Just when you thought CAPTCHAs couldn’t get any worse, a new CAPTCHA-based exploit comes into the picture. It’s called “keyjacking,” and here’s how it works, First, a user visits a malicious site, and an automatic download begins, perhaps containing a virus or some spyware. In Internet Explorer 9 or 10 on Windows 7, this triggers a security warning with three options: Run, Save, and Cancel.
Here’s where the sneaky part comes in: the malicious site will hide the security warning behind another window and display a fake CAPTCHA that begins with the letter ‘R.’ Thinking they’re filling out the CAPTCHA, the user will press ‘R’—which is actually a shortcut key for the “Run” option. The security warning is bypassed, and the malicious download begins.
This is just one more reason to prefer PlayThru: since our games require direct interaction (and don’t involve keypresses), you’ll never see PlayThru used for a keyhacking attack.
This guest post is brought to you by David Bakke. David is a contributor for the personal finance blog MoneyCrashers.com. He writes about small business, technology, and more.
Have you ever been frustrated trying to get past CAPTCHA to register for a website or make an online purchase? Well, if you have, just imagine how your visitors feel. While CAPTCHAs are one aspect of online customer service that users find frustrating, they’re really just the tip of the iceberg. An emerging market like e-commerce brings with it countless benefits, and countless challenges, and the most effective way to provide good customer service may be the biggest challenge out there.
1. Utilize Your Social Media Presence
Think social media is just for marketing? Think again. Monitor all your social media accounts regularly for both positive comments about your business as well as complaints. Respond to both in a timely fashion, and take the criticism to heart—after all, in the end it’s just first-hand advice on how to better serve your customers.
If your business involves sales, consider accepting orders and payments through Facebook. Does your business require appointments or reservations to be booked? If so, use Twitter. Just make sure the person in charge of these pages monitors all contact from start to finish to ensure a streamlined process.
2. Have an Easily Accessible “About Us” Page
For potential customers, an “about us” page is an absolute must. Leave it out and your customers may not bother perusing your website at all, much less making a purchase. Your content doesn’t have to be extensive, but it does need to be relevant. Explain in a nutshell what your company does and how it can help potential clients or customers. You can also include a brief bio of yourself and key staff members to give it a personalized touch.
3. Include a User-Friendly “Contact Us” Page
In the same vein, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to contact you should they have a question. If you offer phone support, include the hours when reps are available. Also, consider implementing a live chat feature—the more routes your visitors have to access you, the happier they’re going to be. If you offer email as an option for contact, monitor your accounts on a timely basis and try to get back to all customer requests within 24 hours.
4. Clearly State Your Return Policy
No one likes making a purchase online only to find that it can’t be returned because of a “fine print” return policy. Consider making your return policy as liberal and accessible as possible. You can always tweak it down the road once your business has expanded, but for now the goal isn’t just to sell a single widget, it’s to adopt a successful strategy, create a brand, push word-of-mouth marketing, and make customers happy. So, don’t bury anything in the fine print—it’s the fastest way to upset or lose a customer.
Publicly voiced customer complaints are not as bad as you may think. If you see one on a social media page, make sure you respond immediately. The last thing you want is for a complaint to linger unanswered for others to read, leading not only to one frustrated customer, but to a negative image for countless other potential customers who visit the page as well. Instead, turn that negative into a positive and win over that customer, and countless others are sure to follow.
What ways can you think of to improve customer service at your business?
You will be confronted by terribly unhappy people using your product.
You cannot solve everyone’s problem right away.
Cases can drag on for days, weeks, or longer.
We do not have a dedicated team that works solely on support. Instead, it is a team effort that includes our developers. What is that? We include developers in support? You may say that’s crazy, and you could be right. We have limited developer time, and there are so many features we want to build. Why would we want to spend their time on support?
1. Remove barriers between customer feedback and developers.
We don’t want to play a game of telephone between customer feedback, through someone else, before it reaches those who can correct it. By having our developers respond directly, they know what is most important.
2. Improve reaction speed.
As feedback comes in, the developers can make their down decisions on what needs to be fixed right now versus what can wait. In a world where everything is a priority, this is key.
3. Put the customer first.
We love building what we think is cool. But our main focus should be on what the customer wants, and our support channel is an excellent way to get a sense of this.
One caveat to this process is that we have our developers work only on technical support questions, and we first triage incoming cases to weed out those who just want to say hi.
Last week my partner Tyler and I were in San Francisco. We hadn’t booked a hotel room in advance, so when we got in our car I pulled up Expedia to look for a room. This took a good fifteen minutes. We debated location, did we want to be by a bus stop, was internet included, etc etc. Finally we agreed on a place, and ended up saving about $40 per night.
Today one of our developers shared Parkinson’s Law of Triviality with me. After that hotel debate, it hit home. For him it came up in the context of a forum discussion that had degraded to a formatting argument, but it applies to us constantly at Are You a Human.
It boils down to this: the more complex an issue is, the less time is spent discussing it. Humans tend to focus on the things we understand, rather than the things that are most important. It makes us feel good to give an opinion; being involved in a discussion makes us feel valuable, even if the topic isn’t worth discussing at all. Parkinson’s classic example is a meeting with a nuclear reactor and a bicycle shed on the agenda.
The bike shed is getting most of the discussion. This can be a huge time killer, and we don’t have extra time lying around.
Those fifteen minutes Tyler and I spent debating a hotel could have been spent in a myriad of more productive ways: reviewing the details for the meeting we were driving to, debating how we want to position our company to investors, discussing which of a dozen possible dev projects would have the most impact. Forming an opinion on a hotel was easy, so we did that rather than spending time on the decisions that have huge consequences for the company.
The risk of this is especially huge when you have technical/non-technical discussions like we do every day. I’m obsessed with Are You a Human, and I have an opinion on everything, so when we have product discussions, I’m sure I steer the conversation towards the less technical, likely less important aspects that I understand.
So what can we do about it? Unfortunately there’s probably no trick here, we just need to be conscious of the tendency to invest in the wrong places and watch where our time goes. To make sure we’re constantly thinking about this we’ve added a new Are You a Human code word.
We did a previous post about hot potato and tangerine. They’re simple phrases that we use to keep each other on task and work efficiently. Well, now we’re adding “bikeshed” to our list. The next time we spend more than ten seconds discussing how large the Twitter icon on the blog should be someone can yell “bikeshed” and we can move on to more important things.