Friday, October 29, 2010

Gripe – Use Your Word-Of-Mouth Power To Get Complaints Heard & Resolved

Gripe – Use Your Word-Of-Mouth Power To Get Complaints Heard & Resolved: "

customer complaintsOne thing that has always interested me is the power of word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth marketing is what keeps business owners up at night, and it’s the reason that “the customer is always right“.

Why? Because every business owner – whether they like it or not – is in the customer service business. If you enjoy a better than average experience at a restaurant or hotel, you are probably going to be inclined to tell someone about it. If you have a bad experience? You’ll probably tell even more people.

Gripe is an application that enhances your power of word-of-mouth. In this article, I’ll explain why it’s beneficial to use Gripe, as well as show you how you can utilize it to get your complaints resolved.

Really? I Have Power?

The picture I painted above was the way things used to work. Back then, business owners could live with themselves knowing that you might only tell less than 10 people about your bad experience. It wasn’t worth their time and money to try to do a better job.

In today’s world, we all casually walk around with a large audience in our pockets. I’m not talking about the contacts in your phone, either. With today’s smartphones, we have the ability to connect with an enormous amount of people through social networks.

Now, if you tweet something out, or share an experience with your online friends, everyone can see it. Everyone. Think friends of friends and beyond. Your experience, good or bad, goes on the public record. That’s power.

So What Is Gripe?

Here’s the line from Gripe’s website:

Gripe lets you share public praise or complaints that get to the business for response, while being spread by your friends, followers and beyond!

Gripe is a free, location-aware application that uses online word-of-mouth power to help get complaints in the real world heard and resolved. By resolving gripes businesses earn public cheers that spread through a customer’s friends, followers and beyond.

This, essentially, gives businesses incentive to help you, solving your problems in the quickest fashion. With Gripe, there’s no longer a need to “cause a scene” or “give somebody a piece of your mind” in the front lobby of a fancy hotel.

How Does Gripe Work?

Allow me to give you a simple walkthrough of how to use Gripe.

The first thing you want to do when you open the app is log in using your Twitter or Facebook account. Gripe allows you to check off your membership in review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, FourSquare, CitySearch and Gowalla (more coming soon).

customer complaints

Then, select Find a Place and your phone will use its GPS to locate the places and businesses in your area.

consumers complaint

If the place you’re looking for isn’t listed on Gripe, you can add it. Just go to Create a new place… and enter in some basic information about the desired location.

file a complaint

Now here comes the fun part. Once you’ve located your place, you can Start a Gripe or Share a Cheer. If you aren’t impressed with the service you’ve been getting, gripe about it!

Try to be as detailed as you can in your Gripe. This way, when management sees it, they will know exactly what it is going to take to make you happy. Gripe also has camera integration for adding photos.

file a complaint

You can also see your Gripes on the app at any time, and if they go unresolved for a while you can tweet them out or share them on Facebook. Others will be able to comment on your gripes.

file a complaint

Based on the accounts you import into Gripe, others can see just how much reach and influence you have. You’ll be surprised how many connections you actually have when they’re all added up.

No one wants to see someone with that kind of reach saying something bad about their business. Expect a resolution to your problem sooner rather than later. And if the place you’re at isn’t aware of Gripe, be sure to explain to them how it works.

Where Can I Get Gripe?

Gripe is a free application that is available for the iPhone/iTouch on iTunes and Android devices. If you have an Android phone, you can scan the image below to go to the app’s download page:

customer complaints

The more people on Gripe, the more powerful the network becomes. Will you be using Gripe to harness your word-of-mouth power?

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Create A Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot Using Connectify & A Windows 7 Laptop

Create A Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot Using Connectify & A Windows 7 Laptop: "

mobile wifi hotspotThe time when we carried one internet-enabled device on us is long past. Nowadays, nearly every portable device is outfitted with a wireless internet adapter, and yet logistics are lagging behind.

Hotel rooms, university dorms and offices often offer just a single wired connector, and unless you carry a router on you at all times, it means neglecting much of your technological capacity.

That is, unless you’re using Connectify, a novel piece of Windows routing software that can instantly transform your laptop into a mobile WiFi hotspot.


The prerequisites for using Connectify are simple; you need a Windows 7 laptop, with both a wired and a wireless network card. Connectify takes the internet connection from the wired input and uses the wireless technology in your laptop to create a hotspot.

mobile wifi hotspot

Once you’ve set up the hotspot, other devices can connect to the Internet through your laptop. At home, in a hotel or at your dorm; other computers, printers and gaming consoles can be connected wirelessly. When you’re out, Connectify allows you to connect with the mobile phones, laptops and netbooks of coworkers and friends. When traveling, you can pay for a single internet connection and get all your devices online.

How To Use It

First, connect your laptop to the Internet via a wired connection. If you need to enter login credentials, or an internet access code, do this first and run Connectify when you’ve confirmed Internet access locally. It’ll appear as a Wi-fi taskbar symbol. Use left-click to expand the application, or right-click to make some quick adjustments (shown below).

wifi hotspots

Here you can configure the specifics of your mobile wi-fi hotspot. The three drop-down menus at the top are most important and allow us to specify the Internet input, output and output mode. You can use Connectify to create a wireless access point with WPA2 security, which will appear to other computers like a regular hotspot – optionally passworded, or an ad-hoc network.

wifi hotspots

If you don’t know what is what, press Easy Setup Wizard. Because your router laptop has an incoming wired connection, you can keep surfing as usual, albeit with shared bandwidth.

wifi hotspots

At the bottom of the screen, Connectify also keeps track of the connected clients and client history, i.e. who’s using your hotspot. If you see a computer that doesn’t belong, you can call up more information and block the client by right-clicking on the device name. With friendly devices, this also allows you to call up the shared drives and printers.


Far too often, I’ve outnumbered the available internet connections with my mobile devices. Connectify has proven its use in this, being one of the only applications of its kind. Contrary to other alternatives, Connectify is also fool-proof and almost ridiculously easy to use. There’s no need to get in touch with your inner geek and you can get your own hotspot online in mere minutes. The application not only solves logistical problems, but also saves you the money of an expanded internet infrastructure or hotel access costs.

mobile wifi hotspot

In one instance, Connectify seemed unable to detect a working internet connection though; a repeating issue on that laptop. On the other devices tested, Connectify worked like a charm. If you have any problems like that, check out the help section on the Connectify website.

What are your thoughts on Connectify? Do you know any other tools that enable you to share an internet connection with a score of other devices? Let us know in the comments section below!

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HotKeyMan lets you easily set system-wide hotkeys

HotKeyMan lets you easily set system-wide hotkeys: "

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'System-wide' hotkeys, also known as 'global hotkeys,' are keyboard shortcuts that work on every program -- such as Alt+F4 for closing the active window. They can be quite handy, especially once you become accustomed to using them.

If you want to add some global hotkeys to your system, the usual thing would be to learn how to use AutoHotkey. But AutoHotkey is a programming language, and not everyone is so keen on learning to code.

So if you just want to add some hotkeys without writing a single line of code, HotKeyMan is one possible solution. This freeware application provides a simple graphical interface for binding keys to operations, such as opening files, running applications, capturing the screen or active window, minimizing and maximizing windows, and more.

HotKeyMan doesn't do much more, though. It does have a 'send keystrokes' option that could be used for more sophisticated automation, but otherwise, it's a simple application that doesn't try to go over the top. I think that's a good thing, really. Even a novice user can quickly learn to use it and set up the hotkeys they need.

HotKeyMan lets you easily set system-wide hotkeys originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 29 Oct 2010 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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