More Business Practices that Make You Look Bad

This is the second installment of Business Practices that Make You Look BadClick here to read the first post.

Kelly over at Maximum Customer Experience wrote a post last week titled “10 Things I Hate About (Your) Experience Design” It’s a great post and I love how she’s presented 10 bad experiences for customers.  Note: the article is fine; however, the comments include profanity and take several detours from the main topic.  Please don’t read the comments if you are offended by profanity or if you prefer comments to remain on topic.  And yes, I was one of the guilty parties who took it off topic!

And here’s some more bad business practices that can turn customers away:

Inundating subscribers with emails. Need I say more?  Ah yes, I do need to, because this one I see and hear about all the time.  Yes, you need to keep in contact with your customers.  No, you don’t need to email them any more than once a week generally.  If you have a big sale with a deadline, then yes it’s acceptable to email them before, during and just before the sale ends.  That should be the exception though.  Normally, absolutely no more than one email a week!  We are all busy, we all receive too many emails – don’t make it worse or you will find your customers unsubscribing because they are feeling overloaded.

Running down other businesses or people online or in your blog.  The internet is a small place.  Pretty much everybody, including your business competitors and your boss know how to use Google search.  It is not so much a question of ‘If’ your negative and/or disparaging comments are seen as a question of ‘when’.  If you wouldn’t or haven’t said it to their face – don’t put it online.  Even if you have said it in person, it’s still better never to put it online.  What goes online stays there forever.  Even if it’s just a simple tweet it can come back to haunt you.

Excerpts on RSS feeds. If you have a blog, have your RSS feed set up so it sends the entire post out, not just an excerpt.  Studies have shown that people will read, or at the very least skim, through an entire post; yet won’t click through to read the remainder of an excerpt.  I’ve noticed this myself, unless the excerpt is extraordinarily captivating I won’t bother clicking to open up the post.  Lazy?  Maybe.  Human nature?  Definitely.  Get the most benefit from your posts and RSS and make it simple and easy for your subscribers to read the full posts.

We had some great comments about other bad business practices on the previous post, feel free to add more in the comments below!

superwahm, melinda jameson, wahm

Melinda is the founder of SuperWAHM.com and started the site to share her learnings to help other Work At Home Mums become more independent and able to spend time with their families

Melinda Jameson

Melinda is the founder of SuperWAHM.com and started the site to share her learnings to help other Work At Home Mums become more independent and able to spend time with their families

5 thoughts on “More Business Practices that Make You Look Bad

  • April 7, 2009 at 9:46 pm
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    I hate RSS excerpts. With a passion. I have skipped over so many posts because I cannot be bothered to click through.

    On the same topic I won’t go near an RSS feed from About.com. Not only do they use excerpts in their RSS feeds but you then have to click a link to read the entire post when you get there!

    Marc – WelshScribe’s last blog post..7 Ways To Improve Your Commenting

  • April 8, 2009 at 2:35 pm
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    Some things that come to my mind are:

    – no clear contact details on the website (ie: no phone, no address etc)
    – a web-based email address like hotmail
    – poor quality newsletters. (they reek “cheap”)
    – really slow delivery (worse when the people don’t have the stock on hand)
    – excessive postage costs

    If I think of more, I’ll write another comment 🙂

  • April 9, 2009 at 8:24 am
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    One that always peeves me

    Always always respond to an email, if you can’t answer the question/s at least confirm you have received the email.

    Definitely agree with the contact details, they must be found somewhere on the site and easy to find.
    An easy to navigate site, some are way too overloaded and have subcategories under subcategories which make it very messy, I always lose interest very fast in the site.

    Katerina Sioulas’s last blog post..Should I or shouldn’t I?

  • April 10, 2009 at 1:08 pm
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    @ Marc. Yes, definately. I very rarely click through to read a full post from an excerpt.

    @ Jodie. Nodding in agreement. Looking cheap comes through to the people reading the emails and looking at your site. And it sets up doubts in their minds as to the credibility of the business. I recently cancelled my membership of a gardening site because it was taking them 3-4 weeks to post out seeds that they had in stock! It was unbelievable!

    @ Kat. Lovely to see you here Kat! Yep, replying to email is REALLY important! Even if it’s an “I’ll get back to you” it shows that you have the email and are aware of it. And totally agree with you and Jodie on contact details. Email at the very least.

  • May 13, 2009 at 12:20 am
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    Be careful with full-article RSS — ALWAYS mark it copyright, with a disclaimer that if one is reading it other than on an RSS reader, it has been stolen. Many, many, many blogs are simply copying RSS feeds from other blogs, even using the same blot titles. Even silly little mom blogs like mine.

    Gem’s last blog post..A Personal Way to Go Green

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