Customer experience and trust: an AT&T case study

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When I worked closely with Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, the authors of the customer experience book Outside In, I learned how most customer experience problems are rooted deep within corporate systems. That’s what happened to me this week in an interaction with AT&T. The odyssey of dropping a line from AT&T My son, a … Continued

Opportunities in the economic restart

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As vaccinations rise, lockdowns lift, and consumers once again feel confident, expect an economic surge in the US in the spring and summer of 2021. But the new economy will not look like what we had before. Three things will drive the economic resurgence. First, at least among Americans with middle incomes and above, savings … Continued

Why the puck are you using that hackneyed quotation?

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“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Wayne Gretzky “Do you really think we haven’t heard this a thousand times? Uggh.” Weary readers For the second time in the last year, I was editing a business book that cited this overused, stale, moth-eaten, clichéd Gretzky quote. In … Continued

Citibank and Comcast demonstrate two awesome ways to fail in public

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It’s been a rough 12 months. It’s been a rough week, if you’re anywhere in the US with weather. But you know, it’s still a good time to review your processes, because now that there is an Internet and social media, your failures are visible to everyone. Just ask Comcast and Citibank. Comcast Cares about … Continued

Forensic editing

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A follower recently described my analysis of companies according to the flaws in their writing as “forensic editing.” I’ve decided to adopt that as my slogan. Frankly, I can’t help it. Forensic editing is what I do. My editorial work started within companies. It is a crime to edit the work of colleagues without considering … Continued

How your organization’s writing reveals its problems — and potential fixes

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All organizations have challenges. What I’ve realized in the past two years is that you can spot those challenges just from reviewing what and how you write. Better writing can even help you fix some of those organizational problems. I’ve given dozens of writing workshops to a variety of organizations: startups, law firms, entertainment companies, … Continued

Fight pernicious confirmation bias: 8 great ways to farm for dissent

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I’m struck by how one psychological tendency — confirmation bias — is at the root of all the trends undermining our society. There is a solution: it’s called “farming for dissent.” Confirmation bias is “a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.” And as humans, we are all … Continued

How the FireEye post about being hacked could be clearer

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FireEye is a cyber security company with tools you can use to test your systems. Somebody hacked them and stole the tools. I’ll give FireEye credit for discussing the theft honestly, but they’ve got a bit to learn about clarity under pressure. Analyzing FireEye’s post Here’s the post with my analysis. FireEye Shares Details of … Continued