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Customer Service Notes

Footnotes accompanying the primary article Re-Imagining the Customer in CUSTOMER Service (link).

Note 1

Healthy, economic self-reliance here is intentionally differentiated from theoretical autarkic;

Helleiner (Eric); "The Return of National Self-Sufficiency? Excavating Autarkic Thought in a De-Globalizing Era"; International Studies Review, Volume 23, Issue 3 – September 2021; and,

 Alden (Edward); Failure to Adjust:  How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy; Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD (October 2016) – https://www.cfr.org/excerpt-failure-adjust.

Note 2

Indeed, Dixon, et al., acknowledged:  “…84% of customers told us that their expectations had not been exceeded during their most recent interaction… [and, c]ustomers are four times more likely to leave a service interaction disloyal than loyal…”

Dixon (Matthew), Freeman (Karen), and, Toman (Nick); “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers”; Harvard Business ReviewThe Magazine (July-August 2010) – https://hbr.org/2010/07/stop-trying-to-delight-your-customers.

Note 3

“When it comes to service, companies create loyal customers primarily by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily.” Ibid.

Note 4

"...Customer self-service empowers customers to solve their own problems. And self-sufficient customers are happier customers..."

Atwell (Elaine); "Customer self-service:  what it is, why it's important, and how to get it right”; Zendesk Blog (March 13, 2022) – https://www.zendesk.com/blog/customer-self-service-guide-helping-customers-help/.

Note 5

Certainly, beyond providing infinite product variety, such has facilitated wholesale adoption of Marx’s commodity fetishism. Ferguson (James); Global Shadows:  Africa in the Neoliberal World Order; Duke University Press, Durham and London (2006); pp. 74-75.

Note 6

Shoulberg (Warren); "Here's How Nixon's Visit to China 50 Years Ago Forever Changed American Retail"; Forbes > Business > Retail (February 21, 2022) – https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenshoulberg/2022/02/21/heres-how-nixons-visit-to-china-50-years-ago-forever-changed-american-retail/?sh=eb7f5843a408.

Note 7

“[V]arious other technologies could easily last for decades…, but it’s more profitable to introduce artificial lifespans so that companies get repeat sales. ‘That’s sort of the conspiracy theory of planned obsolescence,’ says Mohanbir Sawhney, a professor of marketing at Northwestern University…

‘…I think there are some avenues where [businesses] are kind of tricking the consumer...’ [Judith Chevalier, a professor of finance and economics at Yale University].

Hadhazy (Adam); "Here’s the truth about the ‘planned obsolescence’ of tech"; BBC Future LIFE:CONNECTED | GADGET (June 12, 2016) – https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160612-heres-the-truth-about-the-planned-obsolescence-of-tech.

Note 8

“Once technology made it cheap to move phone calls anywhere on earth, big companies and even your local water or electricity utility dropped their U.S. customer service agents in favor of outsourcing to companies that manage call centers on behalf of multiple companies. Now the person you spoke with was not only distant physically and culturally, but distant from the very company you were trying to deal with… [A] 2018 survey of 750 customer service leaders… classified 23% as having “undisciplined process and reactive approaches,” and another 46% as companies where only “some steps have been taken towards upgrading the customer experience.”

Dichter (Thomas); "Call Centers Return To The U.S. – More Companies Get The Link Between Customer Service And Profit"; ForbesCrypto & Blockchain (March 30, 2019) – https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasdichter/2019/03/30/call-centers-return-to-the-u-s-more-companies-get-the-link-between-customer-service-and-profit/?sh=4b01df7414ff.

Note 9

“…In general, customer service issues are resolved noticeably faster over the phone than they are via alternative communication channels…; “Live Chat vs. Phone Support for Customer Service”; https://voicenation.com/live-chat-vs-phone-support-for-customer-service/; and,

“Phone calls enable a more direct conversation… With phone support, it’s easier for the agent to ask follow up questions, or gain a better understanding of the customer’s needs, enabling to offer even more intuitive support”

Grech (Matt); "Life Chat vs. Phone Support:  Which is Beter for your Business?" (June 7, 2018) – https://getvoip.com/blog/2018/06/07/live-chat-vs-phone-support/.

Note 10

One, more mundane, household example: I recall having learned, from the start, to shut off the bathroom sink tap when brushing one’s teeth, decades b-e-f-o-r-e such ever arose as conspicuous water conservation measure, deemed idiomatic, low-hanging fruit

Note 11

Paternally, as a first-generation, immigrant; and, maternally, as a member of a resident family living amidst rural Indigenous Peoples on Reservation tribal lands.

Note 12

See, for example: Cheung (Peter); “The Characteristics of Personal Fulfillment: Creating a More Fulfilling Life”; Project Untitled (February 11, 2018) – https://medium.com/project-untitled/the-characteristics-of-personal-fulfillment-creating-a-more-fulfilling-life-51b86eb91b12.

Note 13

Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association; "The Link Between Self-Sufficiency & Mental Health" (December 22, 2020) – https://anzmh.asn.au/blog/mental-health/link-self-sufficiency-mental-health.

Note 14

Atwell, supra.

Note 15

SAG – a competitive sports (and related activities) borrowed term: “Support and Gear”.

Note 16

Reference the Taoist-origin* proverb:

If you give [one] a fish you feed [them] for a day. If you teach [them] to fish you feed [them] for a lifetime.

 *Though, apparently, Indigenous Peoples and Old English had parallel, similarly-languaged proverbs … 

Note 17

One only need watch any broadcast (or streaming) news channel or talk show to grasp this unfortunate phenomenon…

Note 18

Stosny, Ph.D. (Steven); "Anger in the Age of Entitlement:  Entitlement and anger go together"; Psychology Today, (February 15, 2019) – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201902/anger-in-the-age-entitlement.

Note 19

Barrett (Paul), Hendrix (Justin), Sims (Grant); “How Tech Platforms Fuel U.S. Political Polarization and What Government Can Do About It?”; Brookings (September 27, 2021) – https://www.brookings.edu/articles/how-tech-platforms-fuel-u-s-political-polarization-and-what-government-can-do-about-it/.

Note 20

Within the essence of U.S. Pres. John F. Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural Address:  “[A]sk not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country….”

Note 21

Greenleaf (R. K.); The Servant As Leader; Robert K. Greenleaf Publishing Center (1970) – https://www.greenleaf.org/products-page/the-servant-as-leader/.

Note 22

Given that many Western economies have evolved toward predominantly service-based systems, source-direct, for services, relative to customer support, is usually, though not necessarily, a less challenging task than with manufactured goods.

Note 23

Indeed, as an IT business consultant, I was tasked with leading a business systems project to catalog, and, ultimately, redesign IT support-desk processes, all toward improving underlying cost-center metrics and operational efficiencies.

Note 24

For example: tactical – and, consciously, ultra-low-cost – approaches for meaningfully reducing one’s consumption, and, therefore, waste production footprint; or, re-examining full, life-cycle product design (from extractive raw material through deconstruction-as-reuse).