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Frustrated by a product or service? Want to get results? A few tips:

  • Be courteous. You may be angry, and you may have very good reason to be angry. But venting your spleen by name-calling or other varieties of rudeness will not help you. It may give temporary relief to your feelings, but it does nothing to resolve the problem, and will probably make the person you are contacting less willing to help you.
  • Be specific. “This site sucks” is not useful feedback. “It was better the old way” is not useful feedback. If you can address a specific issue, you may find that it is resolvable and *gasp* you may actually get results. I’ve responded to a lot of customer service calls and emails, and I can tell you that the customers who provide specific information about their complaints are a lot happier at the end of the transaction than those who don’t. And guess what? The more time I have to spend trying to get specific information from you, the less time I am working on solving your problem.
  • Don’t get caught up in conspiracy theories. Whatever the issue you’re having, the company/site designer/store/etc. did not create the problem specifically to torment you. Really. I promise. Believe it or not, I have a vested interest in making our customers’ experience as successful and as trouble-free as possible. I take the majority of customer complaints very seriously. But if you accuse me of intentionally making your life more difficult for my own nefarious purposes, you will be written off as a crack-pot and will get exactly nowhere.

I’ve had my share of frustrating tech support experiences. I know that there are incompetent, unhelpful people out there. But the bulk of us are really trying to do a good job and solve problems as quickly as possible. Do us a favor, and don’t make it any harder than it already is.


If a blog falls in the forest, and there’s no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

Sorry I’ve been so remiss about posting. We’re going through a major software implementation at work and it is sucking up a lot of my mental energy, so when I get home my brain is mush and I can’t summon the energy to write a coherent thought. I will try to be better, I promise! Just to get the ball rolling, here’s a quote I like (it was on the cover of the March issue of Fast Company):

Innovation is super fragile. It’s very easy to kill. We need a stubborn, rebellious attitude. – Google CIO Douglas Merrill

I recently subscribed to Fast Company magazine; I wanted to give it a good look, and my library doesn’t carry it (yet). It costs $4.99 on the newsstand, or you can subscribe for a year for $10. No brainer.In the November issue, Dan and Chip Heath discuss how having too many choices can lead to decision-making paralysis. They suggest simplifying your overall strategy so that the strategy can guide decision-making:

you don’t need to embrace simplicity just so your people can comprehend your message. The point of simplicity is more fundamental: Simplicity allows people to act.  

It’s an interesting idea. Go RTWT (it’s short!).