Tuesday, January 29, 2019

When Customer Expectations Become Impossible

Many people love to complain, and trying to get some personalized help in an increasingly fast-paced and automated world can aggravate even the most calm and placid among us.

But is it even possible to define a standard for customer service? Or are we dealing with a moving target?

From a common sense point of view, we can of course argue that most people agree on what good service looks like. An example would be "pick up the phone on the first ring." Another might be "return most emails within two hours."

At the same time, however, expectations change based on evolving cultural norms. These, in turn, are shaped by at least three factors, and each of them is relative, comparative and evolves over time:

  • Culture: One of my favorite characters on Seinfeld was the "Soup Nazi," who would throw customers out of his store if they spoke out of turn in any way when ordering food.  The guy was so funny to watch because he violated the typical cultural expectation of solicitous service in the face of rude urban customers. In his store, you complained about anything at the risk of losing your precious right to get some good takeout, and as such the characters were trained to believe that any service at all was good. Another aspect of culture relates to how you were raised. For me, another memory that is very vivid is my mother saying: "The world doesn't owe you anything." As such, as an adult, my expectations with regard to customer service are lower than most other people I know.
  • Comparisons (a.k.a., "misery loves company"): If the average experience is good, you expect to be treated at least as well as other people. Conversely, if the experience is poor, then your experience of poor treatment feels "normal." For example, I remember, as a child, waiting for a long time to clear Customs on the way to visit my dad's parents in Canada. It would never have occurred to me that the wait could be less than two hours, at a minimum.
  • Technology: Today's customer is normally accompanied by a smart device and immersed at least to some extent in email and social media. These tools --along with sophisticated search engine technology, online "cookies," avatars powered by artificial intelligence, chat platforms, and powerful customer relationship management databases -- lead the average person to expect "kid glove," rapid-response, solicitous and personalized service most of the time.

It may be surprising to think of customer service as a relative factor when it comes to performance; it's easier to tell oneself that there is a certain "high mark" that is achievable if only one puts forth sufficient effort.

The pressure to deliver some magical level of service is intensified by the competitive climate associated with running a business today. As copycats abound and most technology becomes diffused, companies lack any meaningful point of differentiation. Promising an  ever-higher level of personalization and care, in an effort to win and retain customers, can seem like an easy and attractive option. Yet the more companies compete on this front, the more likely that the reality proves to be just the opposite.

So how can you win at customer service? The trick is to conceive of service the right way in the first place -- as a relative thing that is largely dependent on perception.

Therefore, the first and most important task is to create an expectation among your consumer set that will match the reality, at least most of the time. 

The second task is to hire and retain managerial, technological and operational talent such that your customer service is at least as good as most of your competitors -- and preferably outstanding in at least one respect that most others fail to leverage.

The third task is to avoid, at all costs, artificially generating positive reviews. If your corporate culture depends on astro-turfing (fake paid support), your staff is likely to cut corners when it comes to the very human effort needed to deliver outstanding customer care.

I had a supervisor once who told me that "perception becomes reality." If you want to give people a great customer experience, focus on improving the perception first. And then take every proactive step to cushion the customer from unwanted, unpleasant interruptions.


Public domain. Opinions the author's own. Photo via Pixabay (Public Domain)

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Danger of Thinking

Branding works because we do not have to think first about the buying choices we make.

Why is thinking so painful?
We don’t have time.
We don’t want to be wrong.
We don’t want to face the possibility that we’ve been wrong all along.

Have you noticed that when you carry cash, you’re less likely to spend it?

Credit cards make it easy to spend without thinking.

Instant payment methods — like the kind you have on your phone — make it even easier.

Marketers know this.

What happens when you try to slow down and say, read a book?

When was the last time you read a book?

I remember growing up, we used go actually go to the library and get a few of them.

We would also read the paper on Sunday — the whole thing, one section at a time. Comics first, of course. Then Business. Outlook. Travel. (And don’t forget the coupons.)

Thinking is blocked when you’re in a noisy area.

Have you noticed that bookstores and coffee shops intentionally have a lot of noise blaring?

So you cancel out their noise, with your noise — maybe wearing headphones with your preferred kind of music.

Maybe you play “white noise,” to block out all the sound.

But still, the hum of the noise blocks you from just following the thoughts rambling around in your head.

I remember growing up we were bored most of the time, because television wasn’t all that great. We had to find ways to entertain ourselves.

And then MTV showed up, and the explosion of cable.

Now it wasn’t necessary to think or be creative: We could escape into the heads, hearts and souls of characters someone else had developed for our consumption.

One might argue that at least in the workplace, we have to think to survive, because the demands are great, cooperation is difficult to achieve, and the resources relatively few.

But there again, conformity is the order of the day and thinking is subsumed to “getting along with the team.” As well as, frankly, “making the boss look good.”

How about participating in the decisions that affect our lives? Why don’t we get out there, and involve ourselves in social causes?

We can, and we should: But the information we base our decisions on, about which causes to support, is normally mediated and misleading.

