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Author Topic: Building a Bitcoin business - best practices suggestions  (Read 1871 times)
yochdog
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August 08, 2011, 08:00:02 PM
 #1

It seems to me that the biggest hurdle to more people adopting BTC is the issue trust.  How does one know if a merchant is reputable?  We all know that when we go to Amazon.com and send them money, the product we ordered shows up like clockwork in a few days.  There is no question as to the soundness of the transaction. 

With this being said, does anyone have good ideas on how to foster such trust in a newly launched BTC business?  Do you start by doing very small transactions in order to build up a rep?  Do you participate in the forums extensively so people are comfortable with your organization? 

Any ideas are welcome.....it seems like a very difficult problem, and one that has yet to be really addressed.

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Weaver
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August 08, 2011, 09:05:19 PM
 #2

It seems to me that the biggest hurdle to more people adopting BTC is the issue trust.  How does one know if a merchant is reputable?  We all know that when we go to Amazon.com and send them money, the product we ordered shows up like clockwork in a few days.  There is no question as to the soundness of the transaction.  

With this being said, does anyone have good ideas on how to foster such trust in a newly launched BTC business?  Do you start by doing very small transactions in order to build up a rep?  Do you participate in the forums extensively so people are comfortable with your organization?  

Any ideas are welcome.....it seems like a very difficult problem, and one that has yet to be really addressed.
The best thing I've seen when working with multiple businesses is that the faster you respond to a customer's complaints the more trust you will gain. I had to sit on my haunches for 5 days waiting for an exchange to go through and I got NO email or ANY INFO from the person running it. I was steaming, probably won't use them ever again.

O.o
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August 08, 2011, 09:11:45 PM
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Customer service is everything in our minds. Always surprised how so many companies in all capacities abuse that crucial dynamic.
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August 08, 2011, 10:22:30 PM
 #4

Customer service is everything in our minds. Always surprised how so many companies in all capacities abuse that crucial dynamic.

QFT

Doesn't matter if you're a bank, exchange, restaurant, accountant, or garbage collector - how you treat your customers will determine how they think of you.

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Meatpile
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August 09, 2011, 12:14:33 AM
 #5

Well the nature and limited supply of bitcoins means only small businesses will accept them. And thus cannot afford 10 full time support staff.

So if this is the case, then the system is doomed before it even starts.

edd
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August 09, 2011, 12:47:29 AM
 #6

Well the nature and limited supply of bitcoins means only small businesses will accept them. And thus cannot afford 10 full time support staff.

So if this is the case, then the system is doomed before it even starts.

Why would a small business need a full time support staff of 10 people?

If your business has that many issues requiring hands on intervention on a daily basis, it's doomed for other reasons.

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markm
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August 09, 2011, 01:06:29 AM
 #7

I am biased as I come from a programming background.

So my take on a business for a free open source do it yourself at home person to person currency forcused business is if you want customer service feel free to provide it, I run the thing on a server because I don't want a human to have to run it I want a computer to be able to run it. The whole point is to teach computers to do the crap that humans do not want to do, and for a lot of people making money is something they do not want to do but the people who keep telling us they are the great makers of money usually screw us over, we learn in history that they do not actually make useful (to us)  money,  they are not reliving us of the work of making money they actually provide us with the job of turning over our money to them and getting screwed.

So the whole point of a business model in which the business is done by computers is so humans do not have to do that crap.

If you want customer service write a program that will service you the way you want to be serviced! Frankly I don't even care if you want the computer to service you with a dildo, there are dildos for that purpose and there is software for that purpose.

So all this screaming about customer service often seems like more of the same refusal to learn, refusal to chip in and help, gimme gimme gimme mentality that already gives us plenty enough hard time in our quest to develop automated systems to free humans from having to do much of anything other than keep improving the automation.

So if you want customer service, awesome, please do provide customer service! Whichever apps seem to you to lack enough customer service are maybe the ones you should first devote the most of your customer-servicing time to.

Part of why we develop open source is so we can also say hey look if you find using my server to run the app for you bothers you due to my not letting your computer-illiteracy or whatever drag me away from working on automating things please just go ahead and run the stupid thing yourself on your own desktop or server.

If your business involves anything other than just only bitcoins, then you can gain credibility by doing it successfully without bitcoins first, then add in bitcoins once we have all seen that your business works fine with USD and or GBP or whatever normal folk where you live already use.

Because if your business is not viable without bitcoins, what the heck reason is there to think it will work with bitcoins?

Bitcoins are not a magic software-pill that turns business failure into business success.

So first be a viable working successful business.

THEN add bitcoins.

-MarkM-


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edd
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August 09, 2011, 01:25:41 AM
 #8

MarkM,

Automated services are great and, once I get a good BTC SCI installed, my BitBrew site should be totally automated as far as the customer is concerned for purchases.

However, I put up a Contact Form and stress customer service because:

  • If someone has a question, I want to answer it.
  • If someone has a concern, I want to address it.
  • If someone has a problem, I want to fix it.
  • If someone has a suggestion, I want to consider it.

Ignore the fact that your customers require your personal attention at your own peril.

