After a year of this, one day, one of my partners came in and told us some really disturbing news about her life situation, and suddenly, things kind of clicked. It was apparent that we might be her only positive daily interaction, and that the extra attention, especially that when she had a complaint, really might have meant a lot to her personally, giving her some modicum of control in her life and also a feeling of importance. We’d never let our service waver, and we were very glad.

Great article on Business Insider, “What Baristas Think of Your Coffee Orders.

I am always impressed by the consistently high bar of the baristas’ professionalism and amicability at the SoHo Starbucks I go to every morning. I also give them a ton of credit when they don’t jump the counter and shake the person in front of me they decide to pay for their $5 latte in pennies when the line is out the door at 8:50am. 


Customer complaints generally have a loose but inverse negative correlation to return on invested capital,” Wolfe Research analyst Hunter Keay says, noting that well-liked JetBlue Airways (JBLU), Virgin America, and Southwest Airlines (LUV) lag financially. “The commitment to make the customer happy costs money.” Keay says the low-cost model rightly treats airfare as a utility. “There really does not need to be a service component attached to consuming airfare.

The Most Hated U.S. Airline Is Also the Most Profitable via BloombergBusinessweek

As painful as this is to read from someone that has spent much of his professional career touting the benefits of CRM, customer care, and the importance of fostering loyalty through superior service, there is an important truth.  The lowest cost providers in most sectors can also be financially successful. but it is a ruthless business where you are shaving costs everywhere to eek out margins.  Thus you are squeezing customer, employees, partners, vendors, and investors.  It becomes a numbers game where it is about delivering the least amount of value while still maintaining a steady stream of business.

Long-term however, it is hard to see how these models succeed given the massive churn.  For every other business that is not chasing the absolute cellar in terms of price and service, the best play is to invest in your customers and create a great experience.

(via marksbirch)


Millennials don’t want to talk on the phone. It’s 2014. They don’t want to say, ‘Hi, my name is so-and-so,—’ and talk for 30 seconds before asking the real question. It’s too much overhead. They want to be able to go on a site and type very quickly, ‘Hi, I’m John Doe, what’s my order status?’ and boom, there’s the answer,

via Brian Park, “Goodbye Call Centers, Hello Cloud