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GoToPEngel, you could be right about the reality TV factor. It seems to me that most of people on this cruise are more interested in being part of a nautical version of Downton Abbey than memorializing the people who died. If you want to go on a historically themed vacation that is fine. If you want to really pay respects to those who perished, fine. But I don’t think mixing the two is possible. Maybe those on board feel like they can reenact for the first couple of days in their period costumes and then switch to sober remembrance when over the wreck site. Fascinating as the Titanic disaster is, I don’t think I could mix the two.
Rep, Two thoughts on this blog. One company that sets low expectations for its customers is Ryanair, the Irish budget airline that has conquered Europe. All you ever hear from Ryanair is how it charges exorbitant fees to use a credit card instead of a debit card; to print out your boarding pass at the airport instead of at home; how they would like to charge passengers to use the bathroom on board; how, if they could, they would make people stand on planes so they could get more passengers on the plane. By the time you get to your seat your expectations are so beaten down you feel appreciative for the fact it is not made of hard plastic. As for the Mets, I think American sports should introduce the concept of relegation and promotion. In football (I mean soccer) if you finish the season in the bottom three places in the league you get relegated to the next division down. The teams that finished in the top three places of the league below get promoted. Relegation is catastrophic for the finances and prestige of a club. If the specter of relegation to the Triple-A loomed over the Mets then I think they would be doing more than just printing tee-shirts.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2012 on Properly managing my expectations at RepMan
They tried this in London when they introduced “bendy buses” that had three doors through which you could board. Once you were on you would swipe your travel card. These bendy buses have just been withdrawn for a variety of reasons, one of which is the number of fare dodgers.
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2012 on Simply Botched Service at RepMan
Thanks BookAndBlogGeek. I find most companies have a "president's request order" if you get worked up enough. Just ask the CEO of the company that delivered our water cooler bottles. We were out and I was told that it was "impossible" to get a delivery within the next three days. One respectful but forceful diatribe to the CEO soon changed that. Having said that, Verizon sounds like a particularly bad case of overpromising and under delivering. If you can't deliver on the promise it is best not to give people hope in the first place.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2011 on In the Shoes of Your Wage Payers at RepMan
That's great, Kristen. Thanks for sharing. At Peppercom we would counsel Beauty Brands to put themselves in the shoes of their customers. By doing this they should discover that their outstanding service is not universally understood by their customers. If they closed that gap with they could attract more customers, in the way that Zappos attracts customers as much for the service as for the shoes. Hope the new straightener is working out for you.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2011 on In the Shoes of Your Wage Payers at RepMan
Thanks for your comment, Kristen. I agree that companies have been better able to connect with their customers through social media and this has given them a better understanding of what their customers want. But has the CEO, CMO or other senior leaders in a firm actually put themselves in the shoes of their customers? I don't know of many examples. I am glad to hear that you think some companies are doing a better job with customer satisfaction. I agree, at least with some companies. I would love to hear what companies you think are doing particularly well at this.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2011 on In the Shoes of Your Wage Payers at RepMan
Too true, Julie. You sound like you'd be a good person to work for.
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2011 on Don’t be a jerk; innovate! at RepMan
Here here, Courtney. The streets of Britain have long since been abandoned by law enforcement in favour of young thugs who are well aware of the fear they create in the vacuum the police and the justice system have left. No one dares speak out against these people as they do not want to be stabbed or kicked to death like Jimmy Mizzen (stabbed by broken glass while out getting a loaf of bread for his Mum), Phillip Lawrence (head teacher stabbed outside his school in 1995 trying to defend students – killer paroled in 2010) or Ben Gardner (kicked to death in 2009 just 10 minutes from my flat in London after he objected to some thugs steeling his girlfriend’s Halloween hat). These are just three of countless victims that do and do not make the news each week in Britain. The recent lawlessness (I object to the term riot as it indicates some sort group mentality, when in reality it was just lots of like-minded but unrelated groups realizing they could steal stuff and get away with it) has just confirmed for the thugs that they rule and normal people are scared. The headlines are bad enough but the real damage for the community and country is with the everyday incidents, like your experience on the Tube. For me the ‘head in hands’ moment of the riots was when the home secretary (who is ultimately in charge of policing) said on day three of the riots that “The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon. The way we police in Britain is through consent of communities.” Britain has a proud tradition of policing, but the desire to maintain that tradition has overruled the reality of the current situation. Bring out the water cannon, bring out the plastic bullets and reassert the authority of the state.