It’s hard to know what’s the truth.

Finally, we are bombarded with the gigantic systems that codify and identify us, process us, and rule our lives.

Consider education. The novel ideas we sacrifice, in order to make the “A.”

Consider healthcare. The privacy we have to give up. Because there are forms to sign, and we need to be taken care of.

All of this might make a thinking person want to scream.

But we cannot make too much noise, because then the gatekeepers will lose patience with us.

And then we lose our place altogether.


By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. The author hereby releases this content into the public domain. Opinions are the author’s own. Creative Commons photo via Pixabay.

The $1 Billion Border Question

According to the GAO (2016), the Federal Government spends nearly $1 billion per year on “advertising and public relations.” In light of the fact that we are currently experiencing a partial government shutdown based on differing public views of the facts about border security, one has to ask how well this money is currently being spent.

5 U.S. Code § 3331, the Oath of Office, binds Federal employees to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
“An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath: “I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” This section does not affect other oaths required by law. (Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 424.)”
The following questions are inherently nonpartisan and I ask them in a nonpartisan manner:
  • What are Federal employees to do when they believe that our legitimately elected President is the target of a seditious conspiracy?
  • What are we to do when we see a “soft coup attempt” playing out in the public eye?
  • What are we to do when we see that the public is reduced to relying on purportedly “insider” statements about government operations that are relayed by an anonymous figure on an Internet message board?
  • What are we to do when there is no government-wide, non-partisan mechanism for providing a clearinghouse to comment on, explain, elaborate and refute these widespread messages, that are widely believed, but which have not been validated or invalidated by any government agency or official?
“Political activity refers to any activity directed at the success or failure of a partisan group or candidate in a partisan election.” (Office of Special Counsel, 2016)

These questions are not political!

If our Nation is indeed under attack, overtly or covertly, the public needs to be informed so that the public better understands the actions that are being taken by the government, particularly when they may otherwise be inexplicable.

If we are not under attack, and a disinformation agent has gained influence over a massive segment of the American people, this fact must be exposed and the record corrected.

In order to narrow the focus of the current question, it is helpful to focus on a specific issue. 

Therefore, I share the following statements made by the anonymous figure in question, “QAnon,” about border security.

To ensure these statements are reviewed in as neutral a manner as possible, they are excerpted in such a way as to focus only on purported facts and not on characterizations of specific people or groups.

The time period for these statements is November 5, 2017 — January 5, 2019.

The public is entitled to know if these statements are true, as part of the government’s regular communication concerning the mission, goals, objectives and related program activities and initiatives undertaken by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the border.

(all quoted; sourced via “QMap.pub)


November 5, 2017
Who funds MS13?
What agency has direct ties to (2) major drug cartels?
Why is AG Sessions / POTUS prioritizing the removal of MS13?
Why is AG Sessions / POTUS prioritizing building the wall?
Who do you hire for a hit?
Who can be eliminated after the job is complete?
Seth Rich.
Who was found dead (2) shortly after his murder?
What affiliation did they have?

November 6, 2017
Why are there no voting ID laws in place?
What do you need an ID for? List. Compare. Laugh.
What is the argument for not allowing voter ID laws to be enacted?
Why are immigrants important? (MB)(Votes)(Attacks)
Why are illegals important? (MS13)(Votes)(187)
Why is open border important?
What did BO say on the campaign trail last year to illegals within the US?
What did BO encourage?
Was this illegal?
Who owns sizeable stakes in voter machine co’s?
Who decides what voter machines are used in elections?
Why are some ‘important’ counties still manually/hand counted?

November 14, 2017
What happens if the border remained open and the MSM continued to brainwash?
At what point do Patriots, and hard working men and woman, become the minority?
What about voting machines?
Who owns the voting machines?
What about voter ID laws?
Photo ID? When is it necessary and must be presented? Make a list. Laugh.


January 21, 2018
[The 16 Year Plan To Destroy America]
Hussein [8]
Install rogue_ops
Leak C-intel/Mil assets
Cut funding to Mil
Command away from generals
Launch ‘good guy’ takedown (internal remove) — Valerie Jarrett (sniffer)
SAP sell-off
Snowden open source Prism/Keyscore (catastrophic to US Mil v. bad actors (WW) +Clowns/-No Such Agency)
Target/weaken conservative base (IRS/MSM)
Open border (flood illegals: D win) ISIS/MS13 fund/install (fear, targeting/removal, domestic-assets etc.)
Blind-eye NK [nuke build]
[Clas-1, 2, 3]
Blind-eye Iran [fund and supply]
Blind-eye [CLAS 23–41]
Stage SC [AS [187]]
U1 fund/supply IRAN/NK [+reduce US capacity]
KILL NASA (prevent space domination/allow bad actors to take down MIL SATs/WW secure comms/install WMDs) — RISK OF EMP SPACE ORIG (HELPLESS)
[CLAS 1–99]
HRC [8] WWIII [death & weapons real/WAR FAKE & CONTROLLED][population growth control/pocket billions]
Eliminate final rogue_ops within Gov’t/MIL
KILL economy [starve/need/enslave]
Open borders
Revise Constitution
Ban sale of firearms (2nd amen removal)
Install ‘on team’ SC justices> legal win(s) across spectrum of challengers (AS 187)
Removal of electoral college [pop vote ^easier manipulation/illegal votes/Soros machines]
Limit/remove funding of MIL
Closure of US MIL installations WW [Germany 1st]
Destruction of opposing MSM/other news outlets (censoring), CLAS 1–59

April 2, 2018
Everything has meaning.
Election Integrity.
Immigration Bill.

