The Social Revolution

With a major recession squeezing small businesses and big business as big as ever, how is a local company supposed to thrive and continue getting its name out to customers? Our answer came in the form of a service most of us use all the time: our Facebook. |

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| In the age of social media, it has never been easier or less expensive to let people know you exist, and that logic also applies to small businesses. Today you can broadcast any message (or offer) to as many people who will listen, for free. People aren’t buying directories anymore, they’re looking up what they need online, and at no cost your business can be a part of it. If you provide a service that’s worth raving about, people will find a way to rave publicly on sites like Yelp. Of course this increased connectedness can work against you, making your company slip ups more visible than ever (see the Amy’s Baking Company debacle for a master class in what not to do). The best way to deal with these public mistakes is to try to take the criticism constructively, remember we’re all human, and try to never make that same mistake twice. In the end, this increased transparency adds up to a more level playing field than ever; where the best have a better chance of rising to the top, regardless of size.

For those companies willing to put themselves out there and “work it”, the rewards can be phenomenal. Every time we hear someone say social media’s just a fad or waste of time, we remember so was rock and roll, so was the internet, the mobile phone. There are 15 million companies on Facebook now. 15 million. Millions more on Linkedin, Twitter, the list goes on. So every time we hear those words, “fad”, we can’t help but think the person’s just in denial, or afraid of change. There are some bandwagons you just have to jump on, or you’ll be left alone in a ghost town, and social media is one of them.

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Social media is the new neighbor on the block. Except instead of talking across a fence, you’re talking across the world. Just wait until figures start coming in about how much commerce has been produced from social media. For our company, it has changed everything. It’s sharpened our skills, made it easier to refer others and find products, to stay updated on our community, and has made conducting business generally more enjoyable. So jump on board the social media bandwagon: we guarantee you’ll be a better, more aware company for it.

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What do you think about this social media revolution? Leave a reply!

morganmillerplumbing.com

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Diary of a Dogsitter

Imagefrom left to right: Dexter, Penny, Moxie

Dear Diary,

I can’t promise you I’m totally sober as I write this…but I have embarked on a new journey this past week, and I think I found God while doing it. It started so pleasant. Me and the dogs: we laughed, cried, shared secrets, pillow fights, really everything you do when dog sitting and then Monday reared its fat ugly face.

ImageWhile driving to the lovely Morgan Miller Plumbing office with the dogs on Monday, some idiot driving a Penske truck in front of me decides he doesn’t like his lane anymore, so reverses right into the front of my car!  Calm down, I know what you’re probably thinking, “my babies! We should have never let this crazy white female watch our beloved animals.” Don’t worry, we all survived without a scratch. My car on the other hand was rushed to the hospital, but Mr. Bonehead will have to pay for that little mistake.

The other bad news… I think Moxie is going to need some intense therapy. (X days) without you guys were pretty hard on her skinny self. In my new whip, a Toyota Yaris (get your laughs out now, I swear it looks like something Yoshi from Mario Bros would drive), the dogs take up the entire car. The defrost couldn’t even keep up as I would drive to work, I am sure it looked hilarious.

Sleeping with Dexter was so nice, it was the closest thing to sleeping next to a man I have had in a while. His snoring was comforting. Moxie’s whole “I wanna be under the covers and now I don’t” was hard to keep up with, but I made it. I found myself sleeping around all three dogs, god forbid I interrupt their sleep. The California King bed felt like a twin at times.
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Despite Moxie’s yummy breath and Penny’s needyness, I wanted to say thank you for allowing me to invade your home for the week. I only had 2 parties and only a couple of people (15) swing by. Wink, just playing. I tried to replenish some things, I got a little out of hand and ate your whole box of ChexMix in one sitting… embarrassing. Hey, when in Rome.

Hope your trip was the best family building trip yet! I can’t wait to hear about the debauchery, you better have taken tons of pictures! Thanks again, and please know I would do it all over again if you needed me to.

XOXO,

Your Rent-A-Daughter, Tosha

PS: Moxie and I were involved in some serious staring contests. Listen, I am good but she is really good.

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Is the Customer Always Right?

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Could you imagine going to work each day dreading the customer you are going to HAVE to work with? How awful would that be? By noon, you’d want to walk out. There is no way a company would stay positive. You could put on your best “fake” voice, but you can only put up with so much disrespect.

