Sunday, May 22, 2011
Yesterday, at my son's graduation commencement, I listened to words of wisdom. Each sentiment was a carefully selected expression of the best advice intelligent people with vast experience might pass on to these young graduates – all full of hopes and dreams but with precious little life experience.
One speaker ended a wonderful delivery with this quote from Maya Angelou:
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
A few days ago sellers at Bonanza were notified that the site had launched a new feedback feature they're calling "Transaction Impressions." In it's introduction on the company's blog, CEO Bill Harding remarked: "Of course, we've listened carefully to our seller community and understand that some sellers are wary of feedback systems that can be used against them unfairly. Specifically, we know that there is a segment of our sellers that would not want Bonanza to introduce a system akin to eBay's "DSR" system...
Well, most sellers were not happy, and they felt management was not listening to their objections to the new feature. Feeling frustrated and insulted, they offered many, many valid reasons why the feature might actually prove detrimental their businesses. In fact, you can read the comments that were left on the announcement blog here, although several comments were deleted by management so you won't see them. This is actually a common practice that Bonanza Management employs when "listening" to their membership. Had I written this piece on Friday I would also have been able to direct you to similar threads in their site forums, some several pages long, all commenting on the overwhelming dissatisfaction with the new grading system. They too have been wiped from the site. Again, the listening thing.
Leaves a bad feeling... every time.
It is important to note that checkout is still not reliable on the site. Management clearly does not believe their selling site needs a glitch-free system through which purchases might be made, and that is why I do not sell there any longer. And why my commentary is no longer appreciated...
And by the way, the picture cropper that was launched with the new star system was launched broken. The stars themselves do not stick and there are typos in the prompts. But this is typical bonanza style, the speed over perfection model. A helpful seller pointed out some areas of improvement, but to no avail:
“Sellers communication was helpful & friendly” please add an apostrophe “Seller’s communication…”
“Shipping time my met expectations” switch “my” and “met” to “Shipping time met my exp…”
But back to the issue of feelings.
The purpose of our feelings is so that we will know how to respond to an experience. Our feelings can tell us that a person we are relating to is unsafe, or that a situation is not serving our best interests. Our feelings are filled with important information; information about what is going on in our world and what our response is to those experiences. Our feelings can guide us toward securing our personal safety by getting the heck out of the situation and by setting appropriate boundaries. Feelings are five-star feedback.
So... as the sellers discussed their feelings, some were promptly discounted and deleted by management, such as this one: "I think we would have a better chance keeping buyers if checkout worked all the time and the offers got through to the sellers… buyers will not return when offers are ignored and a seller can not respond when they do not know they exist. I think these two things would do much more to keep buyers than stars.."
Another seller asked: "why? why bother. what’s wrong with the other? isn’t there enough to do or fix around here. most won’t leave feedback because it’s a pain in the rump; now it’ll be a bigger pain in the rump. I just think time and resources should be concentrated it better utilized areas of need..."
Management's reply: "The reason “why” is that it’s a lot easier to keep an existing buyer than to recruit a new one. Every time a buyer has a negative experience, that is a buyer that will probably never return to Bonanza again. In addition to spending money to recruit buyers, features like this will help us to keep the buyers we already have (by giving sellers feedback that let them keep their buyers satisfied)."
Another seller wrote in response: “Of course, we’ve listened carefully to our seller community…” Respectfully, that doesn’t seem to be evidenced today or lately. Of course it is your site and you will implement changes as you see fit. But, please don’t attribute changes to listening to your community."
And then Bill's avatar changed to the fruit picture. It seemed odd, felt "off" to the many who were trying to have an intelligent conversation. This behavior from a guy with a dislike of urinal splashback which he feels the need to speak publicly about (see FB profile) a fondness for the acronym CHUBS (see my blog http://oshunspirit.blogspot.com/2011/04/exploring-core-values-of-ceo-club.html) and not one but two bananas for an avatar that his programmer "made him accept against his will" (see http://www.bonanza.com/blog/main/New_seller_tools__transaction_impressions_and_auto_crop)...
His reply to a seller who mentioned the sudden change: "I know, it’s awful, right? Christopher made me this profile icon and told me I had to use it. Please file your complaint with him so that I can get back to my usual human form."
How's that feel?
Another seller wrote: "Do you also believe that it is a lot easier to keep an existing seller than to recruit a new one… because many of your sellers (your customers) are not as happy as they use to be with a lot of the upgrades and with the way customer service has become.. many sellers who have been here for years have left for varying reasons.. all are dissatisfied with situations on the site… how are you going to help us.. what are you going to implement, or fix to keep your customers??? Many of the sellers who left were also buyers.. and many still here that are thinking of leaving are buyers.. if they leave as a seller you have also lost a buyer."
Management's response: "Your account has been censored on Bonanza for 7 days for expressing negative viewpoints in a non-constructive manner."
Then the blog was closed to all comments.
Talk to the banana...
How's that feel?
Feelings are wired into our most primitive and accurate defense system. They are neurological, biochemical reactions that happen on a cellular level in response to stimuli. They don’t require thinking... by feeling what you feel, you’ll know what you need to do in every situation. They are your guiding star, in fact, the only star you'll ever need.
May you be blessed!
image credit: Bonanza.com