Customer delight is a typically geek concept

Customer satisfaction, sure. But "delight"? I'm gonna puke. Let's stop misusing that word.

There are three kinds of people:
Technophiles who derive great pleasure and satisfaction from technology.
Tech-neutral people who can deal with technology but don't particularly like it and don't emotionally engage with it or derive pleasure from it.

Making fun of Customer First

It's too easy...

Loving the customer

Treat the managers of organisations with a little respect when they choose to set their customer service levels where they do. It's a bit patronising to assume they are fools and you know more about customer service than they do. If they fail in their business strategy because of poor customer service, THEN you can dance around saying "I told you so". I don't see Comcast or Microsoft going broke because of their customer service.

Customer value

The cult of the customer keeps popping up to annoy me. Yesterday I posted about how being customer-centric doesn't mean spending all our time with the customer, about how it's important to spend most of our time inside the factory, delivering. Today I want to talk about "customer value" and how it isn't the Holy Grail of IT. We as organisations don't exist for our customers. We exist for the continuance of the organisation, Click to tweet We exist to maximise value for the organisation, whether it be commercial, public or non-profit. It's not anti-customer to realise they are not the be-all and end-all of our existence.

The goal of our activities should be to maximise value for our organisation. That value is defined by the owners and governors of the organisation not the customers.

The measurement of value is of course different for every organisation. Customer value is not one such metric. Stop foaming: let me explain.


OK I've had it with the cult of the customer. I just saw one remark too many about "it's all inward-looking". We need to be inward-looking most of the time or we're not doing our ****ing job. Let me illustrate with that favourite analogy: a water supply.

A case study in bad customer service

We all have our horror stories of customer service. Few people have as many as me - I seem to have a hex on transacting any business with any entity. I like to say I am lucky in the big things in life so I pay for it with bad luck in the little things. When I couldn't stand the instability of ADSL internet connection any more (since I run webinars etc from home), I decided to be an early adopter of New Zealand's Ultra Fast Broadband (i.e. optical fibre) rollout. It didn't go well. Along the way just about every service sin was committed.

Just how awesome is Net Promoter

Any product that gets the evangelical reaction that Net Promoter Score or NPS does, immediately raises my skeptical hackles even before I take a good look at it. Chokey the Chimp smells marketing hype from miles downwind.

The cult of the customer

Examine your assumptions around "customer first". Often but not always. There is such a thing as over-servicing the customer. Who is paying and what do THEY want? The Cult of the Customer forgets that the customer is only one end of the value chain, not every link.

IT: to protect and serve

The motto "to protect and serve" is a good one for IT.

Who is the customer?

It is important to distinguish between customers and users, as ITIL does. Confusing the two leads to problems.

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