Of fonts, film and (rugby) football

As someone whose walls are decorated with a fair amount of typography and calligraphy (an abiding interest from my wife’s days as an art student) I was interested to see the furore generated by IKEA’s decision to change its catalogue font from Futura to the more screen-friendly Verdana. Is this just an issue for font-geeks or a massive erosion of the brand loyalty engendered over many years of superior flat-pack design and serving countless Swedish meatballs? Continue reading “Of fonts, film and (rugby) football”

Improve service: get ideas from anywhere?

A crowd - not necessarily a wise oneAsking your customers for suggestions seems like a great way to improve your services or products. Two recent items I came across suggest it’s not something you should do without clearly thinking through what you are trying to achieve.

Report 103 is an excellent newsletter from Jeffrey Baumgartner on applied creativity and ideas in business and this week’s edition follows on nicely from my previous post about feedback. If you buy the idea that customer feedback is a rich source of service improvement ideas then proactively soliciting ideas from your customers (and non-customers) seems like an even better idea. Continue reading “Improve service: get ideas from anywhere?”

Feedback: your view is important, but not very

A dragon gives some business adviceTo round off last week’s series on feedback here’s a story from my recent experience with the BBC. Prompted by a discussion on Ecademy about the new series of Dragon’s Den I realised I had been really annoyed by the trailer.

I’m a fan of most business programmes, particularly the ones we can watch as a family – my 11-year old son has been addicted to both Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice – but I get more than a bit irritated when the “showbiz” aspects of the programmes overshadow the business content. Continue reading “Feedback: your view is important, but not very”

Network your way to superior service

A recent post on the Wikinomics blog raises the question of how much time the use of Facebook and other social networking wastes at work. A recent study suggests 233 million working hours are lost each month due to Facebook. Rather than using shock statistics to impose a knee-jerk ban, companies should recognise the potential benefits of social networking to deliver superior service. Continue reading “Network your way to superior service”