Dick Lee

Which Will Cost VW more: Government-Mandated Repairs or Damage to Customer Trust & Loyalty?

We now know the emissions problem affects not only VWs, but Porsches and Audis with 4-cylinder diesels as well. And we just learned the air pollution issues affect 6-cylinder diesels as well as 4s. Will VW suffer more from direct costs of repairing some...

Why Won’t Sellers Subtract the Downside of too Frequent eMarketing from the Supposed Upside?

Most marketing, sales and even service managers share a blind spot. They “measure” assumed positive outcomes of their promotional efforts, but never the damage done with us customers. In fact, they deny spamming, too frequent communication with us, even selling on customer service calls...

Is Unethical Advertising Sufficient Reason For You to Rule Out a Vendor?

I raise this question after I walked out of a Sprint Store shaking my head and vowing never to do business with them again, once again. Look, we all know how aptly wireless carriers add on fees, buy try this one on for size. …

Is McDonald’s Suffering from a Poor Product – or a Sweeping Change in Customer...

McDonald’s has seen slipping sales numbers for a couple of years now. In response, management is playing with the menu and making other changes around the margins. But is that enough? Sure In-N-Out Burger and Sonic are growing and taking market share on...

In Digital Home Entertainment, Who’s Winning the Race to the Bottom?

The digital home entertainment industry ranks dead last in customer service. The major players - Comcast, DirectTV and Dish Network - routinely enrage customers with shoddy service. And that left me with a dilemma recently when the combination of DirecTV and ISP CenturyLink (which...

Can Government Improve the U.S. Economy by Putting Some Jingle Back into Worker/Customer Pockets?

As we know, by definition buyers having more money to spend improves our economy. But can government increase the spending supply? For once, he answer appears to be “yes.” Under public pressure, states have started the ball rolling by increasing minimum wages. And public...

How Can We Help Broke Consumers Spend More Money?

With 70%+ of our domestic economy created by still lagging consumer spending, our economy remains in the toilet. But who’s willing to step up and do anything about it? Whose responsibility is it? Do we just hound financially strapped families and individuals until they...

Did Customers Help Slay the Walmart Dragon? You Betcha

Walmart announced last week they will soon start paying their 500,000 employees a $9/hour minimum. And next year the minimum wage jumps to $10/hour. As paltry as these raises may seem to the well-employed, they matter to employees trying to raise children on a...

Aetna puts $16/hr floor under customer-facing employee wages: just smart business or start of...

CEO Mark Bertolini offered a host of good business reasons for substantially raising customer-serving employee wages – plus unusual sensitivity to employee economic struggles. Clearly Bertolini was trying to give his company a recruiting and retention edge. But did he instead fire one of...

Does Work Expand to Occupy Excess Staffing (and what does that have to do...

How often do you see employees sitting around and twiddling their thumbs? Almost never. Employers would fire or lay off everyone “not needed.” But how often do you see busy and purposeful employees doing work that looks important but adds no value – not...

Are Corporations Speeding Up “Adoption of Customer First” Strategies or Slowing Down?

Think big business here. Five years ago we were extolling Amazon, Costco, Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, Trader Joe’s and a small circle of other large companies for putting customers first. Today, the list remains pretty much the same, except for perhaps deleting Amazon (for unfair...

What do Customers have to Say about Brand, Marketing & Advertising?

After extensive customer research, both quantitative and qualitative, I’m here to tell you – very little that’s positive. Among the sorest of sore points are “incessant promotion,” email abuse (just another flavor), sellers not being able to understand what’s valuable to customers, sellers unable...

Amazon & Southwest Airlines Both Falling from the "Circle of the Customer-Centric"

Many companies that intend to become or stay customer-centric lose their way – and in similar fashion. First they attain customer-centric status with customers. Then they pursue growth opportunities at the cost of diluting their previous standards for customer care. And they wind up...

Bad Process. Bad Customer Service. Common Practice

Yesterday Bank of America put me through a very unpleasant but very common experience. Their ebanking center tried to pay my BofA card account out of a long-closed checking account. The payment was not made; they didn't notify me of the problem; then I...

Time for Tech Support to Eat its Own Dog Food (and that includes Google...

We users of tech support services are getting lots of pushback from technology support services of software sellers in particular but tech support in other sectors. Your problem? You believe we're being rude, disrespectful and otherwise inappropriate. And you're right. But you're wrong, too....

Why Don’t Companies Base Head Count on Meeting Customer Requirements?

I just read two news articles this morning of the type that make me gnash my teeth and shake my head. Both involved Fortune companies planned to cut staff by the thousands based on bad financial results. Say what? To these companies, I ask,...

Can Best Buy be Saved?

If Best Buy founder Richard Schulze and his team succeed in their planned hostile takeover (and take-private) of Best Buy, they face a daunting turnaround task. How do they fix this? My wife's computer crashed at a horrible time, and she needed to replace it...

Do Sellers Need to Act in the Public Interest?

Putting "should" considerations aside, on the hole, do you believe acting contrary to public interest really hurts sellers? This question is really about buyers and whether they still care. I can think of several examples that might support both "yes" and "no" answers. Looking back...

How Would You React to a Black Friday Strike Against Walmart?

Judging by the number of class action employee suits filed against it (many won by plaintiffs), Walmart may be the most abusive major employer in the U.S. Walmart store workers are planning a one-day "strike" on Black Friday to protest benefits and working conditions...

How Much Does Corporate Design Fight Customer-Centricity?

Historically, virtually all corporate entities have been designed from production/service delivery out (inside-out). And a few unlucky companies have been designed from accounting out (upside-down). In either case, when companies try to redesign strategy and process from the customer in (outside-in), they run...

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