A Daughter's Perspective

by Kevin Wallenbeck February 22, 2012 19:45

Interesting conversation tonight at dinner.  My middle daughter opens up with...

"Dad, you know when someone asks you who do you know that has a cool job?  Well, I don't ever say you because I think your job is boring.  So, I pick Aunt Tara because she works with Passports and everyone understands what they are.  She can stop you from being able to go on a vacation!"

I appreciated the frankness of the conversation and it started me thinking.  Later this evening I found myself working in the office with the same daughter and was helping her with an Excel/graph project.  She asked me if I knew what I was doing and I said no, but we'll figure it out.  Literally, 2 minutes later all was done and on the printer.  It struck me at that moment that God has truly blessed me with an uncanny gift of figuring things out and that's what I spend most of my day getting to do.

I asked her to come over to my computer so I could show her exactly what it is that I get to do every day.  I shared with her..

That I get to be creative every day.  Discovering new ideas.  Figuring out processes and workflow.  Inventing and re-inventing web and software applications that help both businesses and individuals live better, happier lives.  I showed her ideas I'm working on and those that are being worked on now.

The best part was that I think she at least has a much better understanding of what I 'do' and that it's really not boring, she just didn't understand.

I LOVE these moments with my girls!

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Category: Family

Too Important Too Forget

by Kevin Wallenbeck November 9, 2011 13:20

There’s a story.  Of a man named Kevin.  Who was busy buying a new car for his wife.  He found one and it was perfect.  He put a large sum of money down and financed the rest through his credit union.  While at the car dealership, he was finishing the paperwork with the ‘finance and insurance specialist’ and he was presented with an extended manufacturer’s warranty.  Having purchased one on a previous vehicle years ago and it not working out so well he passed on the opportunity.  However, the ‘finance and insurance specialist’ was clever and then offered a money back guarantee if the warranty was never used during the warranty period.  WOW, what a great offer.  So, Kevin purchased the extended warranty for $2,800.

Side Note: Did you know that in most cases you can cancel any warranty purchase within 60 days without penalty.  Did you also know that the warranty companies typically don’t send you your paperwork with all the details until about 45 days, long after you’ve lost that … why did I buy that warranty feeling.

45 days or so later this man named Kevin receives his warranty papers with all the details.  Low and behold there is a catch.  Not a deal-breaker catch, but a catch none the less.  The money back guarantee on the warranty (if no portion of the warrant is used) can only be claimed for a refund at the end of the 36 months (3 years) … and Kevin only has a 30 day window in which to claim the refund or else no money coming back to Kevin.

So, what to do … how in the world will Kevin remember to collect on that guarantee within those 30 days three years from now?  His email calendar (outlook) isn’t reliable enough, is it?  The calendar on the wall of his office is replaced each year.  A reminder on his cell phone perhaps, but what if his cell phone gets lost or he replaces it.

Kevin thinks to himself … this is too important to forget.  He starts thinking to himself .. “if I don’t need to use the warranty in the next three years and I want $2,800 back … how much would it be worth for me to remember?”

Side Note: Whether you agree with purchasing extended warranties is not the point.  The point is many people do have situations in their lives where they would consider it very important to be reminded of certain things.

So, Kevin searches for an online service that can help him remember at just the right time.  However, there isn't one that he feels confident he can trust.  Maybe there's an opportunity here with an 'upscale reminder service' who's responsiblity is to MAKE SURE the reminder gets through.  Maybe it's phone, email, text, snail-mail, a visit to my door?  Ok, a visit to his door might be extreme, but you get the point.  Would Kevin pay $50 for this service ... you bet.

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Category: Personal

How Customer Service Strategies Change

by Kevin Wallenbeck November 2, 2011 13:25

As we all know business models and service strategies can evolve over time, and at the end of the day is it about the almighty dollar or the greater good?

You can swing to the almighty dollar and service begins to stink.  Or you can focus on the greater good and not making any money.  I think there is a middle ground and to be successful you have to find it and stick with it.

InteractRV, the rv website design company I co-founded in 2003, has used Rackspace.com as their hosting partner for years.  In the beginning they were a smaller, privately held company bending over backwards to make sure things were right and easy to use.  Then a couple of years ago they went public and they just didn't focus on the fantastic service any longer.  The account managers began treating us as a number and their product/service offerings began evolving into a one-size fits all approach.

I'm not sure if they did it for the dollar, but my gut tells me as much.  What the whole process did do for me was open my eyes to make sure that as InteractRV grows servicing more customers that we are sure to maintain our premier level of service.

We will learn lessons and products/services will continue to evolve.  Some may make sense and we'll continue and some may not.  But at the end of the day we need to be available, listen to our customers, and help each one be successful in the best way for them.

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Category: Business

Cool New Reminder Option for Husbands

by Kevin Wallenbeck October 19, 2011 22:53

I discovered this pretty cool new reminder service out there for husbands called HubbyMinder.  Looks like there site is still in progress but from what I read about it ... way cool.  Keep an eye on it at HubbyMinder.com

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Category: Personal

Slapped by a Panda

by Kevin Wallenbeck July 28, 2011 13:29

InteractRV, the company I co-founded in 2001, does alot of search engine optimization and other Internet marketing strategies/tactics to help clients improve.  We also run a handful of consumer facing websites like www.RVingPlanet.com and www.UsedRVsForSale.com.  RvingPlanet focus on rv sales and reviews of new RVs while UsedRVsForSale focuses on just used rvs.

Back in February the traffic on RVP took a nose dive ... it was a panda slap.  Google had updated its search algorythmn in an attempt to get better quality site rankings.  Unfortunately, it also affected good quality sites.  We are following their suggestions for getting our site whitelisted and I'm confident we will achieve that.

What good came out of the whole thing is that there now is a list existing of what a site needs to do not to get panda slapped.  The better side to the list is alll the things to do to get ranked better by search engines.

If interested you can read all about in this great article here.  Best of luck!

 

August 18, 2011 Update

Another great article here

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Category: Business