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There's advertising on the Cranky Flier Blog? Okay, I jest, but the advertising on the blog is really non-intrusive. I'd suggest not putting much effort into getting advertising, but at this point its incremental revenue to something you're already doing. (And the question still is, is the blog really part of the business or is it still just a personal project that has gotten rolled in with it?)
3 months, 2 weeks ago on In the Trenches: Accepting Advertising
Hrm.. Probably doable since Android phones should have a VPN capability. Perhaps another way around it is to have a shared computer that is always online at the office, so folks VPN/LogMeIn to to access Sabre... That should work. You could also could pay for a computer in the cloud for this ability.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on In the Trenches: The Difficulty of Going Mobile
Meh, can't you just get a terminal emulator for you phones and access sabre that way?
Well, the real question is do you need the traffic from Yelp? Perhaps pull your listing (is that something you can do?) Then acknowledge the help of those real clients by giving them a one time 25% discount or something?
7 months, 1 week ago on In the Trenches: The Yelp Conundrum
You might consider finding a ticketing system to move some of those internal processes out of email. There are several systems out there, but Zendesk is one thats out there and which seems reasonable.
10 months ago on In the Trenches: Managing My Email
I have similar thoughts to Alan. You might consider putting some filters on your email which flag potential emails that were misdirected and fire off an autoreply. This wouldn't fix the problem but it'd at least provide a prompt response so customers could redirect their inquiry.
Alternately: Change your email address. Only give out the new email address in appropriate places. This'd take a bit of time to transition, but once your new email address is getting almost all of the email that belongs there, forward the old email address to the general company box.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on In the Trenches: Building a Business With Less of Me
My take on a customer like the one you've described is to provide them with their refund, and then refuse to do business with them in the future. (Or offer to do business with them, if they expressly disclaim any rights to the money-back guarantee.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on In the Trenches: Choosing Our Tone With Unhappy Customers
Higher and take care of it sooner. Bringing on a new employee is a great time to have a new pair of eyes look over the document and find everything that is wrong with it. Use that advantage!
1 year, 1 month ago on In the Trenches: Updating Our Training Materials
@crankyconcierge It appears to be an open question if Google Mail/Apps greylists. I'd confirm that they don't.. From what I know Google is not generally transparent about their spam filtering methods.
1 year, 4 months ago on In the Trenches: When Email Lags
Err, it also cuts down spam in a computationally cheap way. It costs very little for both sides to implement.
This is definitely an issue for your business since your customers are sending from Multiple IP addresses as their IP changes as they travel.
I'd look for an alternate email provider that exposes greylisting as an option. An ISP that I use Panix.com allows individual users to explicitly turn off greylisting. Greylisting is implemented because it cuts down on a lot of spam, but it relies on the fact that email was never intended to be instantaneous.
You might also look for a provider that allows you to have your own virtual server so you can control this. Drop me an email if you've got a few options you'd like me to look at.
I agree with the others that you should surcharge.. but don't phrase it as such. Raise your prices and then provide an early signup discount. The pricing ends up the same, but this way you've managed the marketing in a cleaner way.
I'd also kick around making your window for a discount a week out. Nice and clean and it makes it harder to game the system.
1 year, 6 months ago on In the Trenches: When Service Offerings Begin to Blur
I'd get into the habit of recording potentially dicey phone calls with the airline. Given that they generally notify you verbally that a recording may/will be made, I think you're in the clear, but it'd be best to check with your lawyer, since California is an all party consent state when it comes to telephone calls..
1 year, 11 months ago on In the Trenches: When Your Vendors Make Business Difficult
@Michael Webster So, would you agree that my original comment was mostly correct?
2 years, 3 months ago on In the Trenches: Our Money Back Guarantee
@Michael Webster Going back to my original comment on this "Umm. I don't think you have an idea of how Cranky Concierge works.. " I'd gander that much if not all of CF's interaction with this and many of his customers is solely online.
I'm sure he does have some telephone interactions with clients.
@Michael Webster To your last question, yes I think it would be a good idea to identify these folks. However trying to screen those folks out via a purely online interaction will generate more false positives than true positives, thus costing the company revenue.
@Michael Webster See, giving away information and being classy can work just fine. That being said I'm going to send you my consulting bill.
@Michael Webster Ah, the ubiquitous "[I'm] Sorry you feel that way..." The quintessential non-apology.
I was going to engage in an an ad hominem attack, but it isn't worth my time for a web link email troller who can't even get their own site working properly..
2 years, 4 months ago on In the Trenches: Our Money Back Guarantee
@Michael Webster Honestly I just reread your article. It is filled with lots of words that in the end mean nothing, as it doesn't come to any actionable conclusion.
I don't see any practical way to implement a service that Cranky provides in a way that does not give away confidential information before getting a commitment.
I'm pretty sure that your article is a bunch of engineerish bs thinking that you can out engineer the world. This presupposes that people are perfectly rational, and don't see around being manipulated in ways such as this.