PODCAST 430

You’re Not That Hot Anymore. Are the institutions of our society failing us, or just failing to live up to their over the top narratives? A bad customer service experience leads into a discussion – presented as sort of a rant but meant as a question  – about whether the business models and technology that seemed so forward five to ten years ago don’t seem that way at all now. Technology companies, Internet Service Providers, consumer products, office supplies, services, health care, travel, utilities and all kinds of services in the western world seem to have stopped progressing in terms of service to the customer a few years ago. No longer is it good enough to deliver a great product or service, you have to have an ‘amazing’ story, be saving the whales, or making your product in some aboriginal prefecture where you pay fair wages and post the obligatory pictures of building schools, or handing out water at the local marathon or breast cancer walk. What happened to buying a toaster that works, and when it doesn’t being able to rely on a customer service approach that says, “Yep, here’s a new one”? Instead you get protocols, upsells, long waits at the help desk (with the same three songs that play over and over) bored, surly or overwhelmed ticket agents, or admissions ‘techs’. The gauntlet of nose-ring festooned ‘greeters’ sporting ‘man-buns’ or just plain mean city, county, state and federal workers is actually the new normal. We need to talk about it, and we need to fix it. Is the problem that companies are spending too much time saving the whales, and not enough time saving the customer? Or is it excessive government regulation, poor economic growth, or we’re just not as competent as our ‘amazing’ history and resume says we are? No institution in our society is more dangerously corrupt and incompetent than the government, despite what the politicians say about Wall Street. What can be done? Meanwhile…still on hold with customer service. Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate. (Editor’s Note: Podcast 429 isn’t done yet, and will be on the way…so here’s podcast 430. Don’t worry you didn’t miss one.

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Margaret
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This podcast and the other one about your mixing board were great. I have run into this problem all the time. I just tossed my Blue Mikey this weekend. A sweet little piece of audio tech that plugged into my iPhone 3gs and never worked with any newer iPhone. I loved it and kept it in a junk drawer but since I am decluttering I had to let it go. Another thought. I remember a professor of mine once saying that voicemail and email made him work harder at tasks that he used to never think about. They had department secretaries who took all the calls and took messages if they weren’t in. Lots of uninterrupted time to work. Now they were doing their job and the secretaries job. And how was this better? I went to Fed Ex store to make copies this weekend out in the burbs and it was this vast store with ONE person behind the counter. The whole store was filled with copiers that took your credit card and you were supposed to email them the file. Instead of handing over my document to a person, I hit a bunch of buttons on a screen and did it myself. Copying stores used to have tons of low and semi-skilled workers in there. Now it’s a handful of people and one of them is the manager or even the owner.

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