Archive for July, 2009

1. Raise prices. 2. Raise prices and tell customers they’re getting a better value (when they’re not). 3. Raise prices, tell customers they’re getting a better value, and try to twist the truth when they call you on it. Come to think of it, this type of behavior is always a bad idea, no matter […]

Want to piss off your customers in a big way? Just tell them you’re increasing the monthly or annual recurring costs, and that everyone will have to pay the higher prices — including existing customers. 9 times out of 10, companies are smart about this. They grandfather in the increases, thus making long-time customers feel […]

Most of us probably take it for granted that cell phones have a “silent” mode for when we’re in a meeting. Similarly, we’re accustomed to being able to mute the sounds on our computer (or a specific program) when we’re on a call or don’t want to be bothered by chimes and beeps and alerts. […]

When the weather is nice, a lot of retail stores and restaurants leave their doors propped open. I’ve never asked anyone why they do this, but I imagine the idea is to make the venue look more inviting so that more customers walk inside. But does leaving a door open actually increase foot traffic and […]

A friend of mine held a garage sale recently. Like many people, he put an ad for it on Craigslist. This makes me wonder: would the results be better if he advertised it on a site like Freecycle too? Of course, Freecycle is designed for giving things away for free, rather than selling them. But […]

My company recently changed email providers, and we ran into some hiccups during the initial setup process. The issues arose outside of the email provider’s product and definitely weren’t their fault. However, they could have made the migration process a lot easier by providing tools to help us test the new setup. What’s more, the […]

Despite all the talk about listening to customer feedback, the features that paying customers use most are often the most stagnant parts of any technology product. While these core features languish, other aspects of the product benefit from fresh design thinking and vastly better usability. What separates the forgotten features from the ones that get […]

When booking a hotel room in a city that you’ve never visited before, you can encounter many types of sticker shock. The price may be very high, the room may be small, and the only bed available may be a double. To you, these issues might be significant. But to someone who travels there a […]

Many stores seem to be including coupons on their receipts these days. The goal, of course, is getting shoppers to return during the next few weeks so they’ll buy more products. Typically, these coupons take the form of “Get $5 off your next purchase of $30 or more”, or something like that. However, I saw […]

On Saturday, my wife and I decided to try out the new location of our favorite breakfast place, which just opened a few weeks ago. As we placed our orders, the waitress mentioned that we could swap out the usual toast or pancakes for an order of french toast. I haven’t had french toast in […]