Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Behaviour and Action, Cause and Effect

 Oh Great Shiny Bubble

The New York Times gives a great visualisation of house value declines in the USA. Irish site FinFacts gives a long history of warning signs that went unheeded, and practices that drove this frenzied behaviour. But the question I really have is that even with all this information, and other information besides, would our behaviour and actions change? I mean lets face it lots of people knew we were in a housing bubble but most were still drawn to its shiny bubble surface. I think I need to dig a little into decision making within certain timeframe's and unreasonable weighing up of "perhaps lots of money next year", versus "reasonable money in ten years" (i.e. delayed gratification). Another way of looking at it could be the "problem of the commons" in that by acting in our own short term interest we brought about a collective collapse. Most commentators to date have focused on bad lending practices, but what about our own bad borrowing practices and our attitude to credit?

Data Is The Path To Insight?

I have been thinking that the key capability of a company may be the ability to generat Insight. But now, I am not so sure.(HT: Denis Pombriant)

“The necessary outcome of strategic planning is not analytical insight but resolve” (David Maister)

By this I am sure he means we know that the right things to do are, its just not always that interesting to keep doing them or to get them done. It does remind me of Werner Vogels at Telco2 saying that they knew (Amazon) that they had to focus on scope of catalogue, building visitor traffic, and lowering costs everywhere. Their "platform strategy" had to be a committed strategy, and joined up, and the management had to have the resolve to see it through, even though shareholders were unlikely to understand what they were doing, initially. Perhaps some of this resolve came from the CEO who has invested in some "dogs" in his day, but the learning led them to Platform strategy, and to Kindle, both billion dollar businesses. That and a "relentless focus on being customer centric".

So Why Is Customer Service Still In Trouble?

Well, perhaps its the small things that count. Mashable just posted up their take on a recent pew report that shows we are absolute crap at getting customer service, particularly around Tech support.

- 38% of users with failed technology contacted user support for help.
- 28% of technology users fixed the problem themselves.
- 15% fixed the problem with help from friends or family.
- 15% of tech users were unable to fix their devices.
- 2% found help online.

Consumers’ Attitudes About Various Forms of Tech Support:

- 72% felt confident that they were on the right track to solving the problem.
- 59% felt impatient to solve the problem because they had important uses for the broken technology.
- 48% felt discouraged with the amount of effort needed to fix the problem.
- 40% felt confused by the information that they were getting.

Wow, nearly 60% were so convinced the company wouldn't be able to give them good service, that they just didn't bother to call ! It felt like it was going to need a "big effort to fix", that it was making them feel "impatient", and then probably "discouraged" and angry? I think this may be a case of "interaction friction" before the customer even gets on the phone, or the web.

All This Miracles And We Are Still Miserable?

Eric over at Demand Satisfaction posted this video that just shows, perhaps, how unacceptably jaded we have become about the miracles of technology.

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