You can’t be….Everything’s great….

You can’t be …Too careful

Are you like the so many of us who have a large number of e-contacts that you use regularly? Maybe sites like your bank, Amazon, e-Bay, the cable provider and maybe a dozen more? And do you also (like so many of us) have all those passwords and usernames for them neatly organized and stored on your laptop?

If the answer is yes to that last one, maybe it’s time to rethink that decision.

Aside from using a single password and username for everything, storing that information in a location where it’s hackable is the biggest – and potentially most costly personal financial blunder out there. With all the nefarious hacking activity around today it’s time to take an equally technical step to safeguarding that critical data.

While that can be done though several very secure on-line services, maybe an even better solution is an encoded USB drive. These operate exactly like an ordinary thumb drive, but they have a keypad on then that allows them to be locked with a password (that can be as long as ten alpha-numeric characters). And some models will permanently lock up if an incorrect password is entered ten or so times by someone who might get their hands on it.

Best of all the cost isn’t a bank breaker at $40-$100. And speaking of banks, probably the place to put that secure drive is in your safe deposit box.

Everything’s great…Or is it really?

We all think that we know our customers and what they want, need and like. That thinking was probably also true of a certain light beer seller who recently got it very wrong and seriously stepped in it with a misguided advertising decision. But we’re different, right? Well maybe yes and perhaps no. Ask yourself about the last time a server asked you how that sort of lukewarm, or kind of bland, or somewhat overcooked meal was, when you simply replied with “it’s fine”.

The fact is that unless we’re really truly happy or seriously upset, most of us would rather just let it go. Our customers are pretty much the same. That makes finding out how we’re doing all the more important, because what we don’t need is a half happy customer when he’s being romanced by the competitor.

Getting to the bottom of how well we’re doing delivering real satisfaction is a challenge. But it’s a task that’s worth all the effort that it takes. Knowing where we might be short of the mark and where we’re hitting the bullseye can be the difference between holding our best customers and having them at risk.

Next up: Some tips on getting honest feedback.