Caring for the Customer – Facebook and State Farm – NOT!

I tend to be a loyal customer – I’ve had the same personal insurance companies for nearly four decades, I frequent the same big box home improvement store over multiple locations for nearly 30 years, my cell phone company is the same I’ve started with – I value the […]

The Saga of the Dishwasher – A Customer Service Parable

Our dishwasher died a week ago.  It had given good and faithful service for many years (it came with the house 12 years ago).  So, I began the search for a replacement.  My wife found an offer from a mainstream retailer that appeared to come with a special 30% […]

The Apple Battery Slowdown “Scandal”

I was recently asked for my take on the Apple Battery Slowdown “Scandal” by a nephew who works in the tech industry (Apple’s response is here).  My first impulse was what scandal and my second was submarine batteries – it may seem a weird connection but there is a […]

No, I Won’t – Why I Took a Hiatus

Over the past five years, my business partner and I have written more than 300 blog posts – more than one a week.  Usually we would post a new entry on Tuesday while having a Throwback Thursday re-post.  But we’ve recently skipped several weeks because our production system was […]

Promises Made, Promises Not Kept

I’m sitting in the waiting room of a major oil change shop.  That’s not special, but the reason WHY I‘m in this one is.  I normally go to a different oil change shop but today when I arrived there shortly after 8:00 am, there was no one there.  Now […]

When Things Go Wrong, COMPLAIN!

I generally encourage people to lower their voices and think before they speak – perhaps to not speak at all – it makes for more reasoned communication.  But there is one area that I personally violate that rule – when things go wrong.  And when things go wrong, I […]

The Misuse of Audits

Two things happened that involved me within the last 24 hours that concern audits:  I completed an audit of an organization and I read a column in the SpokesmanReview about audits in Medicare.

I’ve been doing audits, and their cousin, inspections, for more than 30 years.  I remember what it […]

Highly Satisfied

I’m a big fan of customer surveys.  Not of giving them because mostly the results are skewed by the apostles and terrorists – I’ll explain later.  I’m a big fan of filling out the surveys for several reasons.

First of all, so few people actually fill out the surveys at […]

Looking Like a Professional

I’ve been an adjunct professor for most of this century, teaching graduate students quality and operations management as well as entrepreneurship.  Now, mind you, these were GRADUATE students.  For the most part, they had experience in the workplace after college.

And yet, they weren’t professionals.  By that, I mean they […]

Keeping Trust with Your Customers

While meeting with a client recently, I was told a story about ordering a bike from Renovo Hardwood Bicycles.  Apparently, her husband is a cycling enthusiast and when he saw the Renovo wooden bikes he had to have one.  So an order was placed immediately with 50% down – […]

Two Failures – and the Customer Service Responses to Them

I spent some time recently helping my son and his family move into a new house.  It’s been over three months since they moved out of their old house in Virginia and they were looking forward to being in their new house in Washington.  The situation was the usual […]

Firing a Client or Bring Me a Rock

I finally had enough – I fired a client. After spending months carefully identifying requirements, presenting concepts, getting agreements on draft designs, and countless hours coding and editing content, I present the initial draft website to the organization’s board of directors only to be told by one director, “I […]

Just Write a Program

Many years ago when I was a young officer at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, I got to be friends with the head of the Management Information System (MIS) – what would be called IT today. I was just starting to use personal computers to use information from the mainframe […]

Driving Your Customers Crazy

I’ve just had a great customer service experience – NOT! Want to drive your customers crazy – treat them like a ping-pong ball.  Our DVR – the machine that records TV shows so you can watch them later – decided to go crazy and interrupt every recording with an […]

Customer Service – Bank of America Style

Last week Section 619 (Spokane) of the American Society of Quality (ASQ) had a member meeting at the Mirabeau Hotel where we heard Manuel Marco discuss the upcoming changes in ISO 9000: 2015 – it was our most attended event in years. At the conclusion of the meeting, the […]

#SpokaneAMA Question: Posting Pictures

By Frank Hutchison
Can I legally post pictures of guests on my Facebook Business page without written waiver?  Can a verbal be OK? 
This question has two answers – Yes and Maybe.
Yes, you can post pictures of guests on Facebook or elsewhere if the pictures are:

Taken in a public forum – […]

How to Stop Being So Busy and Start Helping People

“I’ve stopped trying to read three newspapers before sunrise. And yet, I somehow feel more knowledgeable. Perhaps because I’ve finally awakened to the world around me and all it was trying to offer.”-Erica HillA few months ago, I stopped by my favorite sushi joint to grab some dinner. A […]

Customers & Value: Framing the Mona Lisa

I recently got to think about something that I never thought of before– the frame that holds the Mona Lisa.  It was brought to my mind by the new Brad Paisley song Mona Lisa where he is talking about willing to let his lover (I’ll assume his wife) […]

Creating Customer Service Legends

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the author of Tongue Fu!: How to Deflect, Disarm, and Defuse Any Verbal Conflict, Sam Horn (a woman), when she gave a presentation to the Northern Virginia section of the American Society for Quality.  There was one story she […]

Why Customers Don’t Want to Buy Your Stuff

Years ago I heard a story about the president of Black and Decker who stunned an entire convention center imto deadly silence when he declared,“Our customers don’t want to buy our drills – they just want to make holes!”As someone who owns nine drills, most of which are used […]