Archive for March, 2008

I write a lot of blog posts on my BlackBerry, which works out pretty well. WordPress provides a mobile site with the basic posting features, although you can’t do stuff like edit old posts or retrieve a draft. Given the limited intent of the mobile version, that’s fine with me. But one thing drives me […]

1.) “Thanks for taking the time to report this problem” (even if you already knew about it) 2.) “We’ll look into the issue and will give you a status update within two days” (so they know when to expect a response) 3.) “A few other customers told us about the problem, but it’s helpful to […]

Second chances


I installed a new program today. Actually, I installed it three times. Why? Because I neglected to choose the right options for my computer from the littany of obscure choices on the installer screen. I discovered this after about two hours of trial and error for what should have been a 15 minute process. But […]

A friend of mine works in the TV industry. He recently applied for a job at a new station, and they said he was their top choice for the opening, with a final decision to be made in a few weeks. Each time he spoke to them prior to the decision date, they confirmed that […]

I’m no expert on how to name a new product or company. But I can certainly spot a bad name when I see it. Here’s one sign that your name is going to be trouble: there are three or more ways to spell it, and none of them looks “right” to the average customer. In […]

If you ask a customer a question and they refuse to answer, it probably means something. Here are a few possible explanations: 1.) You haven’t earned the right to an answer, e.g. you’re asking them to fill out a 50 question survey when you routinely ignore their tech support requests. 2.) They feel nothing good […]

A customer recently asked me to help choose a laser printer from several Samsung models. So I went to the Samsung website, and located the list of available printers. Three or four of the models looked promising, so I tried to “middle click” on each product name to view the info in a new browser […]

Blind faith


I placed an order at last weekend and they shipped it the following business day. When I got the shipping confirmation, it said the package was sent UPS ground to arrive in… 21 days. Sounds a bit sluggish to me. I knew the order was being fulfilled by a different merchant (rather than Amazon […]

Sometimes we get so used to dealing with bugs in the products we use that we forget these defects even exist. In other cases, we’re acutely aware of the issue but we stop using that feature for other reasons, so the problem fades from view. For me, the file upload window in is a […]

If you’ve ever sold products to large companies, you’re probably quite familiar with Request for Proposal documents, or RFP’s. I could write volumes about how much I dislike the RFP approach to procurement, but that’s not my focus today. Rather, I want to talk about a peculiar feature of a recent RFP that we received. […]