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Chelsea Malibu
Posts: 1,712
Registered: ‎10-05-2009

Re: Time for a SL Better Business Bureau?

[ Edited ]

Reply to Mickey Vandeverre - view message

yes I am an advocate of quality customer service.  i am sure you do a good job and admire your tenacity but please realize, that there are many out that are not.  and also keep in mind that if a customer has enough bad experiences, their likelihood of coming more in SL goes down.

Your comments are appreciated but flaming is really not becoming of someone at your level of professionalism.

 

Tari Landar
Posts: 1,266
Registered: ‎10-05-2009

Re: Time for a SL Better Business Bureau?

Reply to Chelsea Malibu - view message

I only support such an idea in theory.

In practice it could never work, for all the reasons already stated. Humans in this virtual world simply cannot remain unbiased. So exactly how would you support/protect *all* merchants and not just those bigger names out there? You'd require some kind of "fee" to join, right? That right there is where the buck stops. No one, in sl, should have to PAY to be known as a good business. Sorry, that just doesn't fly with me. A good business, a great creator, these things will stand on their own merit as they always have.

What recourse could a BBB in sl do for the customer who's been wronged? Absolutely nothing. In rl the BBB while still not a perfect solution, remains one *tool for consumers to offer them a little bit of something. But it offers them absolutely nothing if the business isn't registered(much in the same it would do in sl). So what exactly would a BBB in sl do that word of mouth can't, and doesn't, already do?

If you want to convince people that this idea would work beyond simply theory, you need to give them *reasons it would work. Not just state the obvious. Of course customers have problems. In any world, this happens, and while we'd all love for no one to ever have problems, that's not realistic thinking. You do realize that for the most part we only hear from folks who have bad experiences, not nearly as often from folks who don't. Those experiences tend to trickle down when we make recommendations and such to others. But rarely will you see someone post, for example here in the forums, about a fantastic experience. But you will hear about a lot of the bad ones. That's the nature of the beast. Nothing anyone does can, or will, change that. People who are upset about something are more likely to be loud(er).

So, if you really think this is a great idea, you're going to have to convince the masses before you'll get much support. It would be a wise idea to actually break down how you think it should work, what it would entail(right down to the nitty gritty details), what you can do for consumers and merchants alike. Just posting the idea, which is done, as someone else said, at least once a year, isn't enough. So provide proof that "your"(general you, of course, as this is a frequent pipe dream around the merchant world, lol) idea will be different from anything we've already got, won't simply be some "what's hot" list like all of it's predecessors, will offer something we actually need and isn't just an idea that isn't fully thought through. Give folks something to actually think about, a reason to believe this is a fantastic idea. Theories won't work here. We'd love it if they did, but they just won't.

Chelsea Malibu
Posts: 1,712
Registered: ‎10-05-2009

Re: Time for a SL Better Business Bureau?

Reply to Tari Landar - view message

I dont recall every mentioning a fee.  In fact, I had planned on using a hosting account I already have for the website and that it would be open to anyone.

BTW all ideas start from a theory.  SL started as a theory.

 

Posts: 2,716
Topics: 57
Registered: ‎06-16-2009

Re: Time for a SL Better Business Bureau?

Reply to Chelsea Malibu - view message

I'm not really in a passive-aggressive mood lately.  I was blunt.

If you feel as though it is "flaming"....there is a control and a proper button for that.

The link that you provided as an example, was not a particularly good example of policies that you would like to address, spearheading a group that is titled or will be similarly titled Better Business Bureau.  There is no right or wrong on much of that list. 

I will fight the placement of any group that attempts to define those policies with promotion to customers.

We all do business differently.  We all set product policy differently.  That does not make one or the other's right or wrong.

Tari Landar
Posts: 1,266
Registered: ‎10-05-2009

Re: Time for a SL Better Business Bureau?

[ Edited ]

Reply to Chelsea Malibu - view message


Chelsea Malibu wrote:

I dont recall every mentioning a fee.  In fact, I had planned on using a hosting account I already have for the website and that it would be open to anyone.

BTW all ideas start from a theory.  SL started as a theory.

 


How exactly would you get all merchants together? How would you inform merchants all over the grid that the service exists?

I'm going to be blunt here....you need to quit taking offense to everything people say. Just because some point out flaws in the idea doesn't in any way negate the 'theory" or the idea, nor you. In fact, if I were you, I'd be encouraging people to point out the flaws. You do want your idea to come to fruition, and to be successful, and to provide a valuable tool for merchants and customers alike, right?(I think thats kinda obvious, lol). Then you need to be willing to accept that people are GOING to challenge this. You're aksing merchants what they think about an idea...and then acting offended when they answer. That's a bad start, if you ask me.

