Bad Customer Service Experiences Contribute To Your Legacy

I saw a post this morning while going through my Facebook feed. Here’s a small snippet of an otherwise lengthy and angry rant:

  • Wife: Had an 8am appointment to drop off car and get loaner.
  • Service Guy: We don’t have any loaners. Weather probably has a few folks keeping them.
  • Wife: Would have been good to know before I came for the appointment. How long is this going to take?
  • Service Guy: Probably 3 days.
  • Wife: What do you suggest I do?
  • Service Guy: Maybe call Enterprise.

Hmmm. The service guy probably should have offered to call Enterprise for her and offer to reimburse her for the expense. Maybe his manager should have anticipated the weather having such an effect on today’s business and put forth some sort of a plan. Maybe the service guy was simply overwhelmed with other customers in similar situations. Perhaps he reached his human limit of empathy and was just trying to put out fires.

Sure, there are many other ways the situation could have been handled, but the fact remains that this experience is now public and is part of this particular business’ legacy.

Then the pile on begins in the comments section:

“Yep – Our 2nd XXXX we went with XXXX – just awful!!! Treated us like step children – my 3rd one we went back to XXXX – amazing difference – and yes, the limited options don’t help…it’s like they know and they don’t care!!”
As a business in cases like this, you are and will always be wrong. Because…the internet.

We’ve all had bad customer service experiences. Most of us probably grumbled about it and moved on vowing to never do business with them again. Some of us went back and did business with them again anyway. —>Guilty.
Then there are those of us who will climb to the highest mountaintops to scream at the top of our lungs how badly we were treated somewhere.

Yep. They’re the ones you have to watch. But how do you know who they might be?

When I buy stuff online, I look at reviews of the product and I generally sort by 4 stars or better. In some cases, there might be a 1-star review dwarfed by the multitude of 4+ star reviews.

But there it is.

Standing amongst the throng of sunshine and unicorns saying, “you’re just aching to click on me to find out why this didn’t live up to my expectations.” It may just be an anomaly, but I would click on it anyway and I bet you would too.

There’s always someone who just won’t be happy.

As humans, we’re not going to be able to please everyone. It’s impossible. So it’s probably best to treat every customer like they’ll nuke you online if you don’t treat them as best as you possibly can.

Hmph. That’s actually not a bad practice to have anyway. Your business’ online legacy will depend on it.
Jim has been a writer, producer, marketer/advertiser, voice over dude, video producer, ad campaigner, and all around content creator since 1997. Sometimes they give him awards for his stuff, but he finds the greatest reward in making money for those who hire him to do so.

The Commute, Episode 2 with Regie Hamm

On the second episode of the commute, Regie and I discuss the state of modern songwriting, the Bee Gees and I forget the name of one of Regie’s biggest songs. I once forgot the name of a band I was introducing…at one of Regie’s shows. Hey, I just have one of those funny brains. Gary Vaynerchuk​ and Rich Redmond​ get some love in this episode too.

Follow Regie at

I tried Facebook Live Stream During a Session

I’ve been experimenting with Periscope and Facebook Live Streaming while I voice my sessions lately. To have the world looking in on you while you work makes for some funny outakes and flubs.

The Crap I Talk About With My Friends

I’m a guy who likes a good phone conversation in the car. So I figured I would make a new webisode series about the conversations I have with friends in my car. Similar to that Seinfeld guy, just without the comedians or the President.

Here’s the debut episode with my pal Mike Mercurio who sells one of the best brands on earth, Porsche. Since we met while working in the car business, our conversations usually revolve around it. This time is no different.

Mike and I talk about interest rates, the joys of informed customers and one solid way to buy a car.

Who knows? You might learn something.

Two Types of Ads That Really Matter for Mass or Social Media

In my 20 years of creating/writing/producing/shooting/voicingvariousadvertising content onvariousmediums for clients invariousindustries, I have come to the conclusion that you can really bake ads of any kind down to two types:

Transactional and relational.

Relational adsare the ads you encounter that nurture some kind of a relationship with a business over a long period of time. Yep. They can also be considered as branding campaigns. These ads don’t have to be all about the business beating its chest with all the things they service or sell. I prefer to write them to be more about the prospective customer and how the business can offer something of value when the time is right. Essentially, these are campaigns are like a dating process. They simply begin some sort of a relationship with prospective, new and even existing customers.