Though “the customer’s always right” is commonly accepted, we have learned to say goodbye to many customers over the years. Now, don’t get me wrong…we do NOT take saying goodbye to customers lightly. It is the last thing we want to do, but sometimes in the service industry, it must be done. Confidence in your product or service helps. If you know that your service/product, customer service, work force, and follow up is superb, it’s much easier to say goodbye, though you often wonder why.

Depending on what the customer does to disrespect one of our members, we will generally go through the pros and cons of letting them go, then come to a consensus. Watching fellow employees react to process of “firing a customer” can sometimes be a treat. I say that because in that moment, the employee realizes that the company has their back, no matter what. That in turns creates a workforce that wants the same goals as you, and knows that treating a customer with the upmost respect is extremely important. No one wants to let anyone go after having a bad day, but you also shouldn’t have to bend so far over backwards that you nearly break yourself.

Our workforce knows to do anything and everything possible to ensure our customers plumbing problems are solved quickly, quietly, and neatly. Yet, sometimes this isn’t good enough for some individuals. Constant complaining about pricing, swearing at our technicians, or yelling at the office staff… All of these things and many more are huge red flags to us. It is just like an unhealthy relationship, you know the signs that point to “kick em to the curb” route. Because we do know when to stop bending backwards, we know have many happy, nice, and respectful customers. They then send all their nice family and friends our way. Just remember, you are human too and don’t deserve to be disrespected, at all. Stand up for yourself, employees, and business.

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Technology Fluxology

App this, app that, upgrade to 4G. Test over to the new gmail account that was an email account last week, using your new password that can’t be your old password, which is good because you can’t remember it anyway.

Sign up for Google maps using Google search so your SEO grows organically, tying into Linked in, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, whatever social networking configuration materializes next.

Hang on tight as we fly into the next wave of technology, because it’s only going to get easier to be left behind. Here’s to the distracting game-apps to keep my head from spinning out of control..

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Son of a Son of a Plumber

Being the son of the son of a plumber makes me feel like singing, though I’ve been warned enough about my musical abilities to not attempt. Fact is, plumbing’s in my DNA. Born to plumb. Other than routine major league dreams as a grade schooler, I can’t think of anything else I even wanted to do. It’s an economy proof, most-necessary service that’s often taken for granted.

Coming from generations of plumbers has always been a source of pride. Made me walk a little taller. Throughout my 34-year odyssey, I’ve never stopped wondering whether my father and grandfather would be proud of what I’m doing and how I handled problems. These thoughts have been my moral compass of sorts, leading me through the unpaved path of life.

 

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The “I need a new job” gauge

How often do you avoid the inevitable obstacles of the working life, lying in bed, hoping to never face another day? Once a year? A week? month? How about every day?

If it’s once a day, it’s safe to say you must bail ASAP. You probably don’t need me to tell you this. Even if it’s once a week, you’re in danger of being a real bummer in both your personal and professional lives. Remember, there are only approximately 21 work days each month, so if you are hesitating two times a month to “go get em”, that translates to 10% misery.

At once a year, you’re in the right place, and more likely professionally and personally content. Keep a personal tally of your own “I don’t wanna”s in the morning each month. Waking life’s too short to spend 10% of it not wanting to function.

 

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Small World Moment

Well would you believe it…today was go to school day. A small seminar on selling was the subject and I’m of the belief that one should never lose the quest for learning. Besides, it sometimes turns into a great networking opportunity. So off to school I go fighting the urge to not sit in the back row as I may have many years ago. Picking the middle isle, I’m about to sit down when, low and behold, a face from the past pops in front of me: we’re talking 45 yrs in the past. Oh my my. Jim Hamilton is about to sit right next to me as we used to back in grade school together. I was flabbergasted and honored. One of those great moments only those who have lived in the same town all their lives get to enjoy. I’ve seen Jim maybe three times since high school, and now here we are, sitting in class again. As we sat there listening to the speakers I couldn’t help but feel like shooting spitballs at the girls in front of us. That’s when it struck me that perhaps if Jim and myself would of paid a bit more attention in class way back when perhaps just perhaps……..naw. Things worked out just the way they were supposed some 45 years ago. Oh about that networking opportunity: Jim and myself have already started a new business relationship too. As they say, “small world”.