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Process savant and SW geek ISO customer value zealots for LTR.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

I like that quote most of the time. It’s one of those phrases you like to tell others to get the laugh but you never want to hear it yourself.

I enjoy the illusion of control — the idea that I’m steering my own ship and responsible for all significant outcomes in my world. Anyone who’s been on the plant for more than a few years knows this is completely bogus. It remains a popular fantasy nonetheless, enjoyed by positive, proactive, pragmatic types like me who don’t waste time whining about life’s potholes or stare behind them.

This Fall a fissure opened in the road ahead. I thought for a while that my current company held enough opportunity and longevity that I would be able to retire from here. They had other plans. So while I’m not seeking a friend for the end of the world (a cute movie), I am…

Seeking a New Opportunity

To help a good company become even better.

  • Part of a small team of zealots who drink customer value Koolaid every day
  • Responsible for an ever-improving software delivery engine
  • Little to no bureaucracy
  • Family-friendly culture

No calls from the Borg please. I’ve done the minion thing and it fails to satisfy. Of course, had you made me 6 of 9 or 8 of 9 I might have stayed. 😉

Contact Info

Hey, Comcast — it’s 2016 already!

Dear Comcast Support,

No, not you, the nice (and extremely patient) person on the phone with me today. I’m talking to the head customer support geeks — the people who allegedly design the process whereby support is rendered.

Thanks for wasting at least 15 minutes of my time on the phone today as I verified my name, address, account number and MAC address, then followed your inane flowchart-driven support process to check things that didn’t need checking. The only reason I was on the phone at all is that your robot IVR system yaks non-stop so much that it can’t even hear me when I ask to ‘reset my modem.’ That’s what I wanted. That’s what I said. Is that what happened? No. Instead, it responded with ‘let me get you to an agent.’ Great. Sure. Put Agent Smith on the phone. What the heck — maybe a human will be better than the IVR. I wish. Instead of all that verification nonsense, here is how the conversation should have gone after you called me back:

Good afternoon. This is Comcast Customer Support. Is this Mr. Wilkes?


Excellent. How can I help you today, Sir?

I’d like my modem reset, please.

Of course. I see that you have only one modem, so I need no further information. Would you like that reset signal sent now?

Yes, please.

Very good. I have sent the signal. I will stay on the line until the modem resets. Just a moment. [pause] Everything looks good from our end. Will you try your service again please?

Seems to be working now, thank you.

Great. Is there anything else I can help you with?

All good here. Thanks!

Thank you for being a Comcast customer Mr. Wilkes. Have a great evening.

That would have been a pleasant customer experience.

Now that I think about it, though, even the above dialog, stellar though it would have been, is sub-par. This is 2016. You know… the IoT year when your refrigerator can tell your thermostat that the house is too hot? Yeah, that year. As my ISP, you have an always-on connection right into my house. You can tell if your equipment is working or not. I know. You tell me every time I get on the phone with you. So how this whole thing should have gone is… I open my email this evening to find this:

Dear Mr. Wilkes,

We noticed that your internet connection was down for more than a few minutes, so we sent a reset signal to your modem. Our diagnostics indicate that service has been restored now. I hope that our proactive service meets with your approval. Please let us know if you need follow-up assistance.

Yours Truly,

Comcast Customer Support

That right there — that would be 2016 tech support from a company that I pay serious coin to every month for exactly one thing… Internet service.


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