Sunday, March 25, 2007

Can Early Adopters Live With Non-Adopters?

Do you know someone like this?
If you are reading this right now, chances are it means that you have enough computer knowledge to click enough keys to get here.

Do you know someone who does not own a computer or use one?
Have they ever expressed their thoughts about computers, or have you tried to get them to use one? Do they use other devices such as microwave ovens, VCR, or cell phones?
Yesterday a woman who uses email avidly for her business explained to me that her husband does not use a computer, but he does most of the cooking...hmm...that could be a viable package!
Someone I know who has a thriving blog mentioned that one of their siblings probably does not have an email address.
Then there's a woman I encounter on a path - she walks her dog, I ride my bike - after chatting a few times, she disclosed that she does not have a computer. I did notice as we talked that she exchanged greetings with most passersby, calling out to them by name.
And within a family, there can be a few members who readily make use of the computer/Internet and others who do not.
Interesting, too, are the people who use the computer heavily for just one thing, and have little inclination to go beyond that one program or website.
So, how does this uneven adoption of technology effect people in your social interactions?
In what ways does it effect the quality of life?

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Customer Service Was Outstanding!

BusinessWeekOnline recently posted a list of its top 25 companies in customer service and it brought to mind an experience my family had while traveling in Columbia, South Carolina a few years ago. We had been on the road for six days, and with snowstorms and illness, we had needed to adjust our schedule and geographic ambitions several times. We found ourselves that evening at a Sonic trying to order some of those red-colored, crushed-ice kind of drinks that many fast food places offer.
Fatigued from our journey, I was having trouble figuring out exactly which version and size of those drinks my companions wanted, so I faltered several times placing the order through the speaker near the car. The carhop patiently explained the details of the drinks, and when she brought the order to the car, again inquired if what she brought matched our expectations, adding that she would get replacements if needed. A couple minutes later, as she walked past our vehicle, she made eye contact and gave a questioning look to see if we were still satisfied with our order.
Not only had our thirst been quenched, but she had managed to boost our spirits again. An incredible return on our $4 investment. What made this all the more amazing is that she maintained her please-the-customer demeanor while wearing a hat with a tiny propeller on top.
For some more thoughts on the subject, may I suggest
JoelonSoftware for his "Seven steps to remarkable customer service."