Wednesday, January 17, 2007

CSRs are an important customer-company touchpoint

I purchased a Dell Laptop last week after my previous Dell laptop was stolen. I made the purchase online and inadvertently added an $80 car adaptor. I have no use for a car adaptor, other than throwing it at another driver, and I could find cheaper substitutes for that, so I called Dell the other night to set up a return.

“My name is Mary,” said the Dell customer service representative from India. “How may I help you?” Her name is Mary like mine is Nipeadooleepasling.

“Mary, I’d like to return a car adaptor.” She told me she could help me, and after ten minutes of providing information that she painstakingly repeated back to me in her adorable, chirpy, heavily accented voice from thousands of miles away, we got disconnected.

I called back, this time reaching “Susan.” I was making the call from my cell phone, wearing an ear piece while eating frozen yogurt at Costco. I finished my treat, and judging by the repetition and confirmation of every word I uttered, I figured the call was going to take a while. Spying a guitar on the far wall, I grabbed it, tuned it, sat on a piano bench and started playing. Twenty minutes later, Susan, in her adorable, chirpy, heavily accented voice said, “I don’t know why we’re getting that hold music, Mr. Robert.” I laughed and told her I was playing guitar. “Really? Huh.” was her response. Bored out of my mind, I asked her if she had any requests. “I do not understand. I am helping you resolve your issue. Do you have a question?”

After ten more minutes of her tapping at computer keys and me strumming guitar strings, Susan told me she had to transfer me.

Enter “Diane,” and a repetition of the entire process. I had no patience at this point. “You’re in India, Diane?”


“Doesn’t it blow your mind that I’m thousands of miles away, strumming a guitar and we’re talking? We’re worlds apart, yet we hear each other.”

“Yes. I can help you return your item.”

“Diane, are you married?”

Pause. “I need your full phone number, area code first.”

“Diane, are you married?”

Suppressed giggling. “No.”

“If we weren’t so far apart, we could go bowling. Do you bowl, Diane?”

“No. Do you have your order or customer number?”

Ten minutes later, Diane asked if I could hear the hold music. I told her I was playing guitar. She laughed. “You play very well.” I told her I practiced a lot that night. She then told me she had to transfer me to the right department.

Next up: Tina. We straightened everything out in three minutes, and she told me anyone I spoke to previously could have set up a return. I told her about my long wait, and she offered me a Dell coupon. I got $150 and a good amount of work in on Ionian scales. Dell’s a great company. They care about their customers.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I must have watched too much Bowl TV - Statue of Liberty play & Led Zeppelin?!

This will not be another tired blog post dissecting Bowl games tactics, stars or debating a playoff system. Instead, this will be another tired blog post looking at the popular culture significance of said Bowl season.

Some New Year's Eve Bowl: U of Miami wins a bowl game on a blue field. Didn't Miami used to be pretty good in the Big East? By the way, blue is so cool, but I now want tie-dyed field at Cal-Berkeley; geometry and algorithms patterns at Georgia Tech; and SU basketball and lacrosse schedules at the Carrier Dome.

Gator Bowl: What did I enjoy more - Rita Rodriguez' (hot wife of Coach Rich smell my fingers) "abundances" or the huge "Thank you Gay Employees" sign in Jacksonville?

Toss up, but I'm going with that amazing sweater. Speaking of, I liked this quote from Boston Globe article by Mark Blaudschun about how they met in college:

"She was blonde, dressed well, and we got to talking," said Rodriguez. "And I asked her what kind of car she drove. She said, 'A Vette.' I thought to myself, 'Man. I've got it made. Blonde, dresses well, and she drives a Vette. She's probably got some money, too.' "When I went over to her apartment, I saw that it was a Chevette," said Rodriguez, laughing at the memory. "And it had a broken stick shift. But her father was pretty handy and he had fashioned a stick from an old furniture leg. When I went to her apartment, I sat down on a couch missing a leg."

I love West Virginia, Sarah, really I do!

Rose Bowl: Michigan band doing Led Zeppelin songs at halftime was cool. No actually it was really troubling. By the way, shouldn't USC be required to do Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" every year, every song?

Special note from earlier Rose Bowl parade: George Lucas was Grand Marshall. Thankfully I saw no Jar Jar Binks walking near the Star Wars floats, but way too many friggin' Ewoks.

Fiesta Bowl: OK I lied, this is a football post. Here is the greatest play in the history of America Football (happened shortly after the second greatest play in history - Hook and Lateral on 4th and 18!?)

Here's the last play of the game.
SHITE, YouTube is so 2006! -
"This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner Collegiate images, LLC because its content was used without permission"
- Oh just find the clip on some decent pirate ship site.

This was pretty good post about significance of the game:

To bring Boise State's national championship coronation game back to popular culture - what the f%#$ is with the Chair of the Bowl Committee exclusively reading a note card at the trophy presentation?!

Louisville vs. Wake Forest: Skipped this until NCAA regional semi-final hoops in March.

Sugar Bowl: I slept through this game, so I'm turning this post over to good buddy and sports guru John MacKinnon ...

Glad Charlie Weiss upholding the Ty Willingham and Bob Davie tradition of Bowl Excellence.

Don't blame ND. Chambers of Commerce created bowl games to attract tourism during an otherwise dead week.

Notre Dame and Navy sell tickets and travel at least 20k annually spending multiple hotel room nights, multiple meals and lots of libations. They attract eyeballs both from domers and haters like me reveling in some school treating them like a pinata without a blindfold.

In conclusion and in case The Optimist/Traitor, I mean Terry, still reads this blog ... next year's Meineke Car Care Bowl halftime show star is ready to parrrhhhty.