Twitter

Did Microsoft break Skype's password recovery process?

Well it certainly looked that way to me.  My Skype app on my desktop just opens and logs-in automatically. I have never needed to enter my password, for years.  I wanted to get a link for my Skype name from Skype's own website and naturally it asked to me login.  I haven’t logged into Skype’s website for years, which was confirmed when my password wasn't auto filling after entering my email. Generally I save all my passwords.

After trying to log in 3 times, it suspended my account, gone. I couldn't login any longer on the Skype app anywhere.

After a fair amount of research, I discovered where I could reset my password. When I completed my email, it said, no such account exists.
When I tried a different one, I only have 2 emails, same answer. Oh shoot what happened?  There was still another route, but this is where it all totally broke down. 

Here are the key questions that you must answer to reset your account and be verified again.

  1. "What name, first and last name did you provide when you first registered". Fair enough that should be straight forward, I haven't changed my name.
  2. "What country did you select when you first registered?" Hmm, A little bit harder, but should still be correct, as I haven't lived in any other country since 2004.
  3. "What email did you provide when you first registered?" Now this one is quite a bit tougher. Actually I haven't got a clue, we all have more than one email address right? So it could have been one of three emails, not too bad, but genuinely I haven't a clue.
  4. When did you create your Skype account (mm/yy)? Busted!! Who actually remembers that? I could guess at the year, I was definitely an early adopter, so maybe 2004, 2005 or even 2006. I had to look up when Skype actually launched, which was 2003. So I would have to guess the year and try to give a few option, but as far as the month is concerned, no chance!

These 4 questions had the * against them, which means they are required and if you fail any of them, your account doesn't get verified, which of course was the case with me. 

In the slideshare below, you will see the full form and also my email correspondence with Skype customer service.  In fairness they varied the text slightly in every email, but essentially it said the same. “If you don't complete the form correctly you will remain unverified. Do go through the slideshare, you will love it!

 

At the same time I reached out to Twitter and although it took them a while to get back to me, have a look at how they resolved it. Very simple really.

Thank you to Twitter, for enabling a platform that just works for customer service. I guess its because you're visible there and they can verify you better compared to email, which anyone can send.

Big lessons: 

  1. Microsoft screws with their acquired platforms and stops us from getting anywhere to solve problems, it's the usual customer service loops, which I experienced years ago from Microsoft.  
  2. In the case of Skype, workflows become customer unfriendly and restrictive. With the exception of their Twitter support.
  3. Write down which month/year, I signed up for any internet based service. Yeah, that's never going to happen.
  4. Use Twitter for customer service, every single time, don't even bother with email or telephone support.

I think I will stick with Google Hangouts, Zoom and even FaceTime, instead of Skype in future.

@stayingaliveuk

Below is the Twitter DM messages with Skype Support, which thankfully resolved the situation.

In Social Selling, Building Trust Starts before You Connect

Learn how thorough research and honest communication can build trust with buyers, with these social selling tips from Staying Alive UK’s Michael de Groot.

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This blogpost was first published by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on the 13th August 2015 and is part of a blogpost series to promote the eBook '33 Social Selling Success Tips', which was curated and published by Michael de Groot (that's me!) in 2014 and re-purposed by LinkedIn.

 http://sales.linkedin.com/blog/in-social-selling-building-trust-starts-before-you-connect/

The first person who said “patience is a virtue” probably wasn’t in sales. For salespeople, patience can be costly. Waiting to respond to a trigger event or failing to follow up to a prospect’s question can cost the sale. There’s an understandable desire for hustle, whether you’re a sales leader or a sales manager.

But we must be careful that a lack of patience doesn’t make us take shortcuts that lose potential buyers. One part of the sales process you should never rush is the research phase before you reach out to a prospect for the first time. Thorough research arms you with the information you need to make a connection request that builds trust.

People buy from people they know, like, and trust. Before they get to know you and come to like you, buyers will be evaluating whether they can trust you. Here are two steps you can take to build trust before you connect.

1.  Research

Do your research first on the individual and the company. Follow the company on LinkedIn and research any articles where your potential buyer could be mentioned or featured. Check industry news sites for mentions and of course LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator could do the heavy lifting for you in terms by finding relevant company news.

There are two very useful ways that you can keep track of your buyers without making it obvious to them. In Twitter, you can create a private list and add Twitter handles to your buyer list. You will be able to see what buyers are tweeting about to give you an insight to their interests and industry specific articles or opinions. In LinkedIn, you can save someone to your contacts without making a connection request. When you save them, add a tag that will let you filter your contacts for each account. This allows you to do more research on them and find commonalities in their profile, their tweets, or their shares.

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2.  Be Direct

Once you have done your research and built a relevant, compelling case for making contact, then you can send a connection request.

For the best chance of a response, show your trustworthiness by being upfront about why you’re asking to connect. Let the prospect know what led you to reach out to them, and what you would like them to do next.

With a LinkedIn connection request, you will know 100% for sure whether or not your request is accepted. Your prospect will receive reminders from your invitation at least 3 times to either accept your connection request or click ignore. I would leave the request open for 3 weeks to see if they accept. If not, remove them from your connections database as a lost potential and focus your energy elsewhere.

In the fast-paced sales environment, it’s important to remind ourselves to slow down when we need to. Take the time to build trust with a prospect before you connect, and that time investment may pay off in a better sales relationship.

For more actionable social selling insights from experts in the profession, download 33 Social Selling Tips by Social Selling Thought Leaders.

