Organized Bookkeeping

Putting up Obstacles to Growth

This week I used a payment processing service that I rarely use.  I sent out an invoice via the service, the customer promptly paid.  (Yah!)  And I was happy.

Until I received the a followup email from the payment provider that I wouldn’t get payment right away because I had rarely used the payment service.  Ummmm….. maybe because I was testing it to see how it worked????????

Whilst I would like to send off a blistering email to scour the app’s marketing team’s ear, I shall refrain from doing that today.  I’m on the fence if I will use that service again or recommend it.  We shall see.  I don’t currently have warm and fuzzy feelings right now about the company.

Which brings us to the topic of today’s blog.  Testing applications and widgets to make sure they work.  It’s been a fun and wild couple of months at

Payment App:  Read those terms and conditions for anticipated payment times and unofficial policies for bumpy payment times.  It’s not odd that an app will slow or hold onto your money for extra time.  Remember, they make extra money on the interest whilst you are checking your bank balance.  However, they also have considerable risk in ‘lending you money’ as they see it.

Calendar App:  Who knew that a simple calendar app would cause Google to hit my this website over 500,000 times in a month?  The app maker did, that’s who.  The first inking that I had of the problem was an email from my hosting site.  The excessive traffic was dragging down the server.  It took a couple of weeks to fix.  Turns out the virtual robot.txt isn’t working properly as stated by wordpress.  I learned a few new things!

What kind of app or service are you planning on adding?  Have you checked it’s help section to see the main risk categories?  What’s it rating?  Do you have a back up plan in case it doesn’t work?

And I guess the main problem you should address.  Does this new app/process help your customers?  Does it provide better information?  Or is it a shiny button?

I was on a different site this morning.  In order to get any scrap of information from a free site; I had to submit, contact information, fill out a survey, and wait until the peeps responded.  This was for information that I could easily find in a phone book or google.  I put in bogus information to a fake email/contact information.  In spite of the confidential guarantee about not releasing my information to third parties; I don’t hand over my personal information to just anyone.

Have you created such a system where if someone wants to be a customer; they need to divulge their inner secrets?  I’m not talking about signing up for a newsletter; that’s clearly ‘I get a newsletter in return for signing up’.  I mean facebook sign ins, twitter sign ins; and other connectivity points across social networks.   Are you aware that many people will abandon their carts/ browsing if you ask them to provide it?  Are you?

Is your information gathering keeping potential customers away?  I’ve seen many suggestions on marketing websites that we should pester customers two or more times a week until they purchase something.  That explains the endless amazon emails that I get.  Do you have a selection that’s comparable to amazon?  There is a parking lot service that I use when I take a flight.  It emails coupons about once every two weeks.  Do you think that I would use their service if it emailed me twice a day?

If you add an app or newsletter; make sure it’s appropriate, more than a shiny button, and adds to the customer service.