I've made that mistake myself, both in real life and even in second life, as a business person. Never, ever ask others what they think, if you're not prepared to listen, and accept what they say. Some folks will be bluntly truthful with you-whether they are for or against the idea. Some folks won't be quite so blunt. But that doesn't mean either one is right or wrong. Your reactions to the answers you receive however, will speak volumes. Right now, I'm not convinced you've thoroughly thought the idea through. I'm sorry if you don't like that, but it's the truth. Coming as someone who may be a teensy little creator with a teensy business in sl, but one who has owned a business in rl for more than 13 years now. That's about the only time you'll ever hear my toot my own horn, lol. I didn't get where I am by being defensive anytime I was challenged, not learning from my mistakes and the mistakes of those before me, and pretending to know it all(again I apologize for being blunt but I don't know any better way to say this, it's just exactly how you're coming off in this thread and I don't think it's intentional, but, yeah, you're giving people a reason to *not be confident the idea will work). I have no qualms being honest with people, when they ask me to. But I do, at least slightly, take issue when people ask for opinions but don't really mean they want honesty. That rubs me the wrong way.

So....good luck with your idea. I'll check into it a year from now and see how it's panned out. Right now, I don't believe it will. Please prove me wrong :smileyhappy:

Chelsea Malibu
Posts: 1,712
Registered: ‎10-05-2009

Re: Time for a SL Better Business Bureau?

[ Edited ]

Reply to Chelsea Malibu - view message

Thank you all for your candid input and this has helped me a lot.  Clearly not a good idea and I am glad I ran it by everyone to get more clarity on this.  I guess thes is just not viable now that I have seen all sides and something I will clearly not pursue.

Always good to get more perspective and why I came here to see first.

Posts: 2,716
Topics: 57
Registered: ‎06-16-2009

Re: Time for a SL Better Business Bureau?

[ Edited ]

Reply to Chelsea Malibu - view message


Chelsea Malibu wrote:

yes I am an advocate of quality customer service.  i am sure you do a good job and admire your tenacity but please realize, that there are many out that are not.  and also keep in mind that if a customer has enough bad experiences, their likelihood of coming more in SL goes down.

Your comments are appreciate but flaming is really not becoming of someone at the level of professionalism you are.

 


I commented on audacity and a few other problems with your plan.  I did not evaluate your "level of professionalism" within those comments.  As did you, above.  And that is a very good example of why your plan is not acceptable.  I do not want a group of people with agendas defining professionalism for our businesses.

Frankly, I'm not all that professional most days.  My store is a mess.  It would not meet your group's standards, according to that list you supplied.

And that's one of the reasons I enjoy having a little business in SL.  As far as I know....my regular customers are not offended by my current lack of attention to some empty display areas.  It's a huge relief and a huge joy to come in here and not have that hanging over head, and to just have fun and play around a bit, with no pressure.  I've never felt pressure from any customer to go organize the store or fix some messed up displays.  Never.  And this is a joy.

Please understand, that many are having fun here, without guidelines.  Freely, without evaluation cards and without time clocks or agencies to report to. 

Customer service is one thing, but attempting to go beyond that into proper product design, permissions, store display, etc.....that's going way too far, and that's the example that you gave. 

And even as far as customer service goes, I do not trust anyone's judgment on that, based on prior forum participation.  Somewhere around here, there is a thread that spells that out perfectly, concerning use of notecards, and there have been many others.

You have an agenda.  Why don't you spell it out very clearly.

eta:

here's that thread, and it's a very good example of why a group should not be in place to make judgment calls on a person's business policy, and why a group should not be in charge of defining what is right or wrong, and why that certainly should not be used in promoting to customers what is acceptable and what is not acceptable from another merchant, and it's on something as simple as returning messages.  Imagine what it would be like on other issues and policies:

Tari Landar
Posts: 1,266
Registered: ‎10-05-2009

Re: Time for a SL Better Business Bureau?

Reply to Mickey Vandeverre - view message


Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

Frankly, I'm not all that professional most days.  My store is a mess.  It would not meet your group's standards, according to that list you supplied.



lol, you stated that better than I could. I am far from a professional in sl. I've been creating for some time now and sometimes I even wonder why I call myself a creator, haha, I'm often times just  "playing", you know? Don't get me wrong I absolutely LOVE what I do, and I love learning new things. I enjoy the fact that my rl benefits from it as well. But I'm not on some top 10, top 50, even top 500 list for a reason. I don't have the means, and most times desire, to be that "big and famous", for lack of better term. But I do provide a level of customer service that I expect of others. If/when there is an issue(hey, it happens, lol), I fix it as soon as I can. I have only had one issue never resolved and when that was over I realized the person had mistaken my product for something else, likely felt sheepish, and stopped contacting. Eh...such is life, right? Beyond that though, I've always handled things as quickly as possible.

