The Zen of Problem Solving ???



Decisions, Doubts, and Daring

With great growth, comes great responsibility.

21 days into our rebrand, we’re celebrating and tinkering, poking holes and singing our praises.

What do we know?

We’re editors, not perfectionists. We’re interested in deconstruction, in the service of building something better. We’re always striving to be more creative, more in-touch with the needs of businesses and the power of branding. And as we grow bigger, we want to stay connected to our community and honor where we’ve come from.

We keep realizing how much we all have in common, and whether we’re coming up with a marketing strategy or addressing an HR issue, there are problems and solutions, and strategies and perspectives that help us bridge the gap between the two. This week’s content shares a few of those, while asking how the “connected consumer” has changed everything from our expectations for service to our relationship with technology.

We’re obsessed with the HBR podcast – IdeaCast – and were enthralled by a recent episode titled “For Better Customer Service, Offer Options, Not Apologies.”   Jagdip Singh, a professor of marketing at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, and his team analyzed over 100 videos filmed at customer service desks at airports in the U.S. and the U.K. to see if they could arrive at certain conclusions about customer service and customer satisfaction.

What did they discover?

  • Solving work, defined as “creatively, competently, and energetically generating solutions to the problem customers have,” was preferred in times of distress to relational work, defined as “showing warmth, showing empathy, and forging a personal connection with the customer.”
  • Even if the outcome was the same in both approaches, what seemed to matter most to the customer was that the customer service rep was actively trying to generate solutions and offer options.

It’s fascinating to wonder why options, even when they lead to the same outcome, contribute to a much more positive customer experience. Is it because, as connected consumers, we expect to be in the drivers seat while being given good directions? Or because, the growing sophistication of data and the internet of things make possible flexibility and personalization at a whole new scale?


What we’re reading
What we’re tweeting
What resources we’re recommending
Zen Digital
Zen Made
Zen Mind

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We’d love to help your brand woo the connected customer and win in the digital age!


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