A Note on Customer Service


Three customer service ideas that need to die:

The customer is always right. Often, the customer doesn’t know what they want, or what will work best for them. Listen to what they are saying, then use your expertise to work on the best solution possible. Explain to the customer what would work best for them and why it would work best. Use your knowledge and power to educate, not patronize people and create champions along the way.

Really, this should be, “The customer deserves to be heard.”


Follow the script. Is there anything worse than having a telephone call come to a natural end, then the customer service representative awkwardly asks “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” Yes, when they realize they haven’t tried to upsell you on anything and they offer to sign you up for another paid feature you aren’t interested in. I get it, I worked as a customer service rep (for more years than I’d like to remember). CSRs have scripts they have to follow, then get in trouble for not following them. Instead of teaching people scripts, teach them empathy and empower them to make wise decisions. See how loyal your customers become.

Good customer service representatives follow the script, great ones follow the conversation. 


Listen to your loudest customers. Those who make the loudest noise are outliers and not necessarily representative of what most people are looking for. While it is tempting to jump whenever your biggest critic is complaining, make sure you are moving in the direction that most customers want. This is the same for both your biggest critic and your biggest fan, neither are typical customers. If you want to know what people really like, look at what they pay for (or even a/b test what people would pay for by seeing what they click on).

Listen to what the data tells you. 



What’s a Thursday?


Mark Morford, Exploding your Emotional Bandwith: “What an odd, charged, fascinating moment, this space of not knowing. It forces us to isolate the emotional toll into pure feeling, pure shared humanity, divorced of social or geopolitical wedge.” Less a post about Boston, more about how we are emotionally ill-equipped to deal with tragedy in the age of Twitter.


flw Use these Frank Lloyd Wright Letterheady examples as inspiration to make your own letterhead. Then send a letter to someone you love, or just have some seriously badass letterhead for any of your business correspondence needs.



Robin Thicke ft T.I. and Pharrell, Blurred Lines. If this doesn’t make you feel like Summer, I don’t know what would.


Mommyjacking” def: When moms use a random Facebook post as an opportunity to brag about their child. We all know this person. Don’t be this person.



Beretta’s Pamplemousse Gin, Grapefruit, St Germain and Basil – I dream about this cocktail, years after having it one year on Jasmine Palardy‘s birthday. It is the perfect brunch drink and the perfect summer afternoon sipper.



ColChrisHadfield’s AMA on Reddit

Directly lifted this from Reddit’s AMA with Col Chris Hadfield so I can read it everytime I am having a bad day. It is so great to see someone so clearly in love with what they do and share that love with the world. 

[–]ColChrisHadfield[S] 733 points 22 hours ago

Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.

Per Ardua Ad Astra (through adversity to the stars)



I want more of this

Dreamed up by a six-year-old.



Dreaming of Space

I hope @Cmdr_Hadfield realizes that he isn’t just posting beautiful photos, he’s inspiring a whole new demographic of people to dream about Space. If you aren’t following him on Twitter, you should start. His pictures of earth (and life in Space) are very cool. 


Although being an astronaut is really high on the list of “cool jobs,” there must be others that could inspire just by sharing what they do all day and what they say. 

Hrm…I guess that means posting to iknowsmartpeople.com more often.




Surprise and delight on public transportation

Yesterday, I thought it would be a daymaker to step onto the train and randomly have your train car fully decorated as something. I was thinking of a secret gardern, or a space ship, or a crazy disco. I love the idea of taking something mundane and making a delight.

Today, I came across this amazing design for a subway station in Naples.


What a beautiful way to commute everyday. 



Bus Stop Mannequins

I just had this idea that it would be really funny to have mannequins inappropriately dressed for the weather waiting at bus stops. I’m picturing Hawaiian shirts in winter, a parka in August. You get the idea. The more they were doing “real things” like carrying groceries, for example, the better.

I need to make this happen. Mostly for my own amusement.