In my last two posts I wrote about my trip to the US and I thought I would continue the thread because so many interesting things happened there and I have a lot to share with you. Those posts talked about tipping and good service and I tied them into how we could improve our blogging.
It would be unreasonable to expect that no matter where you go in the States they would treat you like pure gold. There were a few places where the service was shocking. The first happened to be in the Bank Of America. As there were a few questionable people hanging around the ATM I decided to go into the bank to withdraw some cash. After walking through this weird system, obviously something to do with security, that involved two doors where only one person was allowed to enter at a time.
I approached a female bank teller about withdrawing some cash. Man, what a sour puss, I reckon she must have missed out on getting laid that morning. Anyway, she says she needed to see my passport to which I replied I only had my driver’s licence on me, which happened to be acceptable everywhere else we went whilst there, Nope that wasn’t acceptable but I was welcome to use the ATM outside. I’m sorry but that made no sense to me whatsoever, it’s not like the ATM could check my ID. What really cheesed me off was her condescending attitude.
Another occasion of bad service happened at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Let me set the scene by quoting what Caesars Palace says about the Spanish Steps.
The warmth of the sun and cool desert breezes. Imagine the ambiance of Spanish Steps, where you can enjoy a frozen fruit cocktail amid the outdoor market atmosphere of the Roman Plaza. The Spanish Steps in Rome were completed in 1725 and lead to the Trinita dei Monti. Like the original, the Las Vegas Spanish Steps serve as a vibrant, outdoor meeting place.
Yep, it was our last day in Vegas and Anna and I had some time to kill before catching our plane back to LA and then home. We had walked past the Spanish steps the night before and thought it would be great to relax there while sipping a frozen cocktail. We approached the bar where they had two empty containers representing the sizes available. I pointed to the smaller of the two and said, “I will have two that size, one watermelon and one lemon.” He came back with three and I said, ” Sorry mate I only asked for two one of each flavour.” “No,” he replies, “you asked for two watermelon and one lemon!” I argued the point which caused him to pick up the spare frozen cocktail, hold it in the air in front of me and then to drop it in a bin, making it plain that he wasn’t at all happy.
Sorry, that’s no way to treat a paying customer. Firstly you never argue with a customer, that’s why they have the old’ The customer is always right’ saying. Secondly, you never try to make a customer feel small by using actions meant to intimidate him. Needless to say he didn’t get a tip.
There were a few others but they were minor and not enough to spoil our holiday. I only mentioned them to prepare others for when it happens to them. It’s unreasonable to expect everyone in the service American service industry to be perfect, because no matter where you go in this wonderful world of ours you’re always bound to come across some bad apples.
Something else I noticed while over there is that so many place offer their customers an incentive to encourage them to return. It got me to wondering what we as bloggers could do to encourage our readers to do the same. Most of these have been covered in previous posts but I think, especially for the new readers, I will touch briefly on them again.
- Go DoFollow: Don’t worry about all those bloggers who tell you it’s wrong to go dofollow because it will increase your spam and it will ruin your PR. There are plugins to deal with spam and I’ve been dofollow since day one and I’ve still managed a PR4.
- Install Commentluv: A great way to reward customers is to install the commentluv plugin. Once they learn that commenting will give them a titled link for their last blog post, and if they’re a member they can choose from their last 10 posts, they will continue to return for more.
- KeywordLuv: Another great plugin to reward those who comment on your blog. This plugin allows them to leave their name and a keyword and you all know how important keywords are to SEO.
- Keep It Simple: By this I mean don’t make it difficult for people to comment. Most people are busy and they do not want to jump through hoops just to leave a comment so forget those stupid captchas and comment systems that require people to be logged in, such as Disqus and Intense Debate, to leave a comment. Rather than those captchas use GASP instead as it’s the simplest way of defeating those damn spam bots.
- Return The favour: What better way to reward your commentators than to visit their blog and leave a quality comment in return. I’ve found this to be the best way to build long term relationships.
- Subscribe To Comment Plugin: This is one that many bloggers forget and yet it can bring a lot of return traffic. There are a lot around but make sure you select one that only sends out an email when someone replies to a comment directly and not one that sends and email every time someone leaves a comment.
Naturally you also want to provide the best content possible because if they don’t like what you’re putting out there isn’t much incentive to return. I thought about offering a free eBook but then that may be good for getting them to sign up for a list but it’s only a one time offer so it won’t necessarily get them to return on a regular basis and that’s what we really want now isn’t it?