The Rewards of Customer Service

November 3, 2015 by · Comments Off on The Rewards of Customer Service
Filed under: DGP4SL Info, Linden Lab and Second Life, SL Marketplace, The Project to Save Second Life 

Customer Service is that ephemeral quality about a business that is tough to define in words, but crystal clear in experience. We know when we’ve been treated properly, our concerns or issues taken seriously, and our business appreciated. We also know when we’ve been discarded, disrespected and dismissed. It’s no secret that Good Customer Service is something every company should provide. But many choose not to, and their reasons range across the map. So I thought I’d perhaps convince a few of them to reconsider their decision based on my own recent experience.

This time that experience comes from the Seller / Merchant side of things, not from the usual “Customer Perspective”. Confused? Read on …

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The Tolerable Annoyance Spectrum

July 29, 2015 by · Comments Off on The Tolerable Annoyance Spectrum
Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life, SL Marketplace, The Project to Save Second Life 

It's No BullYou keep looking at the guy, waiting for him to really explode into a million pieces. He’s pissed off. He’s making a scene. And he has clearly maxed out the Tolerable Annoyance Spectrum at this store. You can see it written all over the faces of the Customer Service people trying to keep him calm. No matter how good they are at acting, it’s obvious to everyone watching that they are quite truly done with his childish antics. Before long Security shows up and promotes him to “Departing Ex-customer.” So what is this thing called “Tolerable Annoyance Spectrum” and why does it matter to you?

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Of Calendars, Carts and Horses

July 27, 2015 by · Comments Off on Of Calendars, Carts and Horses
Filed under: Internet Life and Humanity, Linden Lab and Second Life 

carts and calendarsOne of the things that most annoys people is when their personal schedule gets disrupted. We all have our own personal schedule; it’s pointless to try and deny it. Many of us carry ours around at the ends of our arms (cleverly concealed as a portable communications device … Mwaahahahahaaa!)

Another hot button for people is this issue of Respect. Gosh! Here is the USA it’s almost state law in some places that you get shot for disrespecting someone. (Okay, maybe I’m stretching just a wee bit … sorry.)

Is It So Much To Ask?

So is it really that much to ask that Linden Lab pay attention to our Personal Calendars AND show us some Respect by giving us:

  • Proper Tools in Advance
  • Proper Notice
  • A chance to Comment on the Schedule

… Apparently so. Never mind. Just an old curmudgeon being curmudgeonly today.

Nerfing Second Life Microbusiness

(According to This Blog Post, the problems with the Process Credit system of Second Life have now been resolved. If you are still seeing a delay greater than those specified in the post then you should file a support case and hope they get it resolved el Pronto.)

Fairly early in the maturation process of Linden Lab’s Second Life software platform, the management at Linden Lab decided it would be really neat if people using SL could actually turn their contributions to the platform into actual cash money. Users were already able to exchange the in-game tokens called “Linden Dollars” for copies of their virtual products, but LL spotted and then implemented a method to convert those tokens into outside-the-walls (meaning Real Life) cash money.

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Wanton and Willful Fraud by Linden Lab

I have been silent for several months now. During my silence I have been working on a post that would be my “welcome back” contribution. That post was to have given a few kudos to the development team that oversees the Second Life Marketplace. Alas, that post will never see the light of day now. It will remain forever a grand ideal that has been buried because of behavior by the same development team … behavior that goes beyond the merely incompetent and strides firmly into the realm of legally actionable fraud. Fraud that is not just annoying but deals with amounts of money that go well into the felony level of damages.
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Bias in Marketplace Listing Enhancements

December 22, 2012 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life, SL Marketplace 

A few days ago I made a rather strongly worded post on the SL Forums regarding the Bias present in the way Listing Enhancements are displayed to visitors. I have spent a fair amount of time watching and mentally noting the ads seen, but I’d never gone the extra step of actually logging and analyzing the data. Well, I’ve been raised under the credo that strong words must be backed up by facts. So today’s post is the result of that fact gathering.

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You Trust Me, Right?

I don’t mean me personally. I hope you do trust me, at least trust me enough to consider what I write as being rational (mostly) and accurate (always). But that question up top is really meant to make you stop and think about who you do trust in the Virtual World of Second Life … and why you trust them. Specifically do you trust Linden Lab? To the point, do you trust the SL Marketplace and the people that are responsible for programming and supporting it?

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Who NOT To Buy From On SL Marketplace

Now that I have your attention, I need to explain what this post will NOT be. It won’t be a witch hunt, it won’t be a naming of bad people … and it won’t be a list of the people selling on the Marketplace for the sole purpose of ripping off customers. However it WILL be a compendium of tips, suggestions, techniques and clues that anyone shopping on the SL Marketplace can use to keep from wasting their money, goobering up their shopping experience and generally ruining an experience that can and should be satisfying.

Please Note: This article was written in the early days of Direct Delivery (mid-August of 2012). Since then the SL Marketplace has upgraded to Viewer Managed Marketplace (VMM). Much of what is written here is out of date or flat out wrong now. Please read up on VMM before you begin trying to fix something that does not exist anymore (Magic Boxes and the Merchant Outbox for example).

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The Issue with Traffic

Before I dive into the meat of today’s topic, I want to spend a bit of time laying the groundwork. I think it will help you better understand what I’m up in arms about this time around and how it will probably affect you in the near future.

The most basic rule of any business is to “make money”. Any business that doesn’t have money flowing in … at least in quantities large enough to match or exceed the money flowing out … that company is dancing a Minute Waltz. Any minute now that business will waltz off into the pages of history. Businesses within Second Life are no different. While there are many Merchants that set up an In-World store or go to the trouble of making a Storefront on the SL Marketplace purely for the fun of making and selling things, there are also a lot of people that take the operation of their business very seriously. Not all of those make a living off their store either. They may just be making money to spend in SL, or they might cash out from time to time but nothing big enough to live on. No matter their “Bottom Line”, they use the time and experience of setting up and running a business in SL as very real and not at all “simply a game”.

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I’m So Damn Tired Of Asking …

A couple years ago, Linden Lab bought up the top contenders in the Virtual Goods sales website niche. They laid out who knows how much in money and other incentives and took ownership of both OnRez and XStreet SL. And then they sh*t-canned them both. Granted, they let XStreet live a bit longer than they did OnRez, but the final solution for both was death.

To their credit though, when they first took over XStreet, they did some enhancements that made a lot of good sense. I’ve said it many times before, but probably their best modification to the XStreet platform was they merged the two banking systems (In-World and XStreet) and made it so that if you had money in your “normal” Second Life L$ account, you could use that money to make purchases from XStreet. As strategic moves go, that was a winner. As a technology move, it was the death knell to any contenders. It didn’t take long after that change before all the 3rd party competitors bit the dust. Game point to Linden Lab.
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