Transactional adsare all about immediacy, call to action and what can you (the business) offer to me (the customer) today, tomorrow, this weekend, etc. It may be $500 off aging inventory at an automotive dealership or 0.9% financing until the end of the month. They’re all about WIIFM.Other than that, there’s hardly any substance. The relationship, if you want to call it that, is shallow.

Most businesses are guilty of transactional ads on both mass mediaandsocial media platforms.

But hey, our budget is minuscule!

I’m not saying that transactional ads are all that bad. If you’re working with a limited budget for a short-term campaign on mass media, a transactional ad is probably a good way to go. But if you’re in for the long game with a relational campaign, then your strategy needs to be one of courting the prospect and getting them familiar with your business. Plus you need to keep in mind that relationships only happen with consistency and time. There’s really no problem with mixing in a transactional message here and there either.

The good news is that even if you have a limited budget and want to create that long-term”dance” with your prospective customers and possible referral partners, you can execute it quite effectively with a Facebook ad campaign.

At Magic Apple Technology, I have been running a Facebook “like” relational campaign since August of 2015. We have gone from only having a little over 100 likes to 524 likes at the time of the writing of this blog.Go ahead and like us here.We have spent less than $100 a month and have had a few leads come in from our efforts. In a business where we are completely B2B with a product that has a somewhat lengthy sales cycle, my strategy has been one of “seed planting”.

As long as I continue to correlate Magic Apple Technology with business phone systems in a long term, relational ad structure, we will get to be a part of more phone system conversations taking place around Middle Tennessee.

Now that we have passed the 500 like milestone, I am going to shift gears and change our strategy to a website drive campaign using one of the many options that Facebook has at my disposal.

Social Media vs. Traditional “Mass” Media.

I always try to write an ad that engages with our audience in some way. While you may think that to be common sense, it’s not very common considering what I see and hear every dayon any given platform.Mass mediahas a “push” model.There’s no interaction from the audience other than changing the channel/station when the ad comes on.Your business can push whatever message it wants out there and roll the dice for results.Social mediaputs almost all of the control into the hands of the public. Using a weak transactional ad within a traditional mass media “push” model on social media is about as effective as whispering to someone during a concert.

Unless you have an absolutely mind-blowing transactional offer, your best bet is to nurture a relational ad campaign for social media platforms.

Social media demands that we really have to put more thought into how to engage and interact with our audience. Even the traditional way of writing a relational ad has to be reconsidered because the social platforms are all about interaction and conversation.

Good and juicy content will generally resonate and the public will decide how much it resonates.

If you’re in business for the long game, treat all of your ads like they’re at a networking mixer or cocktail party with your audience. Greet, engage and nurture. Go for the relationship with a little offer mixed in here and there.

Jim has been a writer, producer, marketer/advertiser, voice over dude, video producer, ad campaigner, and all around content creator since 1997. Sometimes they give him awards for his stuff, but he finds the greatest reward in making money for those who hire him to do so.

To the Advertisers with Huge Ad Schedules and Limp Messages

I can always tell the companies that truly believe in their medium. They’re the ones who have gone “all in” with their chips on one or two radio stations. You hear their ads just about all the time. Well….
There’s one company in particular that advertises in the Nashville market that is in almost every commercial break on one of the stations I frequent. It’s a company that helps with…um, “men stuff”. Let me know if you know who I’m talking about.

They really believe in repetition and owning their medium which I think is a great strategy. Where they seem to go off course is with the content of their message. It brings awareness to a growing (no pun intended) male problem, but it will absolutely make me not want to contact them about it. I would instead google a place that takes such a problem much more seriously than the aforementioned company does in their ads.

If you own a business that believes in spending money on a robust schedule, make sure your message resonates with your audience in a real way. Simply answering the questions, “who are you?”, “who is your customer?” and “why should they care about you?” are great ways to start writing an ad campaign.

Everyone’s BS meter is as sensitive as ever these days. Just keep it real, especially with an ad that will likely be heard numerous times throughout any given day.

Jim has been a writer, producer, marketer/advertiser, voice over dude, video producer, ad campaigner, and all around content creator since 1997. Sometimes they give him awards for his stuff, but he finds the greatest reward in making money for those who hire him to do so.