My standards aren't the same as others, my stuff isn't nearly as good as a lot of stuff, but I wouldn't consider anything I offer(service or product) as substandard....still I wouldn't want to place myself on the same "level" as it were, as someone with a huge business-been here for years-thousands of customer base-huge group-constantly putting out new content-up to date on the content they put out(ie mesh and such)...it just feels wrong.

I like being a little hole in the wall, mom and pop, type shop. It serves me well. I love knowing that I can always go up from here, so to speak. My content can always be improved, I'll never plateau. I am always learning, always improving, always doing better than the year before. My store is tiny, it's not even a building and it likely never will be(unless someone wants to give me a building rent free forever...bwaahaaaa...I kid, I kid, I wouldn't want that). My actual store has less items than my MP even. I put stuff out pretty slowly, unless I've a ton of time on my hands-like right now since we're a couple months ahead in lessons and waiting on curriculum, lol. I'll likely put out a couple month's worth of stuff in the next couple weeks. But then it'll be a bit before I add more. That's just how I work. I'm a very small fish, in a very big ocean that doesn't want to strive to be a big shark :smileyvery-happy:

Not saying a BBB, or anything like it, would require such things. It just seems to me that being on such a list, there are certain expectations that may manifest simply by association, and I have a very difficult time thinking otherwise. You're going to have people on there that do all of the above I've already described and folks like me just wouldn't fit those "standards" set forth by others(intentional or otherwise), it would make me feel awkward. But that's just me. That doesn't mean the IDEA behind it is bad, or couldn't benefit others. Even if it did come to fruition and work grandly, I'd likely never participate for that reason alone. I'd feel weird, and I think I'm weird enough :smileytongue:

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Toysoldier Thor
Posts: 2,722

Re: Time for a SL Better Business Bureau?

Reply to Tari Landar - view message

I am really not sure why Merchants in this thread are taking this topic so serious and passionately and with a lot of barbs flying back and forth.  As I have said early in this thread... it really is not a topic that has ever been received well by the merchant community on the countless times it is brought up.... and as you all can see from this thread... it hasnt again.

Personally I believe that the unique dynamics of the SL Business economy and ecommerce environment is not suitable or supportable of any formal structured type of BBB or Merchant Standards Group or Association. 

There are those that treat their SL business as serious as if they were running a RL business with B&M, staff, assets, inventory, taxes/fees/insurance.  To these people. a BBB will sound like it makes all the sense in the world.

There are those (i.e. I would suggest MOST of the Merchant community of about 70,000+) that do not treat their SL business with the same level of business operation criticality as a RL business.  As much as I love the awesome monthly profits my SL business generates for my RL pocketbook, I 1000% fit in this category.  I own a RL business and if I ran it like I run my SL business, I would be bankrupt. 

For someone like me, as much as the concept in theory might have merits, it would be an utterly useless group/organization.  In fact, as many have stated, this BBB would likely add a new risk to my business rather than help me.  Why?  Because I am happy how my business operates.  As sloppy as my business runs, I have customers with near 100% satisfaction and that love my products and love my awesome customer service. 

I would not want to jump through hoops just to get a "Im a SL BBB Member" sticker to place on my store and products.  Since I wouldnt, then there is the risk that a SMALL % of customers in SL might actually make a buying decision based on it.  I doubt many would care if a merchant is BBB or not but a few would.  As such, the BBB adds risk to my business. 

Finally, the added risk is that IF this BBB Merchants group were to somehow be successful, it would likely be populated by the top sales generating merchants - the COMMERCIAL Merchants.  The risk is that LL might begin to listen to their opinions and thoughts on the fiture direction of MP or the SL economy or how the business us run.  These BBB opinions would obviously be of self-interest to the top teir merchants and against the 90%+ of hobby merchants.

Pretty much most Merchants know that LL management is already secretly influenced by these top merchants but this group would give LL a legit argument on why they do some of the stupid things they do... "Because the Merchants told us to as stated by the BBB".

 

Anyway, fighting and personal attacks over this topic is not worth it.  If someone wants to take a shot and basically waste their time creating this BBB group, more power to them.  I will put 10,000L down now as a bet that a year from now there will not be any significant BBB like group in SL.  This thread clearly proved why.

 

Toys SL Marketplace StoreToys SL Art Gallery
Posts: 2,716
Topics: 57
Registered: ‎06-16-2009

Re: Time for a SL Better Business Bureau?

Reply to Toysoldier Thor - view message

"I am really not sure why Merchants in this thread are taking this topic so serious and passionately and with a lot of barbs flying back and forth." 

-----------------------------------------------

no sweat, Toy. someday you might just feel compelled to take something seriously and passionately, and understand.  You might even feel compelled to

CAPITALIZE AN ENTIRE THOUGHT
 
 
ya just never know!