April 4, 2018
The protected flow into AZ is no more.

April 4, 2018
Troops to Border.
Clown Black Ops.
Private funds.
Raised how?
Troops @ Border does what?
To who?
MS_13/Illegals road block.
Sex traffic road block.
Children road block.
Drugs road block.
Guns road block.
China/Russia pass-through-intel-pull road block.
Name we don’t say AZ road block.
Big money TERMINATE.
The WALL means more than you know.
The FIGHT for the WALL is for so much more.

April 6, 2018
Border state — coincidence?

April 7, 2018
Border states are VERY key.
Bigger than you can imagine.
The pipeline.
Not R vs D.
CA is special.
Public will learn.

April 20, 2018
Why is the MX border / Long Beach Port so important?

April 23, 2018
Why are border states like AZ/CA important?
Why is MX vocal against POTUS?
Those who are the loudest…..

June 30, 2018

August 14 2018
Wet Work?
Human Trafficking?
Sharing of ICE/Border Patrol C-INTEL [schedules] to SAFEGUARD? EXIT/ENTRANCE?
Sharing of DOJ ‘Where We Stand’ investigation(s) & Guide to OVERCOME-DISMISS-WIN?
November 25, 2018
Border Security = National Security.
FY 2019 Defense Spending Bill
>>Budget Overview
Budget Reconciliation
What if the House fails prior to majority change?
What vested auth does the Constitution grant a sitting President re: matters of NAT SEC?
Dec 11, 2018
You didn’t think the largest MIL spending bill in history (FY 2019) wasn’t going to [indirectly] include funding for the wall did you?
Learn the Constitution re: vested powers of POTUS re: matters of NAT SEC.
This was planned and forecasted as the ‘border funding’ solution from the beginning.


January 5, 2019
Open borders w/ no Immigration & Customs Officials to safeguard the people?
EU gov’t attempt to turn the police against the people re: yellow vest protests?


Nonpartisan. My opinion only. Public domain. Creative Commons photo via Pixabay.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Who Does Rashida Tlaib Represent?

The Palestinian flag. Source: Wikipedia
The Hebrew word for “evil person” is “Rasha,” and unfortunately the United States Congress has a new one in town.

Her name is Rashida Tlaib, and she is the newly elected representative of the Michigan’s 13th Congressional district.

Here she is at a MoveOn.org event, January 3, 2018. Keep in mind this is her first day in office as a member of the U.S. Congress.
“People love you, and you win,” says Tlaib. “And when your son looks at you and says ‘Mama look, you won,’ bullies don’t win. And I said ‘Baby, they don’t. Because we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherf***er.”

The issue here is not that Tlaib cursed the President.

It is that Tlaib is whipping up the crowd to remove the President from office for no reason.

For this, Rashida Tlaib is guilty of sedition.

Tlaib is not just a seditious traitor. She is also a raging anti-Semite who is here representing the Palestinian Authority, and not the United States.

How do we know this?

On August 11, 2018, at an event to celebrate Tlaib’s win in the primary, journalist Laura Loomer asked Tlaib the following question:

“Are you willing to admit…that Hamas is a terrorist organization?”

In response, Tlaib (who states that she is anti-bullying), not only refuses to respond, but physically attacks Loomer, grabbing the journalist’s recording device and forcing her to physically retrieve it.

On January 6, three days after her “attack in a crowded theater” against President Trump, Tlaib unleashed another anti-Semitic tirade on Twitter, accusing American Jews of having dual loyalty, stating that Jews “forgot what country they represent.”

The context for Tlaib’s comment was Senator Bernie Sanders’ comment that legislation to reopen the government should not be held up by legislation to stop the economic terrorism levied by Palestinian interests against Israel, America’s military and strategic partner in the Middle East.

It should be noted that Senator Sanders is Jewish and that Jews of conscience may argue any which way about any legislation they so choose. Indeed, there are Jews who support the boycott.

The issue is that Tlaib, in her support for this movement (note: it’s not about censorship) is acting as an agent of the Palestinian people.
“Michigan Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar both made history during the 2018 midterm elections by becoming the first Muslim women elected to Congress — but they didn’t stop there. Tlaib and Omar both also publicly support Palestine through the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, which, according to The Hill, marks a first for congressional officials.
To make your concerns known, you can file an ethics complaint with the United States House of Representatives.

All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.