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THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




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« I'm liveblogging this | Main | I'm just not that kind of person... »

Alignment

When there's a gap between someone doing her job and doing the right thing, then management has failed.

Plenty of customer service people would like to do the right thing. They'd like to fix the problem that's presented to them. But frustration hits when the policies and procedures and metrics they've been given to work with won't let them.

For the last two weeks, the audio version of The Dip has been for sale at the iTunes music store. And for many iPods, it doesn't work. Hundreds of people have written to me and let me know. These hundreds of people have written to Apple, too, and they've shared their notes with me.

In general, the responses from Apple that people are reporting are respectful and straightforward. But none of the responses have addressed the problem. Apple could easily take the product down. Or they could change the description in the store with a note that says, "sorry, but it doesn't work on some iPods, we're working on it", or they could email everyone who had bought one and let them know what the plans are. And, yes, best of all, they could fix it.

The amazing thing is that except for the last choice, each approach is free, quick and relatively easy. If the head of the iTunes store focused on this problem for ten seconds, it would go away. The challenge isn't a lack of tools or resources, it is a lack of alignment. For a service rep in this particular situation, "doing my job" means making the person go away, while "doing the right thing" means taking initiative and actually solving the problem. The customer service reps don't have access to the tools (or the authority) to do what the company would actually benefit the most from.

Getting your team in alignment (having their job match their tools match their mission) is perhaps the first job a marketer has to do.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Alignment:

» Ten seconds of focus from Eric J. Gruber's Web Meat
Last week, I purchased Seth Godins new (audio) book The Dip from Apples iTunes Store. I love audiobooks. Im always on the go, and I can just pop on one my iPod, put my headphones on and get educated. But theres... [Read More]

» Doing the right thing from Dangerously Irrelevant
From Seth Godin: When there's a gap between someone doing her job and doing the right thing, then management has failed.I bet we could come up with some examples of this in schools... [Read More]

» Managers, marketers, and manager-marketers from Ch4tter
WAIT. Before you go on, decide if you want to hear Managers, Marketers, and Manager-Marketers Ch4tter'd in the sidebar at right -- Read it. Listen to it. Or read it while you listen to it. If you frequent Seth's blog, [Read More]

» Thunderlizard Evangelists from Amid the Noise and Haste
Who are your Thundarlizard Evangelists? The customers who can't rave enough about your product or company? The customers who learn and adapt your technology to make it even better? Stephanie Diamond from the Marketing Message Blog directs us to Guy [Read More]

» What makes good customer service from The Winding Path
Seth Godin recently described his experience of Apples misalignment of job execution with company goals. I recently had a similar experience with my old ISP, iiNet. Id lodged a billing dispute over an unwarranted $299 connection charge. I... [Read More]

» How to ensure outstanding performance from thinks
Five factors lead to great performance among your staff. They include: Hiring folks with the ability to do the job Providing them attainable, yet challenging goals Giving feedback, both positive and constructive Training for missing skills Ens... [Read More]

» Alignment from David Kellam
This post by Seth Godin sums up nicely what's wrong with most organisations. It certainly explains my daily frustrations in dealing with many incompetently-managed organisations.... [Read More]

» Links for 27/05/2007 from Steve Jay's Digital Marketing Blog
Two weeks worth of the most interesting posts I've stumbled upon; A post from Seth about the problems with iTunes and his new audiobook that manages to be part feedback, part rant, part apology part management consultancy all in one [Read More]

» Link Dump for May 29, 2007 from michael eaton
Link Dump for May 29, 2007 [Read More]

» LinkFest 5-31-2007 from Geekfish Weblog
I have a couple of interesting links that people may be interested in. My friend forwarded this transcript of a pre-commencement lecture given by Narayana Murthy (chief mentor and chairman of the board, Infosys Technologies) at the New York Univers... [Read More]

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