Contrarian on Apple

As Apple approaches the unbelievable $1 trillion mark in market value, I am going the contrarian. 


Historically, I love Apple products–truly. 


But since Steve Jobs, Apple has done virtually nothing!


They are losing the battle for common sense priced products. 


They are losing the battle on innovation. 


Think for a second what has Apple come out with that is “WOW” in the last few years–either in terms of new product or design. 


Do you care anything about Siri?


Are you in love with their Apple Watch? 


Do you think much of their new iPhone X?


What about the computers–same old, same old?


I am still using the iPhone 7plus and have no intention to upgrade anytime soon. 


See the picture above, this is Apple’s idea of innovation. 


It’s the new Mac Pro — virtually the same as their iMac Pro, as their store rep explained to me–except it’s shaped like a tall and weird version of the Amazon Alexa personal assistant. 


BTW, you still need to attach a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. 


Are you impressed NOT? 


Apple as a brand used to mean the latest and greatest. 


Even now, I am still drawn to Apple products, just because I am conditioned to think of it as the best!


But is it still the best and is it worth the premium price?


Apple still has me as a customer and I am still a big fan of what they have done in the past.


But they better do something amazing again and now, because I think their stock is in for a mighty big and painful tumble if we don’t see the old Apple again soon. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Valentine’s Day Fashion Wow!

Now, how perfect is this guy’s suit?


I can’t imagine who would make such a thing, but WOW!


This guy is a walking Mr. Charming. 


Forget the sales job in the jewelry store, I would put him right on the “The Bachelor” season whatever. 


Who isn’t going to fall in love with this guy?  

“Matchmaker matchmaker make me a match.
Find me a find.
Catch me a catch.”

Love wins over hate…


Happy Valentine’s Day!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Customer Service No-Nos

From No To Yes.jpeg

So if you’re in customer service…


The answer is easy. 


It’s always got to be YES. 


– Any less is a big No-No!


The customer’s needs are paramount.


Their satisfaction is your goal. 


So your job is to figure out how to get from no to yes!


You’ve got to problem-solve and figure it out. 


And it’s not enough to come up with any old solution.


When I said to my colleagues the other day:

“There’s a solution to every problem.”


Someone joked and answered back:

“It’s just that the customer may not like it.”


And I responded:

“Well then that’s not the solution you are looking for!”

You’ve got to go back to the drawing board and get to a legitimate yes. 


Of course, it can difficult, especially when at times you deal with some challenging customers and problems.


But listen, this is the customer service field and in the end, the customer experience should be WOW fantastic!


It’s the customer that is depending on you to come through for them and their mission. 


Doing your job isn’t just a matter of reading off of some cue card or playbook. 


This is real life with real consequences. 


If you can deliver, the customer will be able to do their jobs, and they may even sing your wildest praises–wouldn’t that be rewarding? 


Customer service means getting to YES from the earliest possible moment in the interaction, meaning it, and legitimately delivering on it–no other questions asked.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Getting To Yes

Customer Service.jpeg

I thought this was a good and important customer service principle:

“Don’t make me go through NO
To get to YES.”


When it comes to customer service, the default for reasonable requests from good customers should always be YES!


We can either make the experience miserable for the customer and leave them fuming, never coming back, and bad-mouthing us or we can make it fair, easy, accommodating, and a WOW experience!


Why not build your customer base and reputation for excellence rather than erode it? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Can I Help You?

Act Nice
This was a beautiful story that I heard from a very senior colleague recently.



Years ago, when she started working, for whatever reason, it took many weeks for payroll to catch up and for your first check to arrive. 



In her case, she was notified that it would be something like 6 weeks before she would receive an actual paycheck.



Not a lot of good that does, when the mortgage comes due, the utility bill arrives in the mail, or you need to go shopping for groceries or medicine. 



What’s interesting and inspiring here though is what this lady’s boss did at that time. 



She recalled that when he heard that she would not be getting paid for so many weeks, he came to her and asked her if she needed any money in the meantime to hold her over–how could he help? 



He was willing to take his money and give it to her to help her through until her paycheck would arrive. 



WOW!!!



That is extremely powerful.



How many of you know a boss that would do that for you now or ever?



You see he was not only willing to step in and make some calls (which may or may not have helped anyway), but he was actually willing to pony up money from his own self/family (and which I understand he did not have a lot of either) and give it to her. 



This is caring. This is giving. This is selflessness. 



I am awed of people of this personal and moral character. 



These are people to emulate. 



There is a difference between a work environment that is purely work and get the job done, and those few and very special places still out there that have family values (and which at least try to think of you and treat you as part of some sort of an “extended family”). 



No work is not family…but decent people in any situation–in the office or on the Metro–can make a difference in someone else’s life. 



To me this is a story worth retelling and reliving for others to benefit. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A WOW Wheelchair

A WOW Wheelchair

Absolutely loved the article and video in Bloomberg Businessweek on the Tankchair.

Brad Soden makes these amazing ruggedized wheelchairs for wounded veterans and other disabled people in need of getting around some rougher terrain.

They are customized for each user and cost about $15,000 each.

They are built on tank-like treads and can go up stairs, through fields, across streams, and over snow.

“Basically, it’s get off the couch and go enjoy life!”

They are tough and can last 15-20 years!

He first made one for his wife who was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident and was having difficulty keeping up on a family camping trip.

Soden is truly inspirational–he produces these not too make money, but too help people.

“The body can’t keep up, so we’re gonna fix it.”

This is an awesome man making an extreme machine. 😉

(Source Photo: Tankchair)

Alienware Rocks

Alienware Rocks

So this is the nicest looking laptop I have ever seen by far–and it’s made by Alienware, a subsidiary of Dell (acquired in 2006).

Apple, I never thought I’d be saying it.

But Alienware rocks!

The sci-fi style with beautifully lit keyboard and advanced features for gaming make this one awesomely powerful piece of hardware.

I can’t believe that kids are actually carrying these into school now a days.

See video review of premier M18X Alienware gaming laptop here.

If you want unbelievable graphics display, memory, sound, processing power, storage, and style–this is it in laptop computers.

Plus it comes with the cute alien figure etched on the cover.

I want one! 😉