Daily Archives: 14 July 2004

Choose Wisely

The July 12, 2004 column from Bob Lewis talks about making
business decisions (The column will disappear behind his lead
curtain at the end of the week. You have to give his company
permission to spam you to retrieve it later.).

Specifically, do you compete on features or price. Smart
companies realize they have to chose one or the other, not
both. I am reminded of my time at the local bank while working
on my Masters. The bank had a rule that all customer calls had
to be answered by a person, not a phone mail system. Thus, it
seems, the choice was to compete on features. But,
unfortunately, the bank also cut the number of people available
to answers these calls by, if I remember right, more than

Imagine, if you will, working at this bank. Your management
tells you they value what you do. They also say they value
their customers. But what management does is
drastically cut the staff available to answer calls from these
customers. What message is management sending to staff and how
much trust do you think employees have in what management tells

Now, imagine you are a customer of this bank. You need to
talk to someone about your bank statement (which seems to be
off by a couple of thousand dollars, perhaps because the bank
outsourced some of their back room offices). So you call and
hear either a busy signal or the sound of the phone ringing.
And ringing. And ringing. What message has management sent to
this customer and how much trust and loyalty will this customer

Even smarter companies realize they have to be consistent in
their choices. That is, they can’t say they will make their
decision on a case by case basis so that sometimes they choose
features and sometimes price. If your business is to prosper,
you have to choose one or the other and then consistency apply
that choice to all situations. Choose unwisely and your
business eventually may go under. Don’t choose at all (or
choose both) and your business will definitely go under (or be
bought by someone else).

So, as in many things, it’s about the choices you make.
Choose wisely.


Wallpaper for the Week

Saturn's rings

My wallpaper for this week is an
image from the Cassini
. It’s of Saturn’s rings and was taken using
the ultraviolet imaging spectrograph. Follow the link
above and you get choose either the 254K jpeg or the 9MB