Still around.
BitcoinStars.com
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August 09, 2011, 01:34:58 AM
 #9

We like dealing with bitcoin companies that have a voice on the forum. Why? Because we know if there are issues most likely they will fix it and fast. Quality customer service gets our business.
markm
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August 09, 2011, 01:37:11 AM
 #10

MarkM,

Automated services are great and, once I get a good BTC SCI installed, my BitBrew site should be totally automated as far as the customer is concerned for purchases.

However, I put up a Contact Form and stress customer service because:

  • If someone has a question, I want to answer it.
  • If someone has a concern, I want to address it.
  • If someone has a problem, I want to fix it.
  • If someone has a suggestion, I want to consider it.

Ignore the fact that your customers require your personal attention at your own peril.

Well gee, you don't imagine that I actually have any customers any more, do you?

For one thing, once I automate things for them they figure hey what do they need me for anymore. Programmers, like doctors (or health workers maybe in general) goal is to put themselves out of work. But unlike doctors or health workers in general, we programmers will put everyone else out of work too if need be to accomplish our goal! Smiley

Are you implying that customer service businesses cannot be trusted because their secret agenda is to steal your customers? If so yes, this is a  big problem with customer service reps, leading to the whole war over the customers crap, how do you make the customer respect you more than they respect your service reps, when will your secretary walk off with your customer list to a competitor or start up as a competitor and so on and so on and so on.

So how can a customer service business gain credibility? Hmm...

-MarkM-

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edd
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August 09, 2011, 02:31:23 AM
 #11

MarkM,

Automated services are great and, once I get a good BTC SCI installed, my BitBrew site should be totally automated as far as the customer is concerned for purchases.

However, I put up a Contact Form and stress customer service because:

  • If someone has a question, I want to answer it.
  • If someone has a concern, I want to address it.
  • If someone has a problem, I want to fix it.
  • If someone has a suggestion, I want to consider it.

Ignore the fact that your customers require your personal attention at your own peril.

Well gee, you don't imagine that I actually have any customers any more, do you?

For one thing, once I automate things for them they figure hey what do they need me for anymore. Programmers, like doctors (or health workers maybe in general) goal is to put themselves out of work. But unlike doctors or health workers in general, we programmers will put everyone else out of work too if need be to accomplish our goal! Smiley

Are you implying that customer service businesses cannot be trusted because their secret agenda is to steal your customers? If so yes, this is a  big problem with customer service reps, leading to the whole war over the customers crap, how do you make the customer respect you more than they respect your service reps, when will your secretary walk off with your customer list to a competitor or start up as a competitor and so on and so on and so on.

So how can a customer service business gain credibility? Hmm...

-MarkM-


Let me see if I understand you correctly; you're actually proud of the fact that your customers never come back?

And FYI, every business that has customers is a "customer service business".

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markm
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August 09, 2011, 02:36:34 AM
 #12


Let me see if I understand you correctly; you're actually proud of the fact that your customers never come back?

And FYI, every business that has customers is a "customer service business".

If they came back it would imply that my fix of their problem did not work.

They have a problem, they call me in to fix the problem, I am out of work unless they have another problem or I didn't really properly finally all fixed now fix their problem afterall.

I hope you aren't thinking I should therefore arrange some more problems, if not for past customers then maybe for potential future ones?

-MarkM-

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edd
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August 09, 2011, 02:53:26 AM
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Let me see if I understand you correctly; you're actually proud of the fact that your customers never come back?

And FYI, every business that has customers is a "customer service business".

If they came back it would imply that my fix of their problem did not work.

They have a problem, they call me in to fix the problem, I am out of work unless they have another problem or I didn't really properly finally all fixed now fix their problem afterall.

I hope you aren't thinking I should therefore arrange some more problems, if not for past customers then maybe for potential future ones?

-MarkM-


If a car mechanic fixes my automotive problem but I don't feel like he gives a damn about me as a customer, I'll happily pay him ... and never return.

If a car mechanic fixes my problem and I leave feeling like he sincerely cares about me, I'll think of him first if something else goes wrong, if I buy another vehicle and it needs work, if I have some other issue I'd be willing to pay to have him look at, etc. and I'll sing his praises to anyone who will listen. A good mechanic who practices good customer service doesn't need to sabotage someone's car to get repeat business.

Still around.
markm
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August 09, 2011, 03:02:23 AM
 #14

If a car mechanic fixes my automotive problem but I don't feel like he gives a damn about me as a customer, I'll happily pay him ... and never return.

If a car mechanic fixes my problem and I leave feeling like he sincerely cares about me, I'll think of him first if something else goes wrong, if I buy another vehicle and it needs work, if I have some other issue I'd be willing to pay to have him look at, etc. and I'll sing his praises to anyone who will listen. A good mechanic who practices good customer service doesn't need to sabotage someone's car to get repeat business.

So you probably don't give a damn about the car mechanic who actually fixes your car, you care about the fawning smilie-face that engages you on the way into the Wal-Mart or Canadian Tire and convinces you to use their car-service offering so they can try to get mechanics as cheaply as they get fawning smilie-faces?

