Does An Action-Oriented Guarantee Guarantee Action?

Here at myG we’ve seen that our program has the potential to move you toward your goals at top speed. But success is ultimately a factor of how much participants engage with and execute the program. As with any service-oriented offering: education, consultation, coaching, even nutrition, the magic secret sauce happens when content and tools meet with execution.

So many times the question becomes, how to ensure the kind of engagement that makes the magic happen?

I was intrigued this week by the introduction of an engagement-inducing money-back guarantee offered by premium job-hunting site TheLadders. If members don’t land a job within 6 months they will receive a full refund of the $2,495 (!) price tag for their Premium service.

So far, fairly vanilla.

But the action-inducing spin is this - the guarantee is only effective if the job-seeker holds up his/her end of the bargain.

“TheLadders guarantees that you will receive a job offer within six months or less if you participate fully in all components of the Program at the level indicated below. In order to be eligible for this Guarantee, within the first sixty (60) days of your six month subscription period, you must complete:

  • Attend 7 scheduled sessions
  • Complete Steps 1-5 of the Roadmap
  • Apply to 6 well-fitted positions (as described in the Program Roadmap)
  • Complete all follow-up activities assigned

In addition, in order to continue to be eligible for the money back guarantee after the initial sixty (60) days of your six month subscription period, you must attend a minimum of 75% of your scheduled sessions per month and apply to 6 well-fitted positions per month…” Continue reading

How You Communicate Matters – So for Pete’s Sake, Let the Customer Choose

I had a roommate in graduate school who ate her food one thing at a time, and it couldn’t touch on the plate. All the peas. Then all the rice. Never the two shall meet.

This struck me as a little strange – mixing things up is part of the excitement! Life should not be lived in little separated boxes.

Yet, when it comes to communication, I think I am a partitioned plate kinda person.

If I contact you via email. I want to be emailed back. Don’t call me.

Actually, don’t call me ever, unless my child is dangling by her toe from a chandelier or some other emergency situation is going on. I am not a phone person.

Pet peeve: online forms that require my phone number. If I came online to contact you, that’s where I want our conversation to remain. In little black words on a screen.

If I reach out on Facebook and then the reply comes via text, I am confused. Media crossover = neurons misfiring.

I actively use a variety of communication media, of course.

I text (a lot).

I gChat.

I Skype (a lot).

I email.

I FB.

I talk on the phone – to my Mom.

There is a time and a place for online chat – but please don’t tell me every 10 seconds that someone is waiting to talk to me. If I want to chat, I will. The reminders make me feel like someone is standing with their nose pressed against the storm door waiting to come in.

I don’t like that either.

It is critical to pay attention and honor the ways that others like to interact. Here at myG we are working on finding the right ways to be accessible to you without crowding you or creeping you out.

So what I want to know is – how do YOU like to interact with a company when you are interested in more information?

The Five Best Quotes for Christmas Cards that Write Themselves

Throw a “best wishes for 2012” and a personal message on the end of these, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic holiday card. I love these quotes!

For the wise and present
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is a gift.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt (also attributed to Kung Fu Panda)

For the whimsical…
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

by gavdana

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

For those whose cup runneth over…
“All who joy would win must share it. Happiness was born a Twin.”
– Lord Byron

For the spiritual/poetic…
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
– Rumi

For the cynical humorist (best for a New Year’s card):
“Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough.”
– Mark Twain

Sara Grace is myGreenlight’s Program Director.

The Customer Service MUST that Even the Best Companies (cough, Amazon) Sometimes Mess Up

I think I am probably not alone in believing that I am special. What I mean is, we all want to believe we are special. And we want to be treated as if we are.

And it hurts a tiny bit when we aren’t. Right?

So, when I went to Amazon the day before the launch of the Kindle Fire to check on the status of my order (which I was super excited about), and saw this graphic – I thought “Woo! They are shipping them early!”

Then I went and checked my order status, and what to my wondering eyes did appear but…an unshipped Kindle Fire. A still-cancelable because it wasn’t in the shipping process yet Kindle Fire.

What?

I am an Amazon Prime member. I pre-ordered my shiny new gadget on October 11th. I am SPECIAL. Yet, apparently I am not.

Now, I know that they probably had people who ordered before me.  And they are special, too. Or at least THEY think so. But my “Woo!” faded away pretty quickly. And then I was disappointed. Why were they advertising that they were shipping when my order was not yet shipping?

Around 11PM that night I received a message that my Kindle Fire was shipped. If I hadn’t checked the site earlier, I would have been psyched that it shipped the day before the launch date. But I was already feeling oh so un-special – so the “early” notice was a little too late.

All Amazon would have had to do to avert my evening of un-special-feeling-ness would have been to hold off on posting that “Shipping Now” graphic until the next day. One day.

I am sure they wanted to start capturing the crowd that doesn’t like to wait-list. I get that. And they probably sold a ton of low-priced tablet hybrid thingamajigs that night.

I received my package right when I originally thought I would. All commitments were met.

But as shiny and fun as my brand-new toy is, it is still a little tarnished with disappointment.

How do you manage your relationships with customers so that you never make them feel un-special?