Archive for February, 2010

Newspapers, Customer Service and Product Delivery

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

So here’s a good one. I emailed my local (large) newspaper yesterday, The Seattle Times, and asked when the paper was supposed to be delivered to my home in the morning. They gave me the times for weekday and weekend. I then emailed back and asked that my paper arrive by those times. They responded “We will notify your carrier”.

Two issues in one. First, Customer Service. Shouldn’t they have said “We will ensure that your paper arrives on time”? The principle here is that customer service should take the problem from the customer and resolve it – not bounce it to some other part of the organization as if they were somehow different. In the eyes of the customer they are all the same.

Second, we have the issue of Product Delivery. What other large organizations rely on independent contractors to leave their product on your driveway (or in the bushes, out in the rain, etc.), hopefully in time to be of use?

Is this a useful business model for the 21st century?