Last month I watched Mike Judge’s hysterical view of the future, Idiocracy, which predicts a future where stupidity rises to the top in the evolutionary process as smart people are more selective with their birth rates than stupid ones. Luke Wilson — who improbably is frozen into hibernation, only to thaw out in a garbage avalanche — is the smartest man in the world.
Which isn’t saying much.
Anyway, Luke has to save the world from starvation as the idiots have decided that water is for toilets only and that all crops should be watered with Brawndo, a sports energy drink that flows out of even the water fountains.
Today’s front page of the New York Times gives us the great news from the soda companies that they will introduce “new carbonated drinks that are fortified with vitamins and minerals.”
One exec argued at an industry conference, that “his diet products should be included in the health and wellness category because, with few or no calories, they are a logical answer to expanding waistlines.”
Former colleague points out that Sprint has launched a user community to fight the perception the company doesn’t listen. Interesting format — semi-blog, semi-forum, definite community. Cingular has had a more traditional threaded forum for some time, using users to help users and promoting the more prolific and helpful to the status of “cell tower.”
Interesting developments — part of a trifecta as Mark Hopkins in our proactive support team would put it.
Monitoring — the listening post that seeks cries for help and aggravation.
Forums — a company hosted facility for users to help themselves and seek guidance from other users … as well as company expertise.
Blogs — the company’s communication channel for presenting its story, but also permitting customers to freely comment.
Tristan at Sprint writes in the welcome post at Buzz About Wireless:
“I have been with Sprint Nextel for almost three years. In that time I have learned a lot, both directly and anecdotally, about what our customers think of us via other boards, in our retail stores, reading emails, the list is pretty long…not all the stories are good.
Here are some of the weaknesses I have heard from you:
• We don’t listen.
• We have lost the human side.
• We haven’t really helped you.
To prove we are listening we have taken on launching this community to open an honest dialogue about wireless technology and service. I believe, along with many other folks here at Sprint, this community will be an excellent place to start having conversations that are meaningful to you and us.”
“What surprised me most about Lenovo was the suggestion by many that things have actually gotten better since the China-based company took over IBM’s PC business. “I have never seen a company stand by its warranties as well as Lenovo,” wrote one reader.”
When you’re on the front lines and hanging out in the open with your cell phone number and personal email available for unhappy customers to call — and they do call — it’s easy to lose sight of the good side of caring about customer service and product quality. Every now and then something great gets said, and that makes it all worth while.