Do you even actually investigate the conditions the (powers behind and maybe oppressing the) marketing smiliefaces who talk you into buying this that or the other thing impose upon their suppliers / back room workers who actually do the real work?

-MarkM-

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edd
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August 09, 2011, 03:22:55 AM
 #15

If a car mechanic fixes my automotive problem but I don't feel like he gives a damn about me as a customer, I'll happily pay him ... and never return.

If a car mechanic fixes my problem and I leave feeling like he sincerely cares about me, I'll think of him first if something else goes wrong, if I buy another vehicle and it needs work, if I have some other issue I'd be willing to pay to have him look at, etc. and I'll sing his praises to anyone who will listen. A good mechanic who practices good customer service doesn't need to sabotage someone's car to get repeat business.

So you probably don't give a damn about the car mechanic who actually fixes your car, you care about the fawning smilie-face that engages you on the way into the Wal-Mart or Canadian Tire and convinces you to use their car-service offering so they can try to get mechanics as cheaply as they get fawning smilie-faces?

Do you even actually investigate the conditions the (powers behind and maybe oppressing the) marketing smiliefaces who talk you into buying this that or the other thing impose upon their suppliers / back room workers who actually do the real work?

-MarkM-


I don't give a damn about the car mechanic who doesn't give a damn about me, whether he fixes my car or not.

I'm not referring to advertising execs, sales reps, or good looking "talking heads" - I'm talking about businesses that demonstrate that they sincerely care about me.

You seem to think I'm endorsing gimmicks, empty promises, and slick ad campaigns but that couldn't be farther from the truth. I'm saying that a business owner that doesn't care about his customers once they've spent their money will have customers that don't care about him.

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ctoon6
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August 09, 2011, 03:32:47 AM
 #16

you do not need to reveal your name or identity but you do need

prompt replies to any and all questions via forums email or whatever else you have or use
be very transparent, tell them what you are doing, keep your logs of what you do public and often.
be very clear to the conditions for refunds/returns
NO ADVERTISEMENT(to clarify, you can advertise your product elsewhere, but do not advertise for revenue. exceptions are webs of trust links and your own products/offerings)
other stuff

Cryptoman
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August 09, 2011, 03:45:19 AM
 #17

We like dealing with bitcoin companies that have a voice on the forum. Why? Because we know if there are issues most likely they will fix it and fast. Quality customer service gets our business.
^^This.  One thing that always frustrated me about MyBitcoin was their total absence from the forum.  Nobody really knew who "they" were.  You don't necessarily even have to tie the business to a real person.  As long as you have a friendly presence on the forum and answer customer inquiries promptly, then you will get Bitcoin business.  I think the folks at Tradehill provide a great example.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
markm
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August 09, 2011, 04:06:04 AM
 #18

I would note that in the example given the forum is quite distinct from "the company's own forum", or even a forum.

So let us consider exactly what kind of a forum this specific forum-in-question is.

Is it:

- A forum whose administrators are aware of techniques criminals might use to evade being detected as such?

- Aware of the pitfalls to which customers allowed untutored and unaccompanied into a scam site's own special forum just for those people lucky enough to be their customers can fall into?

- A marketing arm of an umbrella association of some kind whose primary goal is to get you to buy into at least one of the companies who all maintain a presence on the forum and use it as a common pool of customers?

Etc...

-MarkM-

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Meatpile
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August 09, 2011, 05:00:51 AM
 #19

Nobody is saying customer service is useless, but small one man startups cannot afford to spend 6 hours a day answering emails and questions.

Doesn't matter how much he wants to be the nicest supportive person on earth, he will not have the time.

Customers need to chill the fuck out and wait however long it takes to get a reply instead of jump to SCAM SCAM SCAM if you don't receive an email reply within 2 hours.
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August 09, 2011, 07:12:26 AM
 #20

I'm saying that a business owner that doesn't care about his customers once they've spent their money will have customers that don't care about him.

Okay, lets whip out some litmus or phenethalene and check the ph of:

- Which cares more about their customers, Linus Torvalds or Bill Gates?

- Which cares more about you, Linus Torvalds or Bill Gates?

- Did you, before googling as a result of this message, know who Linus Torvalds is?

- Did you, before googling as a result of this message, know who Bill Gates is?

- Which is your operating system of choice: Mac, Linux, BSD, BeOS, Solaris or other (specify)?

- Do you care about that built it in his garage chap, I forget his name, does iPods now I think?

- Have you ever heard of Steve Jobs?

- Who do you care about more: Linus Torvalds or Bill Gates?

- Do you care about Steve Jobs? (If so, how much? More than Linus or Bill?)

Maybe the rest of the obvious questions could be left to the reader, depending on the previous answers, but just in case certain combinations of answers might correlate with readers' talent at projecting trends or deducing patterns maybe I should go on?

-MarkM-

P.S. Am I incorrectly recalling the other ph test (the clear or pink liquid not the red/purple/blue test) or does the CSI television franchise tell us correctly it also detects blood? (Is what does detect blood such a deep secret they lie in the show or something?)

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