My friend Tommy Fibich just passed along the news that the wonderful Adele Hedges has passed away. She was one of a kind: whip-smart, a fair and even-handed judge, a talented writer (and a talented jewelry-maker), and a Renaissance woman. She and her husband were so kind to Jeff and me when we arrived in Houston. She left us far too young. May she rest in peace.
We are so grateful to all of you for protecting us and serving our country–and I hope that all of you have seen this notice to make this part of your life a bit nicer.
Happy Veterans’ Day!
Wishing my beloved Marine Corps a very happy birthday. Here’s the message from the Commandant. Thank you for continuing to serve us so well!
Few things in life push my buttons so much as bad customer service does. Why is that?
One reason is that I work in two different service industries. Law is certainly a service industry, and so is higher education. The former involves my fiduciary duty to my clients. The latter involves duties to my students (to teach them well), to my profession (to create good scholarship), and to my university (to perform my job duties well). I try to do a good job every day–I don’t always succeed, but I try–and, for the life of me, I can’t understand people who don’t take their jobs seriously. Is it the pay? Probably that’s part of the story, but I hope that’s not the entire answer. I know highly paid people who are bad at customer service, and I know low-wage people who are marvelous at it.
Another reason why bad customer service pushes my buttons is what bad customer service represents. An organization’s customer service is one measure of whether the organization is healthy. It’s the window to an organization’s inner workings. What an organization values is what it rewards. If it rewards customer service, customer service is good. Chewy.com is a perfect example of great customer service, as is Zappos.com. Both companies go out of their way to make sure that their employees treat their customers well, and both companies are rewarded for their efforts with customer loyalty.
Bad customer service, on the other hand, indicates poor morale and thus indicates a low-functioning organization.
So here’s the question that puzzles me: how can we take the symptom of bad customer service and use it to fix the unhealthy organization that has generated it?
It’ll take me a while to learn the new system, but at least it’s better than the frozen Blogger I’ve been getting. My old (and occasionally cranky, in both senses of the word) blog is here.