Perspective (and the guy with flip flops)

Yesterday evening I was having a fine dinner with some colleagues. A very international and diverse bunch, all with several years of experience in the CX and contact centre and telephony realms.

This guy beside me was telling a story: when he was once visiting my country with his family, the company he worked for at the time begged him to go to a customer, to fix a huge problem. He gladly accepted to help, though remarking he did not have any business wear, and so he would go there with flip flops. And shorts. He was kind of ashamed telling this, as he would not consider it very nice to go to a customer in flip flops, but had no alternative as the issue was rapidly escalating, so off he went.

While he was telling the story I suddenly realized I had been involved in that same story. Although I did not know his name at the time, he was a legend among the technical staff as “the guru in flip flops and shorts”. Everyone was in awe of how the guy presented himself, so sure of his technical skills to not need any business clothes (in a country that is mostly obsessed with clothes and appearance, sometimes even the washing machine technician is wearing a tie).

The customer back then was _delighted_ not so much from the casual wear, but from the fact that the problem was fixed in seconds and all was back to normal again. Thanks to the guy in flip flops, who then became this legendary, quirky technical guru.

Fast forward a few (many) years and now the guy in flip flops may represent your best CX experience.

When we are offered any customer experience, are we ready to skip formality in order to receive a better service? do we perceive CX quality or also its form? Do we care more about form, appearance or substance, actuality?

I personally think the times would be ready now for the guy in flip flops. 🙂


Diaries of the voice portal (part 3)

She prepared her “data center blanket”: usually an upgrade night meant spending several hours in the near freezing temperatures that IT managers chose for their beloved servers.

She stashed it into her laptop bag, along with a cereal bar and her notes.


This was basically all she needed for the night: while her friends were texting from pubs and clubs, she entered the freezing vault hearing the comforting buzz of the dozens of servers all neatly displayed on racks, and happily prepared the necessary stuff (blanket on the shoulders, kind of like an elderly weird protuberance from the KVM thing driving the whole rack).

Upgrading a large telephony environment was typically a job for at least 2 people and she was always with someone from the PBX department. She didn’t mind: there was plenty of time for the upgrade, and for some spare moments of small talk and the occasional horrible coffee at the vending machine.

This time there was a weird vibe, though. She could feel it in the plastic air of the data center, that the digital creatures were not going to behave, not tonight.

And in fact, right in the middle of the process, the much dreaded -failed upgrade- message. This time, without the revert option. So basically she was stuck: no going back, as some files were overwritten by the upgrade files, and no moving forward, as the upgrade failed. Bummer! This is going to last all night, she thought.

She frantically searched through her notes for some workaround or anything that could fix the upgrade process, while muttering that it was something she felt right at the beginning, some error she made when launching the upgrade..

After a while the PBX guy showed up in her corner (in a t-shirt, with a 19°C temperature!) all smiles and laughs saying with a relaxed tone that he brought the whole thing down just to make sure the upgrade was smooth on her side. WTF!!!

At least now she knew what went wrong. And as soon as the pbx came up again, the upgrade happily resumed and went on smoothly, until the success message put a large smile on her face. Thank goodness this was done, all cool (literally), at least until the next upgrade…