The RDA Blog of Faith Caldwell

Faith Caldwell

I have been working in the quality arena for 10 years, first as a Quality Manager for a help desk supporting over 300,000 seats and now as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. These assignments have changed my perspective – I see everything in terms of a customer experience now. From encouraging the grocery store to be more forthcoming about products no longer carried, correcting the errors in my frequent flier account, or pointing out discrepancies between web site information and reality – it all boils down to improving the business - customer interaction. I want this blog to help businesses use the web as an effective marketing tool – one that will engage your customers and deliver positive results. I’ll look at and comment on web sites – the good, the bad, and the ugly – so that you can make more informed decisions on how to take your web presence to the next level.

No Fees, Please - We're Credit Unions!

Millions of Americans were able to relax when a certain behemoth financial institution announced this week it would begin to charge five dollars a month for customers to use debit cards for non-ATM transactions. Why? Because as much as the profit-driven banks like to ignore them, credit unions with their 91 million members will never follow that model. Since 1909, credit unions have provided service based financial safe havens for their members.

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10.6.2011
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Banner Ads - The Pesky Reality of the Internet

Advertisers considering the mobile market will need to sharpen their strategy because mobile users won’t want to pay network charges for ads that don't interest them. Local based marketing sounds good in theory – use the GPS location of the mobile device to offer ads for businesses in the immediate area. But how many times do you want to see the grocery store ad when you're headed for the drug store? Push commerce – where ads are sent to the mobile device either through a subscription service or through local based marketing is a relic of the current technology. Pull commerce where mobile users decide what they want to see (and are willing to pay for!) challenges marketing and IT departments to work collaboratively.

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8.7.2011
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Grocery Stores Lag Behind M-Commerce Trend

We all know the drill - and either love it or hate it. But going to the grocery store is a fact of modern life, even if you are a denizen of the local farmers' market or a committed CSA subscriber. Industry-wide adoption of m-commerce (mobile commerce) has been slow to non-existent, yet opportunities exist to focus on the grocery customer who is smart phone savvy. So listen up Austin-based national organic chain and all those regional chains who compete of the barest of margins - here are three ideas to bring m-commerce customers into your stores.

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7.31.2011
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The High Cost of Poor Quality Business Processes

I am a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt leading process improvement projects across the company. As predicted by my instructors in the certification classes, I have also become a keen observer of processes outside of work. Guaranteed, a truck-sized process gap exists in each of these companies between payment processing and billing. It doesn't matter if the processes are in-house or out-sourced. What matters is that no one is watching the electronic payments – they come in silently – and communicating with billing. My bet is that the one company that has figured it out has marked my customer record so that when the bill is prepared, no envelope is included.

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5.4.2011
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Smart-Phone Travel

For those of who love travelling, becoming our travel agents has given us access and information to go places we could only read about. We can book a cruise to the Spice Islands, find flights across the greatest distances, and experience the changes in landscape through the window of a train through Europe. Hotels and restaurants once dependent on walk-in traffic now blossom with the ability to both publicize to the greater audience and take reservations on-line. Planning a trip is just the start of the journey - a taste of what is coming.

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5.1.2011
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Restaurants Need Good Websites

Every restaurant needs a good website, timing is everything. On a riff of ‘you are what you eat’, restaurant websites need to reflect the dining experience. Well constructed web pages are easy to edit ans update.

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2.25.2011
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Web Failures Lose Customers

A well-established national retail operation closed the bulk of its retail operations and transitioned – badly – to e-business. The products are available, but don’t get your hopes up. Two critical customer facing functions – address verification for shipping and secure hosting for credit card transactions – where the businesses relied on web developers without having a fundamental understanding of what the customer experience demanded. If the national company had invested in rigorous testing, the address verification problem would never had reached the final version of code.

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2.20.2011
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Doing Web 1.0 Better

My business is small - it's local - it's personal, so e-business doesn't fit my business model. Alas ecommerce has to be part of you long term business strategy. Some ideas for making your web 1.0 site work harder for you. You don't have to compete with every deep pocketed international company. No need to miss out on the power of your web investment.

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11.28.2010
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The Value of the Web

It’s hard to believe, but many businesses and non-profits have not yet realized the value of the web. Think about it – a web presence is as important today as the Yellow Pages® were to our parents! It’s your Number 1 marketing tool – and the new public face of your business. Yet some businesses haven’t harnessed the power of technology. Now is the time to get comfortable with the business world of the future.

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11.18.2010
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