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Archive for July, 2012

23
Jul

Customer Service – The Bovine Does It Best

All the business cards!I have more business cards than I know what to do with. But that’s ok – I didn’t pay for most of them. Once you’ve read this, you’ll either be terrified of ordering your next batch of cards from Moo, or be ready to place your order immediately. Or you might just be indifferent about it altogether. I’m not a mind reader.

Are you a glass half-full or half-empty person?

What the hell am I talking about?

My business cards elicit some interesting reactions. Most of them involve laughter. I assume it’s because most people don’t expect a business card to greet them with such a facial expression. But that’s exactly what I’m going for when I give you a card. I want you to remember me, after all.

When I ordered a new run of cards from Moo.com, I uploaded a new custom design (created for me by Petra Cuschieri, graphic designer extraordinaire) to their design tool, and placed the order. Two weeks later, they arrived.

To my dismay, there was a white stripe across the top of each card.

Bad news first, right?

The bum cards.There was a problem with the bleed on the first run of 100 cards, resulting in a white stripe on the top of each card. After one of Moo’s support representatives attempted to fix the problem, the second batch I received had no stripe, but the design was zoomed in and misaligned.

A third replacement batch arrived, and the alignment issue had been corrected, but now there was a stripe across the bottom of the cards. It took 300 free cards before someone identified the issue and instructed me correctly on how to resolve it.

Don’t worry, there’s good news!

Moo’s support department is stellar. Their people were quick to send me reprints, and didn’t even ask for proof of the problems with the bad batches.

Despite the fact that I had to wait a few extra weeks, due to all the bad batches, I was never given a hard time, and each of my emails was responded to quickly. These people are really nice.

Bottom Line (No Pun Intended)

I have 400 cards for the price of 100. 300 of those are slightly messed up, but they’re still usable in many situations, and I’m still a satisfied customer.

Customer service like this is what truly sets a company like Moo apart from its competitors. They messed up again and again, but they didn’t stop trying to make it right until I was happy again. And they did it politely, and with style. I can think of at least one company who would do well to heed Moo’s example (See: Customer Retention – You’re Doing It Wrong).

So, ideas on what to do with 300 bum business cards? I was thinking about hauling a giant fan up to the top of the CN Tower…

What do you think? Leave a comment!
17
Jul

Backing Vocals for Your Next Shower Recital

Bueller?Everyone knows your voice sounds a hundred times better in the shower than it does anywhere else. It’s the acoustics, right?

Contrary to popular belief, stepping into the shower does not magically transform you into an opera singer, Mariah Carey, or a one-man barber shop quartet.

There are few things worse than hearing someone who can’t sing belt out their rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” in the shower. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of these things. Behold:

  • Getting shit on by a pigeon
  • Getting dive-bombed by a pigeon
  • Sitting on a dead bee that has been meticulously placed on your chair, stinger up
  • Impaling yourself in the groin on a subway turnstile
  • Nickelback

Studies show that there’s a lower chance of driving your flatmate to murder if that song you’re singing is actually playing (and louder than your own voice, preferably). But as your friendly resident IT guy, I strongly advise against bringing electronic devices into the shower with you, for water and electricity a good pairing do not make.

Presenting Your Waterproof Solution

Hipe Waterproof Bluetooth Stereo Shower SpeakerAfter a few months of searching for something that would let me listen to my MP3’s in the shower, I happened upon this clever little device on Amazon: The Hipe Waterproof Bluetooth Stereo Shower Speaker (tonight’s homework assignment is saying that five times really fast).

What I was searching for was, essentially, a waterproof MP3 player with a built-in speaker. I envisioned loading it up with a bunch of my favourite songs, taking it into the shower, and getting jiggy with it behind the shower curtain. And now, much to my flatmate’s chagrin, I can.

What is it?

The Hipe Waterproof Bluetooth Stereo Shower Speaker (quite a mouthful, I know) functions as a bluetooth headset. You pair it with your phone (or any bluetooth-enabled media player), and then play music to it wirelessly. Buttons on the front give you play, pause, next/previous, and volume controls. No headphones required.

It also has phone controls for making and answering calls. Nothing tells your clients how important their business is to you like answering their calls while you’re lathering up in the shower!

What is it not?

The Hipe (I’m sorry, but I’m not typing out the whole title again) is not an AM/FM radio, unless you have it connected to one via bluetooth. It’s also not an MP3 player, so you can’t actually store music on it.

It also isn’t completely waterproof. I’d call it water resistant, as it can withstand a stream of water (even a high-pressure water jet), but they don’t recommend completely immersing it. So don’t throw it in the pool.

Does it work?

Hang the Hipe from a shower head or curtain rodIt works perfectly. In fact, I just had a one-person dance party in the shower to test it, and even made a call while doing so. The playback controls work well, and it has good bluetooth range.

The unit feels solid and well-built. The sound quality of the stereo speakers is surprisingly good, and sounds great in the shower. Even the bass is good for its size.

The only warning I’d offer would be that the hook from which you’d hang it from your shower head or curtain rod could be stronger. As such, I’d prefer to set it down on a flat surface. But considering its other strengths, that really doesn’t seem like a very big deal.

Buy One Now

Is it worth $70? That depends on how badly you want to jam in the shower. I wanted it bad, and I don’t regret the purchase. Also, keep in mind you can take this thing anywhere, so it doesn’t have to stay in your bathroom. It’s battery-powered, and charges via USB cable.

Looks like I’ll be taking longer showers from now on. And if you hear running water the next time you call me, now you know why. Try not to get too excited.

What do you think? Leave a comment!