We wrote about frictionless organizations several weeks ago. Frictionless firms are the ones that remove unnecessary hassle and complication from their interactions with clients and other businesses.

Yahoo thrust itself into the opposite category this week when it stopped allowing people to forward their Yahoo email address to another address. Accounts already set up for forwarding kept that capability, but no new Yahoo email forwarding accounts can be created.

This seems like an overreaction to the disclosure of a major hacking attack on Yahoo and the subsequent doubt over the company’s acquisition by Verizon. Rather than let prized email subscribers flee to the competition, Yahoo is locking them in.

That’s the worst possible reaction to crisis. Customers of any type–even those on free plans–should be nurtured without restriction. They stay if you care for them well. They leave if you don’t.  They leave for other reasons too, but locking an unwilling party into any deal can create a horrible relationship between business and client and bad word-of-mouth for the sake of a relatively small amount of incremental revenue.

We don’t have contract lengths. Every single client–even retainer clients–have a 30 day opt out clause. The 30 days is only to give both companies time to disentangle and transition work.

Take a look at your policies regarding customers especially during adverse times. Are you easy to do business with and as frictionless as possible? And how easy is it to stop working together once a client creates an emotional break with your organization?

Your Marketing Spotlight for October 31

Your Thought-Provoking Moment

Header photo by Chaz McGregor.  Other images are thumbnails from content on newsworthy websites and serve as links under the provisions of fair use.

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Even Toddlers Know Not to Steal

We know we sometimes sound preachy about copyright.

Before technology changed, people copying art or photographs or writing were called thieves.

See? Being adamant about intellectual property rights is easy if you try.

Few of us are perfect or blameless. We’ve copied someone else’s work, even if only to email a photo to a friend. But who knows where that photographer’s work goes after that? And that’s one of the big issues that creative talents face.

We look at some developing stories in online marketing and intellectual property rights that surfaced this week. Protecting your organization’s rights and training your team so that they know you won’t tolerate their using someone else’s work is a good first step.

And you know those YouTube videos that have a line claiming that the copyright belongs to someone else? They’re just posting this for “entertainment” or some silly excuse? All that person did was admit to the artist’s attorney that they knew they were stealing. Don’t do that. Especially don’t do it at work.

We aren’t attorneys. The Silver Beacon family includes an award-winning photographer, and we have photography and book clients. And we know that most people are generally good and want to do the right thing.

Check with us if you need help or a good attorney referral.