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More On LA, Las Vegas & Rewarding Your Readers

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.

hollywoodviewI 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.

Spanish Steps

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.

storm trooper

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 hollywood boulevardcomment 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?

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 44 Comments

  1. thanks again for the tips for encouraging commenting on blogs… but I have one question. You use keywordluv, and you definitely approve good comments that take advantage of this and use keywords, but you also say at the top of this comment form “Please use a name and not a keyword as keywords will be removed”. I’m confused:D

    1. That’s an easy one Joe, that applies to those people who don’t use the keywordluv feature and just leave a keyword. Actually some when using keywordluv still use a keyword instead of their name.
      Sire recently posted…Tips On Tipping & Other Things When In The USAMy Profile

  2. The audacity of that waiter to do something like that was apalling. May be he didn’t clean his ears for a month. If I were you I would have reported him to his manager. Somehow our holidays get spoilt when things like this happen. They leave a bad taste in the mouth.
    Peter recently posted…Goa and its beachesMy Profile

    1. Actually he wasn’t a waiter he was a bloke behind the bar and I don’t let things like that bother me, life is just too short to bother with morons. As it was he lost out in a tip, that was enough for me. As you can see from the photo the wife and I enjoyed our cocktails.

  3. Can I instal both CommentLuv and KeywordLuv in my site?
    and another question:
    Which one is the best?

    1. Well, since your site isn’t a blog the answer would be no. If it were a WordPress blog the answer would be yes as to which is the best one, they both have their own individual qualities but if I had to choose between the two it would be commentluv.

  4. Yes, bad service really gets remembered and passed on to as many people as possible, more dangerous these days as with the internet you can easily tell more than 9 people! Interesting that Bank America require passports when I though only about 5% of the population have them.


  5. Twitter:
    Okay, my take on things.

    One, the large banks are a major issue across the country and I absolutely HATE Bank of America; they’re one of my favorite targets on my finance blog.

    Two, if you’d reported that bartender he’d have immediately lost his job. Las Vegas is one of the most customer friendly places in the world because of the competition, especially at Caesar’s Palace, and I’m surprised the guy would take a risk like that. Actually, since cameras are everywhere I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t lose his job later in the day.

    Three, I agree with you on all the plugins except for KeywordLuv, but we’ve talked about that one before. However, I think you’re really hitting it on the head in talking about Subscribe to Comments. I’m finding so many blogs now where I’m not receiving any responses to my comments, only to go back and see that indeed they did respond, I just never got notification. It’s hard for most people to know whether this works or not for themselves unless they do what I did, that being to send test messages via my blog to myself and seeing if I got them.

    Great stuff! :thumbup_tb:
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…Are You Waiting For Someone Else To Make You A SuccessMy Profile

    1. Yeah, those banks seem to be giving you guys a lot of trouble, if they’re not going broke on you they’re giving bad service. Our banks on the other hand are still making huge profits and the only thing people complain about is their fees. I personally don’t mind the fees that much as I’d rather they stay afloat than go broke. Besides, if your smart you can avoid a lot of the fees.

      As to the bartender losing his job I would have hated to be the cause of that so I would not have reported him, but perhaps I should have pointed out the error of his ways, He probably wouldn’t have understood me anyway :tongue_rolleye_ee:

      As to the subscribe to comments plugin, that is essential and yet so many people fail to see how important it is.
      Sire recently posted…Back From LA With A Tip For BloggersMy Profile


      1. Twitter:
        We have major issues with the fees as well, but our government is trying to figure out ways to slow these folks down; greedy so-and-so’s. And you know me, I don’t take slights lightly, so I wouldn’t have cared if the guy lost his job or not. You never, and I mean NEVER take your bad mood out on anyone else, especially a customer.
        Mitch Mitchell recently posted…Firefox 4 My ReviewMy Profile

        1. Your right, you never take your bad mood on a customer, which is why we have a three strike your out policy over here before you can terminate someone’s employment. Perhaps I should have complained to someone, but like I said we were leaving and I couldn’t be bothered.

          As to your banks, seems to me their banking practices were suspect otherwise they wouldn’t be in the red.

  6. Hey Sire, this was a rather amusing story.

    Having bad service happens everywhere man, the only thing that makes a difference it’s how we react to it.

    In my early years (when I was young and stupid LOL) I would have definitely told something sarcastic and provoking to that bartender and wait for a comeback reaction but now that I know that life’s too short and you can literally get killed if you mess with the wrong guy (not exaggerating at all, it’s exactly like that in Culiacan, Mexico) I learned that if you get mistreated you can just deal with it and go away ok anyway.