When Businesses Deserve Better Ads

Occasionally I’ll hear a radio spot playing in Nashville and think to myself, “I think I can do better”.
So this is me….doing just that.

#PersonalBranding – What’s The Big Idea?

K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid. This is a concept that’s been addressed so many times in so many different ways, yet there are so many businesses that continue to describe what they do in the form of a convoluted data dump that leaves the prospect struggling to figure it out. You’ll hear some form of this just about everyday in any given commercial stop set on any given local radio station.

Salespeople do it all the time, and whether you like it or not, if you’re out trying to get your businesses in front of more eyeballs and ears, congrats! You’re a salesperson. Better yet, you’re the personal brand within your own business brand.

So what is your personal brand?

Who are you? What do you do/sell? What’s in it for me? Can I trust you? These are some of the questions that immediately run through my mind whenever I meet people at networking events, showrooms, trade shows, hear/see their commercials, etc.

Lately I’ve been coming away from meeting different people or hearing commercials and wondering, “okay, what the #$%@ do they do again?”. At any given networking event, I’ve often wondered how one insurance guy differentiates themselves from another insurance guy at the same event. Realtors, you’re not exempt! What’s going to make me remember you? Are you considering your differentiation on a personal branding level? Believe me, I’m not exempt either. There are many times that I wonder what word(s) I own in my friend’s/customer’s minds. Let alone if the words are the kind to not repeat in front of children and the elderly!

How clear is your big idea? When you tell people what it is that you do, do they look like they get it? Is there a clear “aha” moment for them? Do they understand what’s in it for them? The quicker they get what it is that you do, the better they will be able to make the decision to investigate further, or better yet refer you to someone who needs what you do.

Here’s a great business example:

Cordell and Cordell. A law firm who specializes in defending men in a divorce. BAM. I got that the first time I heard their ad and I referred them to a friend yesterday. It’s not the most pleasant of circumstances under which to refer a business, but they came to my mind almost immediately. That’s the kind of brand recall we all should strive for on a regular basis!

Here’s a horrible business example:

A radio commercial that I hear just about everyday that’s written as a contrived dialogue (that’s another blog for another day) that talks about business information systems, whatever they are. I don’t remember the business name nor do I have a clear idea as to what they do, but I do know they can demo their product for you by having you log in somewhere. I don’t have a reason to investigate them any further simply because they didn’t answer “what’s in it for me?”

Great personal branding example:

Monte Mohr. He’s runs one of the most successful real estate groups in Nashville and I know he sells homes for free.

Horrible personal branding example:

Almost anyone representing the latest MLM or Network Marketing fad. I have no idea what or why to buy from

When I write ad campaigns for my clients, I want it to be clear as to what their big idea is for themselves or their company. What’s their positioner? Did they come up with it? Are they willing to bake it down into layman’s terms? If I can’t swing the hammer for your business in 30 seconds or less, than what’s the point? Your prospects only have so much time to process your big idea. Make that time count.

Don’t fret if you think you might have this problem. There are ways to get outside of your own bottle to see what your label really says. For my clients who couldn’t, at first, clearly tell me about their big idea like I was a 4 year old, I would advise them to ask their customers how they would describe what it is that they do. You would be amazed at the common thread that will begin to develop about your business after asking 5-6 customers to describe you in the most simple way possible.

There is a human yearning to beat our chests and make sure our prospects know everything our businesses can do for them in a 30-60 fell swoop. The important thing to remember is to build upon your big idea and ultimately build a relationship. When I tell people what it is that Magic Apple Technology does, I say, “We’re Nashville’s Premier Business Phone System Firm”.

There are folks who immediately have the “aha” moment. Then again, there are some people who get the familiar crinkle in their brow which is my cue to throw out my secondary positioner, “We do phone systems”. #wedophonesystems

That’s usually when they go, “ahhhh, okay”. We also provide many other services, but I usually save those until I can sit down with my prospect/referral partner over coffee or lunch. I have found that when the opportunities present themselves to bring up some of the other things I can do, my prospect (which by now might have become a good business partner or friend) may introduce me to so many more of their friends and business partners with the zeal of a flaming advocate.

So keep your big idea at the forefront and keep it simple!