Wednesday, April 27, 2011
During research for a client I chanced upon the link to an article about how to tell if you are reaching a call center and how to get results if you do! Being a touch ADD, I clicked the link and read the article and was appalled at some of the experiences customers have had when calls go to other countries. Sure you can get bad experiences anywhere but I never knew how unfeeling or uncaring the outsourced call centers can be. Yet America seems to find value in sending customers who need help to some foreign land with scripted non-answers.
I write the above because I had an interesting phone call yesterday. The person on the line was interested in using my services but wanted to make sure, in his words, that I wasn't "Bob" - you know, Bob, as opposed to Peggy with Prime Credit in the television commercials. Because all the call center people seem to have "American" names - not sure why, false sense of security?
It got me to thinking about all the companies in "India" that provide all manner of internet marketing services. I had a client who I found, after the fact, had hired foreign individuals or companies to provide his services. Yet he hired me because he wasn't getting what he needed from them - and it was like 4 or 5 in the previous 6 months (this was a clue I should have caught). But he was so fixated on price that when I tried to help him he felt that I was over charging, although it was clear that I was able to provide better results. You can guess what he did next - I hope he's happy with "Peggy."
I don't doubt that there are people in other countries know what they are doing when it comes to internet marketing but I submit that when it's the equivalent of a call center, a sweat shop, there is no quality. And the result is really that people who do provide quality service are already seen in a negative light - anything we do that is perceived "out of line" causes real problems.
While I am on this rant - let me just say there are companies in the United States who are experiencing a substantial (and permanent) decline in their business so they are "diversifying" into internet marketing. The latest one I've seen was the Deluxe check printing company. Really? They know how to build a user-centric, results oriented website that will soar to the top of the search engines? I have yet to encounter a company that diversifies outside it's non-internet business into web that has done it so well that their clients are raving. Instead, it's yet another reason that true internet marketing professionals get a bad name.
Okay so this post went a little off topic but the point is - there are really good internet marketing (and web design) professionals in the United States who work hard to provide a good quality product or service. And I am for real - no "Bobs" here.
Would love to read your comments & experiences!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
It's that time of the year! The front door is wide open, the area rug is hung up on the front porch to get beaten clean and all of the furniture is out of place while you vacuum and sweep.
The imagery is a little bit different here, but the idea is the same. After a long year (or years) of servitude, your old and deprecated website is on the tail end of it's lifespan. We hadn't noticed it until recently but that does seem to be the mentality of a lot of our clients. We had a surge of clients wanting redesign work at the new year, for obvious reasons, but now that Spring is finally getting a foothold and battling Winter back we find a lot of clients are looking to shed their old cumbersome website for a lighter and more effective alternative.
An example of one such client can be found below. Our friends over at ATM Sales & Services came in the other day looking to get more out of the website. He had mentioned that he felt he just wasn't getting the kind of numbers he wanted to be getting and that his website just didn't meet today's standards.
|ATM Sales||Body & Soul Massage|
Teajai quickly jumped on the opportunity to redevelop his website, and really went above and beyond. She made it her mission to keep the same theme for the site while still conveying their message more effectively and creatively. Our clients absolutely love the work that we've put out for them, and I'm really proud of our product, too!
After spending a week on site at the Extreme Home Makeover one of our clients, Body & Soul Massage, decided that they needed to take advantage of the situation and get a revamp for their website. We felt compelled to provide something truly unique and creative but kept true to their brand.
Check these out. Top is before, bottom is after.. I hope you can tell that though:
Monday, April 11, 2011
I've been doing a lot of competitor searches for clients lately and I've come across websites that just . . . make you want to go "hmmmm . . ." Thought I would share a few of these with you to serve as reminders that your website is being visited by real people. Do Unto Others - right?
- Why does a butcher shop need a photo gallery? I'm just sayin'
- It's called website DESIGN for a reason - no need to cause your visitor to have a seizure with bright flashing colors that force you to look away. That's the worst of the many undesirable design techniques in use.
- How does a customer contact you when there is no phone number at all, no address, nothing on the website?
- Is it really necessary to launch music whenever a visitor comes to your site - without asking them first? Can you say "send me the earplugs please!"
- Why would a company want to use images for normal text instead of just straight text? Search engines like plain text better.
- Are we still assuming that EVERYONE is using the same browser? Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, Safari - guess they don't care if the website is completely destroyed in IE6 or doesn't function in Chrome.
- What is with the small fonts? Maybe they don't expect that anyone would want to read the text so it doesn't matter . . .
- And what is with the light gray text on white backgrounds? Better hope that the visitor's screens are set to high contrast or they see nothing.