Seth Godin hit on a topic that I’ve thought about a lot over the last few months during my back and forth trips to Santa Monica — it’s complaceny, lack of initiative or downright zombiness.
He talks about the state of affairs at the Javits Center around conferences — that there’s never enough seats, and the garbage cans are always overflowing. Now, if this happens once or twice around an unforseen event, everyone is quite forgiving. The trouble is that Javits holds massive conferences EVERY DAY! So, that tells us not that they were caught off-guard, but rather that no one gives a rat’s ass about fixing the problem!
Some other examples of this:
- When airline security ramped up, and we were all required to take our shoes off, I was irked, but OK, with the fact that most airline TSA locations didn’t have a plethora of chairs for people to use to put their shoes back on — however, it’s now several YEARS after the fact, and it’s still very common (in Seattle, LAX, and many others) to have 3 chairs for the 1,000’s of customers streaming through
- My webhost (Globat… avoid them…) had some problems about 8 weeks ago with keeping their stats updated — for some reason, the daily online metrics stopped refreshing. I submitted a trouble ticket the first time and received a polite email and prompt resolution. That was fantastic. What hasn’t been so great is now I need to submit a trouble ticket EVERY TIME I’d like my metrics updated, and I get a similar reply.
What this tells me is that these people don’t use their own products, which is fair I guess, given the cost of them. But I don’t think you need to be a heavy product user to be aware of your customer’s pain and suffering, or likely issues.
You just need to care.