Wednesday, July 18, 2007

W3C EXI Format Working Draft Published!

The W3C just published the first working draft for the EXI Format.  There is a lot still for them to do, but this is an amazing start.

Tales in (Good) Customer Service

I recently had a friend tell me about the wonderful customer service he had received from Qwest after moving.  This came as a surprise to him, as he was not expecting anything other than outsourced incomprehensible delay tactics.  In his case, he got better support from Qwest than from Speakeasy.  Just a few years back this would have been unthinkable.

I recently decided to upgrade my home DSL connection.  I called and scheduled the upgrade yesterday afternoon.  Everyone I talked with was pleasant and helpful.  I did not feel rushed.  They were good at explaining my options.  When talking about TV package deals and my lack of TV usage, the rep on the phone related a personal story that was quite cute. 

I finished the call with a plan for faster DSL service at a lower monthly cost.  What do I remember?  The personal story from the rep.  I remember that he made the call friendly, unrushed, and inclusive.  This is what customer service should be about.  This is as close to old-fashioned small-town customer service as you can get.

Putting a pleasant approachable face on a company makes a significant difference.  Qwest used to have a monopoly on phone service.  Now with VOIP, I have many choices.  If you have bad customer service, you are suggesting to your customers that they should look elsewhere.  Customer Service is about keeping the customers that you have.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

3 day, 1500 miles, the garden of eden

Many many thanks to Ezra and Red Velvet for inviting me down. It was a long weekend, ~750 miles each way, but early summer in the NW US can be quite beautiful. Listened to "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" on the way down, and "Life of PI" on the way back. Audiobooks are a divine gift for such a long drive.

The purpose of the trip was 2 days of camping out in a veritable garden of eden, with some amazing people and fantastic music... heaven on earth is dancing till your legs hurt, then hopping in the hot-tub, to mellow to the next DJ's grooves.

and I learned to almost hoola-hoop...

I needed a weekend without internet, iPhone, President Bush, traffic, and all the rest of the chaos. My world is now a better place.