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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, July 21, 2005. Thursday, July 21, 2005

A picture named zero.gifMy favorite soft drink is Diet Coke. I never think about switching. A few weeks ago I stopped in a convenience store to pick up a Diet Coke, but instead I saw something called Coke Zero. What. Huh. I bought a Diet Coke, and remembered to look it up on the web. I forgot. A few days later it happened again. Then I saw a TV commercial for Coke Zero, just a style thing, no explanation of what it is. I remembered to look it up on the web. Then forgot. Finally today I remembered to look it up. Should I switch? It never crossed my mind until they suggested it. What the... Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Houston Chronicle: "Trying to understand Coke logic means getting into the mind of corporate America, and you don't want to go there. If you're a Classic Coke fan and looking for a diet drink, just be happy they've stumbled on Coke Zero. Don't ask questions." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Rebecca MacKinnon: "Cisco admits selling to Chinese police, and isn't ashamed." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Mary Hodder is working on a list of "interesting women doing amazing things." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Steve Gillmor is enjoying the AlwaysOn conference in Palo Alto. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

BBC: "Minor explosions using detonators only have sparked the evacuation of three Tube stations and the closure o\f three lines, a BBC correspondent has said." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Podbat, a blogger who works at the BBC in London, is accumulating links in real time. I'm listening to BBC radio via webcast. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I find it utterly amazing that 9 percent of Americans have a good idea what RSS is. When people outside the industry ask what I do, I respond by asking if they've heard of RSS, and they always say no, with a genuinely puzzled look. Honestly, I think the 9 percent number is high.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Jon Stewart clip on Karl Rove's "Greatest Leak Ever." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Information Please: America's Best BeachesPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Microsoft will not swallow RSS any more than they swallowed hard disks, following the analagy that's the premise of the PC Mag essay. They may take the lead from aggregator developers, but it would be easier to defend them if they were steadily adding useful features to their products.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Phil Windley: "Wouldn’t it be ironic to use the technology that Hatch is out to destroy to challenge and beat him?" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Why the customer is always right Permanent link to this item in the archive.

You're hearing from a customer who isn't happy with the service or product. Either the customer is right or the customer is wrong. You have to decide which it is. Suppose you decide the customer is wrong, but the customer is actually right. You've now taken a serious chance of losing the customer, and it's possible that the former customer will tell other customers or potential customers that you suck, not only do you give bad service, but when you do, you don't make it right.

Now, suppose you assume the customer is right and you give them a new one of whatever was wrong, and apologize for the screwup, and thank them for their continued patronage. Having been given what he or she asked for, and having been vindicated, and received gratitude, the customer is glowing with a magnanimity that is greater than it would have been had you never made the mistake. You win, big.

A picture named mailManThumb.jpgOkay, now flip it around. Suppose the customer is wrong. They're just human, it could happen. Suppose you assume the customer is right and give them a freebie and an apology and a thank you. It's likely that the freebie didn't really cost you anything, or not very much. Cost of goods ain't what it used to be. Most of the cost is in time, and you'd spend as much time arguing with them, as you would by giving them what they want. And I don't care what you say, an apology and a thanks costs nothing. You can always be sorry and thankful. Always, no matter what, even if you're being scammed and know it. You can be thankful that this person is leaving your place of business sooner than if you argued with him.

The final case is the customer is wrong and you say they're wrong. In this case you're the most screwed. This is one angry mofo and you don't want to hear what they're going to say about you. You don't even want to think about it. Everyone in your store is going to wonder why you don't just give them what they want so they will leave and they can all get on with what they came to do -- spend money.


Last update: Friday, July 22, 2005 at 12:33 AM Eastern.

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