    We never know if the other guy/gal is having a lousy day but both parts have to agree that one is supposed to be treated right and the other is supposed to treat people right, is that simple.

    ***

    I wasn’t aware that Keyword Luv could still be installed because as it wouldn’t show up on the main wordpress site I just thought something like ‘well this is not being supported anymore’ so thanks for sharing that link mate!

    Glad to have you back Sire, when I first knew you were in LA I thought you were going to some marketing conference, there are a couple of ‘important’ conferences in these days in San Diego and Las Vegas, still I’m glad you had a good time there ;-)

    PS1. Btw, I’m having second thoughts about my own blog, don’t bother going there to comment I’m working on something for the I See Sales People domain! :P

    PS2. I loved the ‘No Skateboarding’ sign on the Hollywood stars pic (I bet you didn’t spot it lol) ;-)

    1. So your a Mexican, I often wondered what part of the world you were from Sergio :smile_wp: We were going to take a bus trip to Tijuana Mexico but ran out of time. We only went as far as Old LA where we saw the first home built and a beautiful chapel.

      You’re right, I did miss that sign :doh_tb: :grin1_ee: and you have me intrigued about the changes you’re making to your blog. :ponder_tb:
      Sire recently posted…A MailChimp Review- For The Good Affiliate MarketerMy Profile

  7. I’m with you on not bothering to respond/react to the morons who take out their personal frustrations by treating you badly – although I have to confess to having succumbed on numerous occasions to a few bitingly polite words of advice on said moron’s lack of career prospects should he not upgrade his attitude and service. This is usually done in my bestest Mary Poppins accent ~ it has quite the effect!

    Then on the bottom of the bill, I’ll write
    “No tip included. The server knows why.”

    1. Hi Jaqueline, writing on the bill never occurred to me but I wouldn’t have done it if I thought it would cost the guy his job. If on the other hand it caused him to be reprimanded thereby causing him to change his ways, well that’s another matter entirely.

      I’d hate to be in the way of those ‘few bitingly polite words of advice’ although they may have been somewhat diluted coming from such a lovely woman. :wub_tb:
      Sire recently posted…Happiness In New York City Is All About PeanutsMy Profile

  8. Hi Sire
    “Needless to say he didn’t get a tip.”

    Yes, I can believe that.

    Sounds like something from an American film where the camp waiter throws a tantrum.
    Absolutely disgraceful.

    You make a great point that blogging is just like any other activity.
    People need praise, rewards and incentives.
    You, me, we are all the same.

    Nice parallel with real life.

    BTW – hardly recognised you in that stormtrooper outfit.
    Good to hear you had a good time and thanks for sharing your experiences.
    Keith Davis recently posted…Keep it short- keep it sharpMy Profile

  9. Only One or two such bad experiences are enough to spoil holidays.
    CommentLuv, KewordLuv and Top Commentators Plugins are the best combination to reward your customers.

    1. Those ‘bad’ experiences we experienced were nowhere near bad enough to spoil our holiday and they made for a couple of good posts so it all worked out for the good.

  10. you make a good point that should be emphasized on the Comment Plugin. PLEASE dont have it sending me emails for every post, it is a good way to be sure I never come back

    1. It sure can be annoying Rob and it can cause people to not tick the option defeating the purpose of having the plugin.

  11. I love the way you were able to derive a lesson for bloggers from your experiences. I always think it’s a great sign of commitment to something when you can relate back. It’s a shame that service specialists put themselves (their own ego) in the way of their responsibility. We’re all human and get upset at times. But because we’re all human we also have long memories when it comes to things that upset us!

    1. Where possible James I try to relate blogging tips to life experiences because I feel people are able to get more from the lesson that way. Luckily this was one of those posts.

  12. I can’t imagine really why Bank of America teller was that rude… anyway, I actually keep a list of sites that are dofollow. So any site that gets on this list get a visit from me regularly. It is actually from these sites that I realized how rewarding it is (to all parties) to have commentluv and keywordluv installed. Sharing some love is indeed the way to go :)

    1. Keeping a list of dofollow blogs is a great idea but you must remember that to earn the rewards they are offering you need to follow their rules (comment policy) if they have one.

  13. I’m loving the last part of your post the most: don’t listen to other bloggers telling you the spam on your blog will increase. It sure will, but there are plugins to handle that kind of stuff — I promise.

    If you’re turning on dofollow for your WordPress blog, make sure it’s working for your current theme. Nofollow tends to get appliead once you switch themes sometimes…

    Just my two cents.

