Should you be reading this right now?

Don’t you have some real work to do?

Probably.  Instead you’re reading this blog, tweeting, texting, instagraming, viddying, Facebooking, pinning and so on.

In the age we live in, it’s important that we embrace a concept I’m calling “Digital Blinders” the gist of which is, shut down all outside stimulus for a set period of time in order to put all of your brain cycles to work on one problem.  Far too often, we work on important problems while being distracted stimulated by outside sources which doesn’t allow us to fully concentrate and devote all of our logic and creativity to a problem.

What do I do when I have a problem or situation where I need to really focus?  I literally remove all of the outside sources of distraction.  I shut down email, close all of my browser windows, put my phone in airplane mode, put on my headphones (no music) and focus completely on the task at hand – if possible – and I know far enough in advance, I work from home.

Do you do something similar to this?  Does it help you produce your best work? Any tips?

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Why do the loudest complainers always get the best customer service?

Angry scottfmurphyI experienced some really kick ass customer service this past weekend at the North Michigan Avenue Apple store.  Why?  In this particular case it wasn’t because I complained loudest – although I’m sure that would have netted me the same result – it was because I knew someone that worked there and she gave me an inside tip.  While I was sitting there having my camera lens replaced on my iPhone, I started to think about why the great service I received wasn’t the norm.

Why do the loudest complainers always get the best customer service?

Why isn’t that level of customer service just the norm.  A perfect example is the notorious Comcast – their general customer service absolutely sucks, but if you scream bloody murder on Twitter, they tend to act a little more quickly.  I guess what I’m suggesting is wouldn’t we all be a lot more satisfied as consumers if every company went the extra mile BEFORE we get all fired up?

What are your thoughts on customer service?

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I’m joining Zeno Group

 

Promotion is a reality people! Accept it or move to a shack in the mountains.

I recently read a tweet from someone I have a lot of respect for, granted it was a re-tweet from someone else.  The whole thing has been sticking in my mind for almost 2 weeks.  The message was:

“Folks on social media want to talk to customer service and product experts not Marketers.”

Blanket statements like this drive me absolutely nutso.  The fact is, promotion finds it’s way into almost every facet of our lives, it goes where we are.  There’s no denying it, there’s no controlling it.  The best you can do is accept it and try to make it into something that people might be interested in.

To say that people participating in social networks don’t want to be promoted to may be true, but that’s like saying marketers shouldn’t be on TV because people only watch TV for information and entertainment.  What is TV like without promotion?  Look at CSPAN – have you ever watched CSPAN?!?!?  I would use public television as an example, but even public television has elements of promotion.

I think everything has to be balanced, the company I work for does a very good job of balancing promotion with entertainment, expertise and customer service.  I think a lot of companies struggle to find that balance.

The best advice I can give: keep it personal and transparent.

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My post on the 3six5

A KC-135 refueling a B-52I had the great opportunity to visit the 434th Air Refueling Wing yesterday.  I will be putting together a complete blog post after I move into my new apartment.  In the meantime, I took the opportunity to request a change in my posting date over at the3six5.com so that I could write about my trip.  Check out the post and let me know what you think!

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Results of my Netbook Contest

lettersThe moment you’ve all been waiting for (almost), I’ve decided that I’m probably not going to receive any more letter for my netbook contest.  The results are definitely a surprise to me.

Over the course of the contest, I received more than 400 unique page views, I was retweeted more than 15 times, including by some contest specific accounts, the post was shared on Facebook a couple of times, it was even written about on other popular blogs.

I received 7 qualifying entries.

7 people took the time to sit down and write a quick letter about why they thought they deserved a more than $350 laptop.  I guess the reason I was so surprised by this response was because of the prize.  I’m not talking about a $50 gift card or something like that, we’re talking about a computer.

I’ve decided to forgo the voting process and just pick a winner myself.  I’m going to re-read all of the letters this week and select a winner no later than March 6th. The winner will be posted here – the only catch – I expect the winner to take a picture with their shiny new netbook when it arrives and email it to me.

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Write me a letter for a chance to win a Netbook

2972528931_c40e44161e_oI know you’re all going to be surprised, but I’m having a Twitter contest.

Now that you’ve picked yourself up off the floor, it’s not what you would think of as a traditional Twitter contest.  I don’t care if you follow me, you don’t have to re-tweet something (although I’d appreciate it if you would, I’d love a lot of entries), all I want you to do is write me a letter and send it to me in the mail.

Here’s the contest:

  1. Write me a letter explaining why you should win the prize (listed below)
  2. The letter has to be hand written or typed on a typewriter
  3. You have to include a return address (this is where I will ship the prize)
  4. You also have to include your Twitter ID so I can congratulate you on Twitter for being the winner
  5. The contest will begin today and all letters must be postmarked no later than February 4th

(more…)

 

Facebook for Brands

33806215_5be99d32bb_oFacebook has become a primary means of communicating with customers.  Everything from deals and discounts to “crisis communications” like store closings and apologies.  Brands big and small have a presence on Facebook and they all use that presence in a variety of ways.  Lately I’ve been hearing all kinds of tips for brands on Facebook, I’m going to give you my suggestions based on my experiences.  As with everything on this blog, these are simply my opinions, they aren’t going to work for everyone, but they are what are working for me. (more…)

 

Now I’ve gone and done it…

4011430276_251bcd9759_oAgainst all of the advice I give my colleagues and friends and all of the advice I’ve ever been given – I’m changing the topic of my blog, slightly.  Okay, a lot.

Normally, I would say, pick a subject and stick to it so as not to alienate your audience.  In this case, it’s really more of an addition than a change – I want to write about the things I’m passionate about.  When I redesigned this blog, I decided those things were the Air Force, Technology and Volunteer Management.  At that time in my life, I was immersed in all of those things.  Now, I’ve started a new job and I’m spending less time thinking about Technology and way more time thinking about the much blogged about topic of Social Media.

That’s right, I’m going to start adding my ideas about SOCMED to the already mountainous pile of crap content that already exists on the subject.

To be clear:

I am not an expert – not even close.

I think I have some insights into the space purely from the perspective that I work for a company that has embraced this platform as a way to reconnect with it’s diverse and large customer base.  Are my ideas gospel?  Hell no.  They’re just that, my ideas.  Some of them are working for us, and some of them aren’t.  Sometimes I’m just full of shit.

So, here we go, take it for what it’s worth.

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