Service is that gnawing problem that
is an issue across many industries. Late flights,
being on hold, dry cleaning that arrives with new spots,
equipment that does not work according to expectation and
then fails — all these issues are the soup of poor
We are definitely in the zone of damn mad
and not going to take it any more. The Silent Majority has
no one to scream at—but rest assured they will take their
The Internet was one of those concepts that
was going to provide more choice, more access and visibility.
Yet, we now have an extreme service failure with most online
businesses. The hilarious personalization of advertising a
method to analyze you and provide you in selected choices—in
reality—it eyeballed space to the highest bidder. You
pay for a subscription and when you log in, it tells you this
might not be a secured site—do you wish to continue.
If you say no, then you can’t have access to your own
subscription that you paid for. To avoid being sued, I will
leave out the name of that so-called reputable venerable universally
This month we will look at the problem from
many angles. First, read The
Interview. Shoshana Zuboff of the Harvard Business School
and James Maxmin of Mast Global, co-authors of The Support
Economy tackle this problem of how the Internet self-service
model has failed people. And not just the Internet, but fundamental
corporate structures have abandoned customers.
From there we move to the Stanford/Wharton
Service Supply Chain Forum we just attended in Palo Alto. This
forum of senior executives, many of them competitors (Lockheed
and Boeing, UPS and DHL, Cisco and Lucent, etc.), is coming
together annually for leaders
in service management.
One key problem in services is the extreme
outsourcing of the chain—some of this is working and
some is not. So, Carla Reed will offer some observations about what’s
wrong with outsourcing service.
The root cause, of course, is in designing—or
not—for serviceability, which Bill McBeath addresses
this month. As well as the Quality
issue. Dave Tabor also has a take on this.
What is key from meeting with and talking
to both consumers (remember the people who pay?) and the providers,
is the challenges involved in reaching and caring for customers.
We have a long way to go! I invite your comments on these articles
and the topic of service, in general.
On another critical note—one that supersedes
all others—is the election.
We just fought a war theoretically to create Democracy in other parts of the
world. In addition, other nations have voter turnouts in the 80% and up. And
we just saw a huge event—it’s been over twenty years since people
had an open vote in Afghanistan. What an inspiring event to witness. Yet not
enough Americans exercise this treasured privilege.
Whatever your point of view—please vote!
See you next month!