Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Do companies listen?

In this age of improved communications, they may be getting worse. While technology may have improved the ability to deliver many messages to people and companies, it has not improved peoples' ability to absorb them. We hear about companies saying that customer satisfaction is critical and they are spending more time on it, but then we hear how it is getting worse. As an illustration, I recently had an amusing experience. I received a letter from the leagal department of Time Warner explaining that they were returning my "submission" unread. Now since it was not a submission, but a question, it was clear that they do not read letters carefully!

Each of us has customer service or contact stories to tell from our own lives. We need to assume that our customers can probably tell just as funny stories about us. Funny until we realize that they may cost us revenue and profit.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Class in America - The New York Times

Over the past ten days The New York Times has been carrying a series of articles in a series which examine social class in America. The conclusions are slightly disturbing. Movement between social classes is lower than in some European countries, and is declining. At the same time, the gap between rich and poor is widening. While this has implications of social inequity, it also has implications for the ability of America to best use its intellectual capital. When meritocracy fades, the country will suffer. We cannot continue to import scientists and thinkers from other countries if there are young Americans who are not getting the best opportunities.

We need to encourage greater social mobility by giving poor and disadvanted youth the same opportunities which the sons and daughters of the rich get.