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Newsletter #022 • 23 January 2018
Customer Centric
The weekly digest for the customer-obsessed
Dear Earthling,

It’s not at all hard to imagine a consumerist dystopia where the cheapest products come at the high price of unhelpful, tone-deaf customer service.

We only have that scarf in red, which, regrettably, isn’t really your color. Half off today, though. 

I’ll take two—only regret having to go through you, Meany McMeanface! 😎 

If you were given the choice, would you rather have bad customer service and a cheaper product, or good customer service and a more expensive product? 

According to The Atlantic’s Daniel Indiviglio, nobody likes bad customer service, but we like what bad customer service gets us: cheaper products.

But is lower prices all we care about? Can’t we have the best of both worlds? 

This article may have been written 10 years ago, but it is still relevant today. If for no other reason than to give a different perspective on what customers want and how they make decisions. 

Happy readings, and be cool,
Maria

 
🔖  This week's top picks 
😱 We prefer bad customer service
We like bad customer service. At first glance, that statement seems absurd. Nobody likes bad customer service. But, according to The Atlantic’s Daniel Indiviglio, we like what bad customer service provides: cheaper products.

Companies right now do not have incentives in place to promote good customer service, because they know that they'll be more profitable if they keep costs down and offer cheap products, because that's what people care more about. 
🤷 What will we leave behind for the underrepresented in tech?
Women are able to vote, drive, own property, pursue almost any career they want, raise a child alone. This is possible because courageous women (and others) before us fought for us to have these rights. What will we achieve for the women coming 10 years or 20 years after us?
🌟 Why everyone should work in customer support (at least sometimes)
Every new hire at Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com and the amazing WooCommerce plugin) starts off with a two-week support rotation. It doesn’t matter whether you are a developer, a designer, a product manager, or a new division lead – you’ll be working alongside our Happiness Engineers for the first two weeks. Usually, this means answering tickets for WordPress.com customers, maybe even dipping a toe into live chat.
🤖 Scaling support for 150,000+ customers using AI
If you really think about it, all of AI is basically a march towards building machines which can behave, process, and think like humans (but of course, not replace them). Like all the major industries, our SaaS world is adopting AI like never before. There are experiments across verticals to use AI to remove redundancy and increase the utilization of available resources.
👨‍💻 The tech world’s best CEO? Microsoft’s Nadella, hands down.
Over the years, plenty of kudos have been directed at the people at the helms of big tech companies. Until recent hard times, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Alphabet’s Sergey Brin, among others, have been fawned over by a compliant press and portrayed as visionaries and great leaders.

But the world’s best tech leader hasn’t been lionized, not even now that the tech giant he has guided for almost five years remains relatively stable amid jumpy markets.

 
✨ That’s what she said: the impact of pop culture on language
In a world where we are influenced by media content, celebrities, and Mercury (only when in retrograde), we can’t help wondering: how do pop culture phrases make their way into the language we use on a daily basis?
 
💡 Speaking words of wisdom

Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

— Big Lebowski
 
Pssst, tweet me.
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