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Into Thin Air of Customer Satisfaction

May 14, 2014

northface“Into Thin Air” is the harrowing Jon Krakauer book about the tragic 1996 season on Mount Everest. The book has its critics, but I learned that while many try, few reach the summit. Some perish trying. From the book, the top points of failure seemed to be:

  1. Preparation – Some of the “tourist” climbers were novices, lacking the experience and training for an Everest climb. They became a drag on team members that ended tragically.
  2. Commitment– Start with the fact you have to climb 29 thousand and 29 feet. Then add -13° to -17°F temperatures, 25 to 35 MPH winds, the potential for avalanches, and 1/3 the oxygen of sea level. You have to want it.

Northface 14While I think it’s a bit of a stretch to compare customer service from the cozy confines of a cubicle to an endeavor that includes passing through a “death zone,” it was announced today that Kronos has won the NorthFace ScoreBoard AwardSM from the Omega Management Group for excellence in customer satisfaction. 2013 marks our 14th consecutive year winning the award!

Our customer support organization deserves the recognition, and they earn it. They are well prepared and committed to our customers. Hey, their paychecks are impacted by their ability to deliver the experience our customers expect. That will drive some commitment. Also, I found two quotes that support this parallelism. To succeed in either pursuit, you have to want it.

“Customer service is just a day in, day out ongoing, never ending, unremitting, persevering, compassionate, type of activity.” – Leon Gorman

“Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others… it rises from your heart.” – Junko Tabei-1975 after becoming first woman to climb Everest

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