Leadership on Point

The Rebellious Customer, Part I (Part II is inevitable)

January 19, 2011 Richard Levin

Although Sirius XM Satellite Radio is beginning to emerge from its deep financial doldrums, it is remarkable they are surviving with their current business processes.  I realized the credit card I use to pay my XM bill was about to expire, so I went online to update my profile.  I encountered an error message that told me I couldn’t access my account because my credit card had to be updated.  They advised that I call XM Listener Cares, where I received a recording that “due to heavy call volume, we advise you to use our website to manage your account”.  Caught in a classic Catch 22, I sent an e-mail to Customer Service.  The response: “We apologize for the inconvenience.  Please go to our website to update your account.”  How can a company stay in business when you have to jump through hoops to pay them?………………………The Apple iPhone, in many ways the best phone I’ve ever owned, has a tendency to erase its own calendar.  If you have an iPhone, you might want to discuss this with Apple or AT&T…………………..Spirit Airlines’ decision to charge for carry-on luggage has to qualify for whatever award organizations give out for dumbest decision of the year.  Do you have other nominees?………When I checked in to a luxury hotel on a recent business trip, I entered my room and discovered a woman had checked in to my room before I did.  Some businessmen might find this a fantasy come true.  When I called the front desk, they sent Security to investigate.  Security tried to convince me the woman inside my room was my wife. My wife was not on this business trip.  I’m convinced Jerry Seinfeld’s Bizarro World is becoming reality.



Written by Dr. Richard Levin, President of Richard Levin & Associates. He can be reached at rlevin@richardlevinassociates.com.

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In the New Marketplace, the Customer is King

January 12, 2011 Richard Levin

Now that the holidays have come and gone, what have we learned?  If we didn’t know it already, we’ve learned that the customer is quirky, unpredictable, demanding, and…more than ever, the customer is king.  We’ve also learned that many businesses haven’t figured this out.  They feel the customer is an intrusion into their workday, and businesses are still woefully unprepared to deal with the challenging customer.

But just to clarify: this is not going to be a business-bashing blog.  On the contrary.  It’s a wake-up call for both the business and the customer, neither of whom understands their new role in a very different marketplace.  For businesses, it’s time to learn how to see around corners, to shine a spotlight in to the dark corners of the consumer’s psyche, and most of all to be prepared.

The marketplace is a psychological place, not just a physical and financial one.  It’s filled with mind-games, strange behaviors, and psychopathology.


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Achieve Your Goals in 2011

January 5, 2011 Jim Desrosiers

Wow!  2010 for most of us was pretty rough.  The economy bottomed out.  It started to rise off the floor…barely…and has stalled.  Sure, there’s business being done and money still to be made, but only for those who are “playing to win” instead of “playing not to lose“.  You can win in 2011…here’s how:

#1 – People have a poor attitude about current conditions.  Remember the saying, “If you think you’re going to win, you’re right.  If you think you’re going to lose, you are also right!”  I agree, business has not been easy.  However, we need to stay committed to our beliefs that we can win, we have a valuable product or service with a beneficial value proposition to our clients, and that we will win…no matter what.  Question 1:  Do you &/or your team have the proper attitude and belief system to succeed?


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