Archive for May, 2009

I got a very thick envelope in the mail from the AAA (the auto club people). Inside was an elaborate direct mail letter explaining that “customers like me” enjoy their AAA membership and get a lot of value from it. The trouble is, nobody in my household has had a car for years. So much […]

If you’ve worked in any sort of customer-facing role within an organization, you’re probably familiar with the saying “underpromise and overdeliver”. In other words, set very modest expectations upfront so that you can consistently exceed those expectations in the end. One of the easiest ways to implement this approach revolves around delivery dates. For example, […]

The other day, I got a confirmation email from “nobody”. How is that even possible? Well, someone must have configured their auto-responder to show the name “nobody” in the From field. That’s really quite sloppy. When configuring default settings for email systems, it’s much smarter to enter your company name as the default value. Otherwise, […]

One of my favorite restaurants, Yolk, is opening a new location a little bit closer to my apartment. However, you’d never know it from their website, which hasn’t been updated in months. In fact, I only heard about the news from a local dining website. When you’re expanding to a new location, it makes sense […]

If a public transit authority is even half-decent, they’ll post any upcoming service advisories on their website. Typically, this includes construction projects that will result in closings or slowdowns on certain routes, inclement weather notices, etc. However, they rarely seem to consider the impact of special events along their routes. For instance, if there’s a […]

I once read that a little bit of messiness tends to increase retail sales. In other words, if people see that stacks of books, sweaters, or any other product are perfectly neat and orderly, they’re afraid to mess with them — meaning that they browse less and buy less. But if those same displays are […]

I read a few webcomics on a regular basis. Recently, I noticed that many of these webcomics provide a prominent notice about how often they’re updated, e.g. “New comics every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday”. However, you rarely see the same sort of update information on text-based blogs. Perhaps this reflects differences in visitor behavior: comic […]

My dentist takes punctuality very seriously. In fact, if you’re late more than a few times, they threaten to make you pay a fee for missing the scheduled appointment. Luckily, I’ve never run into this problem myself, but I can clearly see how the policy helps the office run more efficiently — which benefits the […]

If I could add one feature to every website and software product that I use, I’d vote for a “Delete All” button. For instance, I’m really sick of products that are designed to let you send and receive messages, yet force you to delete the old messages one by one. So the more you use […]

The shiny new CVS store in my neighborhood was scheduled to open over the weekend. Well, the weekend came and went, and the same “Coming Soon” sign is still on the window, with no indication of when the store will actually be opening. I don’t know what caused the delay — perhaps they’re waiting for […]