Ghost, I know what you are saying but I think we might be reaching a bit of a tipping point. Time is money and so hassle is costly. There have been a couple of times recently when I have opted for a slightly more expensive service provider because I know if I run into problems the customer service is there. Qwest is a good example, also my insurance agent. I rarely shop online to get slightly cheaper prices because it is not worth the hassle when something goes wrong. Also, a word on a different point about customer service from government entities… you would imagine that the US immigration service would be a nightmare, but in all my dealings with them they have been great. The paperwork is complicated but the people on the phone are efficient, helpful and courteous. A lot of private companies could learn a lot from them.
Thanks, PEngelinNYC. Brooks started out as a teenager serving tea at her local paper and went on to become the youngest editor of a British national newspaper (she was 27, I think). I didn't realize FNC has not covered anything on this. I just had a quick look at their website and there is something low down on the world news page about withdrawing the bid. It seems as much as they are burying it, everyone else is using it as an opportunity to get their knives out for News Corp. Isn't there a saying about being successful, but not too successful?
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2011 on Nothing to Bloody Smile About at RepMan
That's some good DNA you've got there, Rep.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2011 on Ex post facto customer service at RepMan
Great post, Rep. There is a retailer in the UK called John Lewis. Its actual name is the John Lewis Partnership, because that is what it is. Each of its 76,500 employees is a partner in the firm, with the profits being shared among them. John Lewis is famous for many things, but chief above them is its excellent customer service. I once saw an interview with the John Lewis CEO, who said that customer service is not a tap that you turn on and off; it is built into the organization. I would say our challenge is not so much about bridging gaps, although that is a good first step, it is about injecting the experience of a customer into the DNA of all areas of a company. Whether that ultimately comes from financial incentives, corporate structure, inspiration from the leadership, or a mixture of all three, I don’t know. Maybe a good motto to have is that instead of focusing on the bottom line and then thinking about the customer, think about the customer first and foremost and the bottom line will look after itself.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2011 on Ex post facto customer service at RepMan
This guy has just eaten his 25,000th Big Mac: They had a ceremony in his honour at his local McDonald’s. I guess this makes him like a bin Laden courier who would get caught up in the firefight.
Ha, I didn't even think of that. I certainly fly the flag more now that I am Stateside.
Toggle Commented May 13, 2011 on Nicknames are being nixed at RepMan
English football (soccer) has always been good for nicknames: Neil 'Razor' Ruddock Paul Ince - The Governor Stuart Peirce - Psycho Darren Anderton - Sicknote Basically, don’t mess with the first three and don’t worry about the last guy.
Toggle Commented May 13, 2011 on Nicknames are being nixed at RepMan
The same thing has happened to me in Houston, New York and worst of all (in the US) Boston. I think it’s the same for any organization where the people served are not customers (who have options) but are the ‘general public’, who just need to be dealt with (and have no alternative, such as with NJ Transit, London Underground and the Mass Pike). Having said that about US airports, the worst ever story was my-mother-in law who waited three hours at Heathrow T4. One American lady who got out before her called the police because she thought her elderly and slightly senile husband had wandered off into London. When he got out he was effing and blinding like he wanted to be on the first plan back to America. Apparently, upon arrival in China you have the option to grade your experience with the immigration official. You press one of three faces – one smiley, one neutral and one grumpy. Who knows what happens to the immigration official with the most grumpy faces each month.
I couldn't agree with you more, Sam. In fact, the BBC 9 o'clock news is currently read by a Welshman. That would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. Thankfully, regional British accents are more prevalent on the tele these days.
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Jan 25, 2011