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Staying Relevant and Reliable: It's time to take some notes!

If you’re not familiar with Bob Farrell, you should at least become familiar with his trademark phrase and belief, “Give ’em the pickle.” What Farrell means is that if something happens with a customer, do what it takes to make things right! This is where the story of a loyal, 5-year long customer of Terminix comes in. Her name is Lynn and she had been using Terminix to take care of the pests on her property at least four times a year. She paid $75 dollars for each service. While not cheap, she claimed that the reliability and service itself were worth that amount. When she went to pay online, the bill left by the exterminator and the online bill had a $3 difference, stating Lynn had to pay $78.

She did not shrug this off and took this up with a representative who ended up questioning her argument over a measly $3 and instead of resolving the situation, just left her more at a lost than before. Needless to say, Lynn cancelled her services with Terminix and found a competitor that offered a cheaper service. Terminix’s cancellation representative offered to her several good deals for her troubles but she didn’t bite and the pest control company lost a loyal customer.

The solutions to these types of problems should go without saying when dealing with customers or the consumer. In situations like these, “Give ’em the pickle”, or in Lynn’s case, the $3. Have you had bad service from a company you’ve been with long-term? Have you had fantastic service that had led  you to become a loyal customer?

Plenty of people nowadays are trying to invent or reinvent something, trying to trump the significant impact of the wheel or even sliced bread. An article posted by , an expert on innovation, argues that the best innovations are not about invention, but about relevance.

Taking an example from Burt’s article, we’ll start with Starbucks Coffee. Starbucks, of course, did not invent coffee or the business of a coffee shop, yet they’re a multi-billion dollar company. Café culture wasn’t an integral part of American society before Starbucks arrived though, as they combined a well-established concept of cafés with a quick and efficient way of service. Starbucks gave coffee consumption an important role in everyday lifestyle by making it relevant. Reconfiguring current technologies into brilliant and relevant innovations and continually re-imagining what you’re offering is what makes a company thrive.

This isn’t the most appropriate application of thinking for most companies, as some can sustain excellent business by maintaining the integrity of their original product or ideas (e.g. In-N-Out Burger), but it’s something that’s definitely worth looking into. What company catches your eye?

Now onto our blog favorites, Facebook and Twitter. We’ve blogged about these social network juggernauts before, we’ll blog about them again…but what if Google were to top off this trio of sites? Google, in its own right, is one powerful and incredibly innovative company and until recent, haven’t really been tapping into the market of social networking in the same aspect as Facebook and Twitter. While we should preface that Google is not trying to create an entirely new system directed at social networking, they are connecting products of these dozen or so social networking sites as a component of their search engine. Google has created this “Social Search,” blending traditional content and pulling from a variety of different sources. For example, you could be planning a trip overseas and type in “backpacking through Europe”, in addition to what would normally pop up in the search results there would be posts related to that search by everyday people, either by something they posted on their Twitter account, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.

As we can see, Google is not creating a pure, distinct invention within social networking, they’re adding (social) components to an existing product, creating a highly relevant search experience.

What do you think of Google’s new search? Has it helped you with trips, products, recent searches, etc.?

If you have a comment or answer, let us know in the comments below!

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