Tag Archives: Amazon

Is Amazon too tough on their workers?

Categories: Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Rumors are that Amazon management tolerates nothing less than peak performance out of their workers. The workplace is intense and often cutthroat. Workers who have health problems, other personal issues, or who just can’t measure up often get penalized or fired.

Two Times reporters wrote a 7000 word piece on Amazon after they had interviewed many current and former Amazon employees. They wrote about the grueling and competitive conditions the workers had to endure. After Jeff Bezos read this featured article, even he wrote a letter stating he would not tolerate the “shockingly callous management practices” described in the article. He urged employees to contact her directly if they heard of abuses.

However, reviews on Glassdoor indicated that 82% of employees approve of CEO Bezos and most would recommend Amazon to a friend. A program manager in Seattle wrote that Amazon had small teams, interesting and innovative projects, and very smart people. There were quiet work areas, a beautiful campus, and a startup feel. To me, it sounds a lot like Google. There were many mixed reviews on Amazon with the pros commenting on the vibrant fast paced culture while the cons were more about the office politics.

My feeling is that the companies that are getting ahead today like Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. tend to embrace a high energy culture of overachievers who work in an innovative setting creating new and better ways for society to function, buy, sell, and enjoy life. If workers want to work in a slower paced company, an innovative front-line company doesn’t seem like a good place. Becoming a librarian in a small Tennessee town seems like a better idea for someone who wants a quiet, yet fulfilling life. But, on the other hand, companies that make their workers put in too many hours can burn people out. In the long run, we need quality of life, not just some success that leads to ultimate burnout. And when we get pregnant or have personal problems, it is nice if our company understands what we are going through. After all, we’re all human (my cat is nodding her head at this point.) Well, she is not human, but the rest of us are!

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The most important factor for creating leads for your outsourcing company.

Categories: Outsourcing Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Companies that do B2B have a very different attitude than those who do B2C. Unfortunately, this attitude is not a good one. When I personally call outsourcing companies, they rarely answer their phone. If they do answer, it is usually a lower level employee who doesn’t communicate well, or who doesn’t know anything. Most companies out there only want large customers and don’t want to bother with small companies like mine. The general attitude of outsourcing companies out there is — we want more money, but we don’t even want our existing customers. In the real world, you can’t make money without having customers.

“We chase projects — not dollars”
One company told me that they chased projects, not dollars. Unfortunately later on I realized that they enjoy projects, but hate customers. I think I need a company that chases customers, not dollars, but finishes projects on time. Hmm.

A seamless experience
What gets B2C companies business should be considered in the B2B world. B2C companies thrive when they offer a seamless, glitch-free, teflon, no friction customer experience. Amazon‘s 1 click ordering is an example of how the most thoughtful professionals handle this concept. Most outsourcing companies out there offer maximum friction and dysfunction at every step of the process not to mention talking to (or being brushed off by) anti-social people who may or may not be responsible enough to complete your work to your satisfaction.

How to create that experience
The process of finding qualified leads is up to a good marketing department. You need to find people who are in high positions in companies who hire programmers, data entry clerks, call center agents, etc. Once you have found them, the key is to not ruin what comes next. Is your website informative? Does it make it easy to know what you do, and all of your specialties such as chat support, SMS messaging, and technical support for HP products? Or does your site just ramble on about how you offer the highest quality of BPO services, and refuse to let people know what those mystical BPO services are? Many companies out there just ramble on for paragraphs about how they adhere to the highest of standards, but don’t mention anything specific that would make me want to hire their company. Your site needs to have a very elaborate services page, FAQ page, contact us page with all applicable contact numbers, contact forms, email address(es), phone numbers that go to people who actually answer their phones, as well as photos of your staff, building, and perhaps a map of your location so people can mentally place you.

The next step is being personal
These days, people normally visit your web site or social media sites to size you up. If you pay special attention to both, then you will have made a good impression on your leads. The next step is to actually talk to people. If you make it easy to talk to an informative human being, and make it easy for people to get their work done with you, you will be on the right track.

That’s all for now. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Choosing company names that create an impression or tell a story

Categories: Innovation, Startups | Tagged , | Leave a comment

When we start our first business, we are in a huge hurry to choose our business name. What we don’t realize is that our business name in a sense defines us. We also don’t know where that name will be in thirty years. For all we know there could be one thousand people working for us by that time in an international company.

Many companies choose their names based on the founders. Levi-Strauss was founded by some German Jews who headed out west to make their fortune. They didn’t make it panning for gold, but by selling denim jeans to those who did. Law firms are often named after the founders such as Silverman & Beckman. But, then there other companies that name themselves based on geographic information such as Pune BPO Ltd. for example (I just made that one up.) Then, there are other names that use strange terms like Yahoo and Google who turned out to be amazingly successful.

Amazon did well with their business. Their business name conjures up images of dense forests, piranhas, and adventures! And then there are car names that name themselves after words in foreign languages like Toyota Corolla. You could name your company after Ethiopian royalty with the name Sheba (which is also a cat name — meao!) You could name a company after a Native American Tribe like Zuni. Or just come up with something weird.

The point is that a well thought out company name gives you an extra edge in your business. It can give you image, intruigue, recognition and more. It is critical to compare thousands of well researched names before you pick your final name. The problem is that most business creators just pick a handful of names, ask their friends and family, and then ultimately choose one. Then, later on their change their mind. Take naming your business seriously as the rewards for doing a good job are fantastic!