Editor’s Note: In this series, we feature quick and tactical social selling tips from thought leaders in the profession. This installment features trust-building advice from social selling tips Michael de Groot, Social Selling Director for Staying Alive (UK) Ltd who collaborated with other social selling trainers and originally produced the social selling tips eBook.

What Does Your Logo Say About You?

I was massively obsessed in 2005 with having a logo for my new business. I didn't have a single client, not even the promise of one, but for some reason my priority was to create a logo. By the way there was no sign of Social Media yet, I didn’t even have a website and broadband hadn't been invented, I was still on dial-up or ISDN, I can't even remember!

For some odd reason I was totally consumed with needing a great logo, as this would get me noticed or so I thought. The fact was, I was only going to be using the logo on printed material, brochures, leaflets, handouts, which in the end cost me a fortune to print and the majority of those eventually ended up in recycling because I had overprinted so many to save on printing costs! As a consequence I am now very suspicious of printers.

I have also become a bit of a cynic when I see Micro-Businesses obsessed with their logos. Especially when I see individuals who are a one-person business use their logo as their Twitter profile image. I have seen thousands of examples. Just go and have a look inside the very popular #socialhours on Twitter every evening, where you can waste an hour of your time reading everyone’s adverts.

Are you a Micro-Business? A SoHo (Single office-home office)?

If you are then I want to see your face on social media not your logo. Your logo means nothing to me, it only means something to you! I know because I had the same disease. A logo makes you feel like you’re competing with the major brands. Absolutely not, you're not, you're competing with other Micro-Businesses who are after the same clients, but make themselves stand-out because they have their profile photo as themselves. A personal picture shows potential buyers that you are human and approachable. When there's just a logo they’ll feel you’re hiding something and are unapproachable.

It's not difficult, really it isn't.

If you're not convinced and still addicted to seeing your logo plastered everywhere, I suggest you ask your clients. What would they prefer to see on your Twitter, you or your logo?
Once you have changed your Twitter, go and consider where else are you overdosing on your logo?

Once you change this, I guarantee you that you will get more followers and more connections.
I've even stopped following anyone who has just a logo on their Twitter. That means I don't follow back many companies, as I'm only interested in people, not companies. Companies just advertise their stuff and I'm more interested in people and what they’re about. After all business is about people not about logos.

Should you have a logo? Sure you should, because in some places you will need one, but make sure it fits inside an icon square. Ideally the shape of an app icon. Like the one below. Yes that’s mine, newly designed a couple of years ago for the social network world. It only appears in just a few places, as overwhelmingly I have displayed my profile photo.

Now it's your turn

Let me know in the comments below what you think and whether you are now also recovering from your addiction to your logo?
 

@stayingaliveuk

Image credit: @gapingvoid

 

Do You Have Suicidal Thoughts?

Most of you who are reading this are no longer teenagers. But do you remember having suicidal thoughts when you were? It’s being reported regularly that teenagers these days are very prone to having suicidal thoughts and there may be no logical explanation for it. However it appears to be contagious.

Research showed that 32 per cent of young Britons have had suicidal thoughts, while a similar proportion (29 per cent) of young adults deliberately harmed themselves as teenagers. And more than one in 10 (12 per cent) felt a failure almost every day when they were under 16. http://styin.me/1ewlGuB

- flickr | Ktoine

I read some teenagers twitter feeds (no I wasn't stalking) I was intrigued and yes I was spying on my stepson’s feed because he was saying stupid things and he thought it was private!

But one feed lead to another and I could see a pattern of comments for example; ’I wish I was dead’ and ’I'm so close to taking as much pills as I can right now’ and ’Guys, don't any of you ever kill yourselves. If you are ever feeling suicidal just dm me, you can trust me, and I will try to help you <3 xx’.

At home we even had to call the police, because someone said on twitter that they had actually swallowed a load of tablets. When we also reported this to the head teacher at the school of this youngster, she confirmed that the instances of these are on the rise.

So why are youngsters having these thoughts and why are they sharing these openly with not just their followers, but if they realised, with the whole world!

Is it just attention seeking or is something fundamentally wrong with society, education, parents, nutrition (sugar overdose), lack of exercise, social media, television, gaming, greed, government or something else?

I know teenage years are about self-expression and finding your place in the world around you and yet for some reason they appear to be obsessed with wanting to end it all?

How do parents and teachers deal with this heightened threat of suicidal thinking in kids? Surely this must be playing out in their minds all the time and putting them in a place of fear themselves?

Do teenagers even realise what they are doing with this behaviour? Do they realise this behaviour increases further stress on their parents, who are already under pressure having to deal with a world of expectation, financial worries and keeping their kids happy.

Does one tell them to stop behaving so stupidly or do we take them to counselling? Is it just a phase of hormone development or are there serious underlying issues?

I can't help thinking that when they finally want to find a job their social feeds will be explored by employers (it's not illegal yet), who will find all sorts of silly communication on there and thereby making up their mind about whether to give them that job or not. And unfortunately teenagers don't see that as a potential threat at all!

- flickr | ohmann alianne

If we want our kids to be successful no matter what their background, then we seriously need to tackle this epidemic of suicidal thoughts in young people.

Should this become part of the curriculum at schools, should teachers openly discuss this with students and get them to open up and discuss these feelings in group sessions? Should we encourage their friends to speak up about those that are openly declaring these thoughts?

I haven't got the answers but one thing’s for sure something needs to be done.

What are your thoughts? And if you have youngsters go and talk to them and find out what's going on in their heads, that is if they'll tell you!

Success