    /Nabil, from Sweden.

    1. Thanks for your input Nabil

  14. Hello Sire,

    It looks like until people can be excluded from jobs, this kind of things will happen again and again. Now, I wonder, if you will ever go to Caesar Palace if you will visit Las Vegas again?

    I wonder that, because one of the greatest way to get constant traffic is to have people returning to read your every post and this can be done with great customer service and a nice incentive to come back. The plugins you listed certainly do help traffic, and subscribe to comments it’s the one that will make people return again and again.
    Alex recently posted…Curse Formula UnuMy Profile

    1. Hey Alex,If I’m ever fortunate enough to visit Las Vegas again I would certainly visit Caesars Palace simply because I didn’t find his action upsetting enough. Besides people who have never been to Caesars Palace, or indeed any of the casinos in Las Vegas, cannot fathom the size of the place. It is huge and the Spanish Steps is but a tiny part of it.

      Perhaps if I reported the miscreant to Palace officials and they decided to ignore it I would avoid going there on principal, but other than that I’d still go back.

  15. That’s a great point. Good customer service is getting to be such a rare thing these days that I will remember places I have had a good experience and go out of my way to go back there again. The ones that don’t disappoint the second time around I will badger all my friends to go to as well.

    1. Yep, and the ones that do disappoint you will also tell your friends, or in this case post in your blog. The ramifications these days are far greater than in the days before the net.

  16. Sire,
    I for one am glad to here that you only had two poor service experiences in the US. It doesn’t surprise me at all about BofA- the example of a bank that nobody loves. I can’t imagine why anybody banks with them- but no way you should know that. IN the US, banks do everything they can do to keep the customers out of their branches.
    Glad that you found good treatment most every place else. I think Americans naturally like- and relate to Aussies.

    1. Probably a little more than two Ralph but you get that no matter where you go.

      I’m surprised that management at that Bank don’t take the time to train their staff more when it comes to customer relationships.
      Sire recently posted…Blogging! Why The Hell Do We Do ItMy Profile

  17. Nice service from the cocktail guy, I don’t understand why he had to throw the drink in the bin, he could have sold it to the next customer instead of trying to make a stupid point. If that had been the first day of your trip and you liked the cocktail he could have potentially lost a few days business from you, what an ass. What was the storm trooper doing? Sad but I would love to have one of those costumes or even a photo with the guy in the storm trooper suit as I’m a huge Starwars fan.
    khaled recently posted…What Are RhinestonesMy Profile

    1. Exactly Khaled! As to the Storm Trooper he was waiting for people who wanted a photo taken with him who would tip him for the opportunity. We did just that with guys dressed as Michael Jackson And Elvis Presley.

    2. Khaled You are a great Commentator,i really appreciate to you.

  18. That stinks about your experience at the Caesars Palace. It’s sad to think that with so many people out of work in the city that the guy would act so poorly. He could have apologized and asked if you wanted the extra drink for free and you might be posting how great the experience was. Just goes to show you with the invent of social media how much the tables have turned for all of us. I’ve had many similar experiences, but I’ve also had some great ones at Caesars.

    1. There are a lot of things that could have been better but he chose to be an idiot. Anyway, it was only bad experience and it didn’t spoil our time there, as you can see by our photo.
      Sire recently posted…Is It Ethical For Bloggers To Do Paid PostsMy Profile

  19. I’ve got to say, reading the story of how the bartender wrongly accused you of ordering three cocktails instead of two made me a bit upset. The same thing happened to me pretty recently as I was waiting in the Chicago airport for a flight to Philly. I went up to a vendor and asked for two pretzels. He brought me only one. I told him I had, indeed, ordered two pretzels and he told me that, no, I had only ordered one. This all after I had already paid for one (what I thought was two) pretzels on my debit card. I guess it’s worse when the vendor brings you back more than what you asked for, but still. The adage “the customer is always right” is one that more people in sales need to come to terms with.

    Well, now that I’ve strayed so far off topic…you do give some excellent tips for keeping your readers engaged and coming back! Definitely some plugins that I need to try out for myself!

    1. Sorry to upset you Petra, but at least it’s a comfort to know you’re not the only in the same boat.

      As to those plugins, will they be for your company’s blog or will you be starting your own soon?
      Sire recently posted…Sharing Photos Is Best Done With FlickrMy Profile

      1. Just for my company’s blogs for now, but down the road maybe for mine as well ;) The KeywordLuv and CommentLuv plugins are plugins I want to look into. The more incentive people have to comment on your posts, the better, right?

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