Ben from Church of the Customer, an early member of the Industry Blog Index at my Success Blogging site, has written an open letter to movie theatre owners in an attempt to stop them from forcing us to watch commercials. Its a nice thought, but its not going to happen unless we walk with our feet. How about a comprimise? Why not but real commercials before the movie starts, instead of those silly movie quizes and actor name jumbles. For the most part, we all get into our seats at least 10 minutes before the movie starts anyway. At least then we don't feel ripped off because we know we're there early, so we don't feel like we're paying to watch commercials. In fact, you could sell 15 minutes straight of commericals, with each slot getting more expensive as it gets closer to the movie. In Manhatten, for example, people are in their seats by at least a 1/2 hour before big movies and we just sit there watching the same "Who said that?" ad four times. I don't blame movie theaters for trying to increase revenues... but they're missing out on one revenue opportunity and annoying us with another. How about switching?
So yesterday I went to lunch with Suzie. I was starving, and I generally eat a lot of sushi when I go out, but the relative difference in what we ordered was hilarious, so I took a picture of it.
Mena (Mee-na? Meh-na?) posted about great customer service and I agree that excellence should be rewarded. (And perhaps I'll write a Time Warner Broadband bashing post at some point as well, too.) My best customer service experience, by far, has been with Factset. Factset is an online financial data provider used by many large institutions to get stock prices, income statistics, etc. Sure, we do pay a lot for the service, but there are a lot of services that we pay heavily for that don't have the kind of support that Factset does. Many times, I've relied on representatives from Factset to follow up on problems, and while they can't always answer a question right away, they'll always get back to me that day with a status update. The most impressive work came from another service rep there who was guiding me through a process to build some customized groups of companies. The work was very tedious and after he showed me how to do one group, he offered to actually do the work for me! I must have had 21 customized groups of 10-15 companies each... easily would have taken me about 2-3 hours to do and he had it done by the end of the day. I'm sure he was able to do it faster, but still. Once I e-mailed him an Excel file of how I wanted the groups set up, he did all of the necessary work on Factset. I nearly fell off my chair when he offered. I've got to believe that with service like that, their retention rate is extremely high.
You can now register for my class at the Learning Annex! I'm not thrilled about the "And fatten your wallet" tagline and its not how I'd like to portray the class. Its really for serious minded professionals interested in career development, not people looking for get rich quick schemes. Alas, they're trying to bring people in and sell the program hard, so I can't knock them too hard. :)