When I am annoyed, it is very easy for me to focus on what is wrong. What is wrong is probably what is annoying me, after all. I’ve been expending too much energy lately being annoyed — my condo association and the T are the two most obvious sources of my irritation. In an attempt to switch focus in my brain to something more positive, I wanted to share a few unexpected examples of people doing things right.
Brooklyn Museum’s use of social software
Within hours of uploading a few photos tagged “Brooklyn Museum” to flickr, the museum added me as a contact. The museum actually uses flickr, too — posting photos from events, running a group, and creating a profile that makes sense. They’ve got a MySpace page, and are on facebook. Meeting where I am (when I’m not there) and engaging potential museum-goers where we live is a great strategy.
My tax person
Every year, my tax person sends me a nice, three pages single-spaced, letter about tax law changes. By the second paragraph, I want to stop reading. I think this is brilliant on her part. What she is really saying is, “look at all the complicated crap that you don’t care about that I pay attention to, and I will take care of it all for you — at a 10% discount if you see me this month.” Marketing about something that I don’t like (who doesn’t hate the IRS?) that doesn’t annoy me — really, she’s a genius.
First, let me say I will not spend $600 on a phone — until it can actually read my mind and act on my behalf, it won’t be worth the money. But, the new iPhone is one sexy looking device. Apple is very good at making well-designed, sexy devices. Let’s admit it: iPods were designed to be fondled. Then there’s the extra-wide trackpad on the MacBook Pros — as long as I have it, I don’t need a mouse. I flick my finger, and reveal the desktop; flick another, and a widget checks my gmail; I can scroll through documents or down web pages without a click. So I have hope for this crazy expensive phone, even though I don’t have a desire for an all-in-one gadget. If the touchscreen design does work — well, I’d love to use more technology that just feels right. (Unlike, say, nearly every ATM or public transit purchasing kiosk I’ve ever used).
The annoyance factor kicks in again when I think of the devices (why isn’t my dvd remote like Apple’s remote?) experiences (why are T employees so uninformed/rude/unhelpful?) and services (could Bank of America make it any more difficult to login and pay my credit card bill online? why is ordering moo cards so much easier?) that I use that suck. Because they don’t have to suck. Really, they don’t.
Imagine what would happen if more manufacturers, vendors, and service providers had “customer delight” as a primary goal.
This Is Broken, Mark Hurst’s “project to make businesses more aware of their customer experience, and how to fix it.”