.

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Make sure your other departments back up your social media presence!

I struggled with whether to do this post or not.  Those who know me well know that I'm not a troublemaker or rabble-rouser; I cringe at stirring up trouble, especially for others in their jobs. As a business owner, I know how hard it is to get everything right and make the pieces all fit together. Having said that, I had an experience recently that I really do feel has a good lesson in it and have decided to share it in the spirit of learning and improving, not in attacking or flaming.

Usually companies do a better job in their traditional sales and support services than through social media, simply because people are still getting used to it.  This is a case in reverse.  It is not meant to be an indictment of the company I had the experience with, just an example of how one area can be on top of things but another drop the ball, negating gains made by the one doing a good job. [UPDATE: please read to the end for response from Justyn Howard, CEO of Sprout Social.]

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