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2 posts from November 2007

Monday, 12 November 2007

7 Steps to Remarkable Customer Service

Excellent Joel Spolsky article on customer service: Seven steps to remarkable customer service.

2. Suggest blowing out the dust

Microsoft’s Raymond Chen tells the story of a customer who complains that the keyboard isn’t working. Of course, it’s unplugged. If you try asking them if it’s plugged in, “they will get all insulted and say indignantly, ‘Of course it is! Do I look like an idiot?’ without actually checking.”

“Instead,” Chen suggests, “say ‘Okay, sometimes the connection gets a little dusty and the connection gets weak. Could you unplug the connector, blow into it to get the dust out, then plug it back in?’

“They will then crawl under the desk, find that they forgot to plug it in (or plugged it into the wrong port), blow out the dust, plug it in, and reply, ‘Um, yeah, that fixed it, thanks.’”

Many requests for a customer to check something can be phrased this way. Instead of telling them to check a setting, tell them to change the setting and then change it back “just to make sure that the software writes out its settings.”

The 5 Competencies of UX Design

Steve Psomas describes the 5 Competencies of UX Design in UX Matters.

  1. IA
  2. IxD
  3. Usability Engineering
  4. Visual Design
  5. Prototype Engineering

For each he outlines the questions to ask yourself and the options for doing the groundwork and delivering the output. The author advises using these competencies to help determine you strengths and weaknesses and as an individual and as a team.

If you, like me, are deep into making design decisions day after day, you might at times become disoriented and need to realign your thinking about the appropriateness and purpose of the task at hand. It’s important that we come up for air once in a while, not only in the midst of creating our deliverables, but also when managing our time and our team’s expectations.

Our industry is at a crossroads, scrambling to adjust to the demand for richness in Web applications. Design principles, processes, tools, and resources are changing, too. So, now we need to clarify the value of UX design and the competencies it offers to the greater product development process.

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