Being foolish about customer and partner satisfaction at Microsoft

I recalled tonight an old quote: Fortuna favet fatuis.  If you know me, you’ll likely understand my personal, off-hours affinity for such a quote and my penchant for Monty Python humour.

Clip art from Microsoft Office Online But in all seriousness, I’m reminded of a past post in which I noted that fools may find fault with ease. It takes the persistent to note that the customer experience isn’t a commodity, and to course correct when we find fault…

Benjamin Franklin and Dale Carnegie both said that “any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.” But if you listen to the criticism and respond to it — take the criticism and do something positive with it — then you can course correct and improve the customer experience.

So, what the heck does this have to do with anything?

These days, I hear many people at the office talking about how they’re working to keep Customer and Partner Experience (CPE) a top priority, especially important now more than ever.  That’s a positive.  Steve Ballmer said previously that Microsoft has more work to do to please our customers and partners, noting that “we’ve only begun to tap the real potential of computers to help you communicate, find answers, solve problems and be more productive.”

When you’re thinking about new products and services, one of the pieces of advice I offer is to think about course correcting wherever needed and whenever you should. Question the wisdom of others when it’s particularly foolish. Thinking for a moment of the Motley Fool’s description for where they came up with the namesake…

“The Motley Fool’s name comes directly from the beginning of Act II, scene vii of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. In the days when Shakespeare was writing about kings, Fools were the merry fellows paid to entertain the king and queen, using self-effacing humor that instructed as it amused. In fact, Fools were the only members of their societies who could tell the truth to the king or queen without having their heads rather abruptly removed from their shoulders.

“In Fooldom, readers like you are the royalty.”

Taking the Motley Fool’s advice to heart, your customers and partners are the royalty, and it’s your job to do our best to find answers, solve problems, tell the truth, and don’t settle for anything less than what your customers and partners deserve. And…

“… use whatever you may learn for good rather than evil, and that you pass your Foolishness on to others who may need help. If a fellow Fool is stumped by a question you know you can answer, we hope you’ll consider lending them a hand.”

If you think that something doesn’t make sense from their perspective, fix it.

Be foolish. (But respectful, of course. 😉

Tags: articles, what I read, blogs, Customer service.


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