Wednesday, February 21, 2007

remarkable customer service

"I'm using the word remarkable literally—the goal is to provide customer service so good that people remark."
so says joel in a recent article on the topic of customer service. i guess i'm not ignorant of the theories and principles in customer service, as mostly covered in the 7 steps joel expounds in the article. having worked in various customer service roles for some time now, i am much more aware of the occasional good and often ordinary or sometimes bad customer service that i receive as a customer - but i can't say that i set out to provide remarkable customer service. maybe because i'm getting rather sick of my current role, and because the 8th step to providing customer service seems to be somewhat lacking in my workplace...

and maybe if customer service staff were given the freedom to provide customer service without the constraints of having their performance measured by average call handling times and the like. one colleague, when asked by a customer as to what it's like to work here, answered:
"I have two words for you: battery hens."
i thought it was funny. if only it didn't sometimes feel too true!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

happy new year?

there's never much of an atmosphere for chinese new year in these parts of the world. i wasn't even sure which day CNY actually fell on. in a more asian setting, one might break out the mahjong set and go a few rounds. but not me (mostly because i don't have a mahjong set :p) - i've been getting into a bit of texas holdem poker, so took the opportunity last night to break in my new set of chips after the clay intro/dessert party ended.

i thought i'd post the few pics i took at clay, since k seemed appreciative that her efforts at arranging the food did not go unnoticed ;) even the humble lamingtons were given a bit of a lift!

and of course there's a pic of my poker chips... thanks to some dogged and savvy ebay bidding, the beauty of multiple purchases with combined shipping, and a bit of onselling, my set are effective free - not bad for something that would retail in the 3 digit mark :) there's even some surplus that i'm puting towards better quality cards (the ones in the set were... let's just say not the greatest), viz. a double (duo-tone) set of classic bicycle 808 rider backs.

oh and i'm also getting a black tiger and ghost deck, mostly as a differentiation device (and cos they look cool :p) and as a bit of indulgence/spending of the ang pao money that i don't actually get anymore! i didn't realise these cards are used more widely for magic tricks than playing, until i found blank cards which you obviously can't play with but are handy for tricks like this:

neat huh? for the curious, here's how it's done.