Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Two different things today:

Or, two diverse posts that caught my eye:

One is (of course) from Headrush (a blog so good I've memorized the URL from typing it into my links so many times). Kathy Sierra talks about how our brains have not evolved past caveman times, and this is why its so difficult to lose weight or study for an exam. Well worth a read.

And it poses a question: If our brains are still preparing us to run from tigers, and store food for the winter, what impact are our "caveman" brains having on our ability to communicate with one another effectively? What impact are our "caveman " brains having on our management style? How does our "caveman" brain impact our customer service?

Ok that's three questions, but you see my point.

Another post I wanted to talk about today is from Seth Godin's blog. He writes:
In a note from American Express (in response to my email to them):

"Due to unusually high volume, we will respond within three to four businessdays.
How long, I wonder, has the volume been unusually high? How come American Express doesn't have a plan for dealing with this spike?
We've all heard this excuse when we're on hold. Personally, it doesn't make me feel any better. I don't say, "Oh, they've staffed up with plenty of people but this particular moment is an exception so I'll cut them some slack."
What's missing from the cost benefit analysis is pretty clear: a customer just took the initiative to call in, to do business with you, to pay attention. And the company, just to save a buck or so in excess capacity, makes this eager person just sit and wait.
Surely there's a better way."

Ooh, so the almighty dollar rears it's ugly head and in doing so scares away customer service AGAIN. And we know it's true. We all have stories like this. Many stories. Now the really funny thing is, the big wigs at American express probably tell their employees every day how important it is to give superior customer service. Then the bottom line enters into it, and no matter how hard the employee tries to provide great service to the customer, the system has already collapsed. It fell apart at that first phone message and all the kings men can't put it back together again.

So that we don't end on a sour note, please also visit Talking Story. Rosa has an exciting month planned for her readers.


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