Category Archives: Customer Service

How Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence Change Everything

I started to really appreciate futurists Robert Scoble and Shel Israel through their 2013 book Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy . It focused on emerging interactive technologies, and shared some companies to watch. Wearable computing, one of the key focus areas of that book, plays a huge part in their new one.

IN THE BEGINNING, there were mainframes

The book’s introduction starts with an overview of three transformations that followed the mainframes:

  1. From mainframes to interacting with desktop computers using a keyboard
  2. The graphical user interface (GUI), and specifically the mouse
  3. Touch interfaces, including mobile devices

The Fourth Transformation? That would be “Spatial Computing.”

The Fourth Transformation didn’t initially seem especially interested in discussing the actual technology. The focus was more on how retailers and marketers had better get with the program of augmented reality /virtual reality / mixed reality technologies. “If you are part of a big brand, you need to know about this now so you can understand how your customer relationships are about to change and so you begin to adjust course.”

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How Amazon is Taking Over the World and Why You Might Want to Help

Amazon is taking over the world, or so it sometimes seems. They convinced the US Postal service to bring back Sunday deliveries. Sometimes people casually refer to having “tons of stuff,” while Amazon sells tons of stuff every day. Their building boom in the Seattle area includes everything from conventional offices and warehouses to biosphere domes. Increasingly, Amazon is entering the shipping business as well.

Amazon Prime Air

Prototype of an Amazon Prime Air package delivery drone
Prototype of a Prime Air delivery drone. Photo courtesy Amazon.com

The Prime Air brand initially launched with their delivery drone project. Evolving US regulations relative to UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have contributed to development challenges.

The brand made it to the real world sooner than anyone expected. Their first cargo aircraft, dubbed Amazon One, is prominently labeled Prime Air. It was revealed to the public with a flyover at Seattle’s annual Seafair festival. The prime number in the aircraft’s tail number is a subtle nod to the observant.

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5 Reasons I Visit an Inconvenient Coffee Shop – and You Should Too

I pass several coffee shops and kiosks on the way to my favorite one. Certainly I could save a little time and mileage by stopping at one of those, but going the extra mile is worth it to me.

What makes Blue Steele Coffee Company worth the longer drive? In fact, how do folks know Blue Steele exists? They don’t do much marketing beyond social media postings on Facebook. Thanks to word-of-mouth advertising, they’re known for several things including their coffee, their service, and their history.

Personal Service

They bring me my food and drink. (They don’t make me listen for my order to be called the way fast food places and some coffee shops do.) That’s a big deal to me, especially if I’m meeting someone.

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Tesla, Consumer Reports and Exceeding Expectations

Some at Consumer Reports were no-doubt trying to figure out a good way to explain how their much-vaunted ratings system had broken.

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

As it turned out, Consumer Reports cleverly decided to trumpet that their ratings system had been broken. The strategy worked so well that their web site crashed, apparently under the load of all the interest raised by the headline: Tesla Model S P85D Breaks Consumer Reports’ Ratings System.

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Emerald City Comicon draws 80,000 fans to Seattle

When I previously wrote about comic book shows and their fans, I was talking about small-to-medium shows like the Jet City Comic Show. Their site states that “Jet City started in order to fill in the void for a quality one-day show for fans and dealers.

Comic-Con International is the 800 pound gorilla, and Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) bears a strong family resemblance. This year they brought in 80,000 fans and took over the Washington State Convention Center in the middle of Seattle, despite the Department of Transportation shutting down multiple vectors into town. The DOT earned some jabs from Comicon attendees after declaring that there would be “no major events this weekend,” but it didn’t keep the fans away.

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What You Can Learn from how Costco and Consumer Reports Deal With Quitters

I’ve been simplifying my life, which included a cancellation binge. I cancelled my Consumer Reports subscription, and allowed my Costco membership to lapse.

Deafening Silence

Costco logoI was puzzled that Costco never made any effort to find out why I was no longer a member, and never even acknowledged my departure as a customer. Their emails kept coming, and when I unsubscribed from those there was again a deafening silence.

My experience with Consumer Reports was completely the opposite. I unsubscribed online and was immediately surveyed as to why I was leaving, how they could do better, and whether I’d consider coming back. They even asked if I’d be interested in joining a focus group with fellow ex-subscribers.

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