Shocking! Yahoo’s data breach

by Colin Shaw on September 29, 2016

How we feel affects how we behave. Understanding the connection between our feelings and our decisions is an essential foundation for creating customer loyalty and retention. If you aren’t sure this is true, then ask yourself: would I open a Yahoo email account today?

Yahoo is in the news all over the world. No longer because of their appointment of an up and coming CEO (that just happened to be female). Not because their user numbers in July were reported to have dropped 30% since the same time in 2014. Not even because Verizon is buying them for $4.8 billion, either (maybe).

Nope. It’s because 500 million of Yahoo’s account users’ names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, scrambled passwords, and security questions are in the wind. Moreover, 200 million of them are up for sale by a hacker named “Peace.” My guess is that it is anything but peaceful at Yahoo’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA.

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Colin ShawShocking! Yahoo’s data breach

Secrets For Breaking Bad Habits!

by Colin Shaw on September 27, 2016

We all have habits. Some of them are good, and some, well, aren’t. But for good or ill, habits drive our behavior every day, and even more so when we are customers.

In my latest book,  The Intuitive Customer: 7 imperatives for moving your Customer Experience to the next level, Professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University and I explore habits and their influence on how customers behave. It led to our fourth imperative:

Imperative 4: Commit yourself to understanding and predicting customer habits and behaviors.

Habits are automatic responses to stimuli. According to Charles Duhigg and his bookThe Power of Habit, habitual behavior works like this:

A CUE occurs. It can also be called a trigger, e.g., the person has just heard troubling news.

A ROUTINE begins. The routine is the habitual behavior, e.g., the person begins chewing on his or her fingernails and cuticles.

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Colin ShawSecrets For Breaking Bad Habits!

Fascinating Insight! How You Make Decisions

by Colin Shaw on September 23, 2016

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m of two minds about this issue.” It means he or she can see both sides of the argument. However, this idiom confirms a deeper truth about the way we think, and, more importantly, the way our two minds can be in conflict with each other.

We all have two ways of thinking: Irrationally and Rationally. As you might surmise, they don’t always agree with each other. We use both types every day. However, for the most part, we behave irrationally more often than rationally.

My new book with Professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University called,  The Intuitive Customer: 7 imperatives for moving your Customer Experience to the next level, explains how these two ways of thinking can conflict throughout your day. It is the basis for our third imperative of the seven:

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Colin ShawFascinating Insight! How You Make Decisions

Big Changes at Airbnb

by Colin Shaw on September 22, 2016

Short term rental website airbnb, plagued by claims that its hosts discriminate against minorities, announced policies last week designed to put those problems to rest.

As I wrote a few months ago, this has not been a good year for airbnb. First there was a Harvard study showing that guests with African-American names were 16 percent less likely to successfully book a rental on the website. Guests began complaining of discrimination on social media, a North Carolina host was banned from the site after making racist remarks, and a federal discrimination lawsuit was filed.

Airbnb’s woes are typical for a young company that’s growing quickly – especially a company that uses the sharing economy to do old things in new ways. Uber, for example, avoids discrimination by keeping things anonymous, but it has come under fire for its labor practices and tipping policies. As these companies grow, the policies that worked at their founding need adjustment.

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Colin ShawBig Changes at Airbnb

Unbelievable Violation By World Renowned Bank – Record Fines!

by Colin Shaw on September 19, 2016

Q: What has two Million phony accounts, 5,300 fired employees, a fine of $185 million and a retiring leader enjoying $124 million in stock and options after retirement?

A: Wells Fargo Bank, the latest bank to suffer the scrutiny of the truth and forced to answer for taking advantage of its customers’ trust.

Carrie Tolstedt, unit leader of Wells Fargo’s community banking division, is set to retire at the end of this year after 27 years of service. The announcement of her retirement in July, less than two months ago, painted her with the “dear friend” brush included the phrase “standard-bearer for our culture.”  She departs with over $124 million in stock and options.

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Colin ShawUnbelievable Violation By World Renowned Bank – Record Fines!

4 Powerful Rules to Create Employee and Customer Word-of-Mouth Programs That Work

by Michael Lowenstein on September 14, 2016

Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., CMC Thought Leadership Principal, Beyond Philosophy

For any offline or online social word-of-mouth initiative to be impactful with key stakeholders, financially and otherwise, there must first be full realization of what it can and can’t do, and what it is and what it isn’t.

Based on broad WOM program experience with b2b and b2c clients around the world, I’ve developed four general ‘rules’ for accomplishing this:

1. Be authentic, transparent, and honest. Saying that today’s consumers and employees are ‘savvy’ is only scratching the surface of their awareness, sophistication, and levels of discrimination in identifying what is real and what is fake. Informal communication programs can work, if and because both stakeholder groups feel they are getting information and advice from individuals and entities they know and trust. Messaging and positioning statements provided by companies must be upfront and credible because, if they are not (or perceived as not), the backlash results of negative word-of-mouth can be significant.

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Michael Lowenstein4 Powerful Rules to Create Employee and Customer Word-of-Mouth Programs That Work