Probably one of the worst shows streaming these days is Kobra Kai, but if you’re like me, you can’t look away. Naturally, being a Gentleman of a Particular Age™, the original Karate Kid movie was part of my growing up, so I was curious. In the modern iteration, the acting is atrocious, the dialog is forced and clumsy, and for that matter, even the plot lines are eye-rollingly bad with all the surprise loyalty shifts and team-jumping. But anyway, one definitely redeeming facet of the show is the frequency of throwbacks to lines and experiences from the original franchise that make you smile about a different time. A long way to go to set up that, one of Mr. Miagi’s famous pieces of advice to a young Daniel was that the best way to win a fight is to avoid it, or, in his trademark broken English, “No Be There.” The idea being, the best way to win a fight is to avoid it, and one way to avoid it is not to be there when it happens. (There’s an episode where Johnny, who these days is on-again-off-again no longer a nemesis, but rather a reluctant partner of Daniel, cheekily gets the pair into a fight with some tough hockey players but conveniently spirits himself away and out of harm to leave Daniel to fend for himself. “No be there,” he says, returning once Daniel has vanquished the menacing crew.) […]
My partner gets his hair cut at one of the chain “salons”. I use the quotes because it’s not a fancy place. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s a chain that you can probably guess…there are a few of them and they do fine work for a great price.
His only gripe is one I think we as Customer Experience folks can appreciate. […]
I’ve written before about how astonishing it is that some brands seem to be actively trying to alienate their Customers with obvious slights like specifically using the words “Do_Not_Reply” for the actual name of the mailbox when communicating. It’s as though someone asked a hypothetical question: “How could we best indicate to our Customers that we don’t care what they have to say nor even want to hear from them?” And some wiseass in the Customer Care department answered them literally: “How about we do this?”
Here’s another one I get, particularly when I try to reach out to the support services in the military (although I’ve seen it plenty in industry too): “Your ticket has been closed.”
I was speaking with a friend recently who had some car trouble. Hers is a fancy car (much more fancy than mine) and she’s used to having concierge-type service and treated very well by her car company when she needs help.
However, on this instance, her experience with the tow-truck driver who came to help her was decidedly not luxury. The guy wasn’t offensive or objectionable, but he was late, was a poor communicator (both in manner and style), and sort of curt when it all came down to it.
Now, this isn’t checking into a 5-star resort in a tropical destination…This is a breakdown along the highway and someone coming along to tow your car to the shop. So of course, expectations should be appropriate, and she didn’t overlook the satisfaction of simply getting the job done…anybody’s an angel in a situation like that.
Still, I couldn’t help but wonder how often Brand Promises are impacted—negatively, often—by the company we choose to keep; which is to say, our business partners. […]
I write a lot (these days, at least, it seems) about cars. Last year I had a lot of interactions with my car company and other support organizations having to do with my automotive needs. So I guess with it front of mind, it seems appropriate that this little anecdote popped into my head the other day:
The tl;dr on that is that the company was considering (Did they go through with it? I don’t know, but this video posted by BMW a month ago seems to suggest it’s happening in the UK.) linking heated seats—which used to be a hallmark of luxury automotive brands, but like onboard communication systems have since become much more ubiquitous, present in many non-luxury cars as well—to a subscription service. The upshot being that, sure your car comes with seat heaters installed and ready-to-go, but if you want to actually use them—by, you know, turning them on—you have to pay a monthly service charge for the privilege. […]
I’m not saying I’m a big shot or anything, but mine is a luxury car.
Okay, to prove I’m not a big shot, I’ll concede that it’s the entry-level first-time-buying-a-luxury-car model from a certain German automaker. And, I bought it a while ago. I’ve had it for a while. So yes, boujie I’m not…yet (keep that Growth Mindset going!)
But here’s the thing: Recently I had an experience with this brand that was decidedly not luxury in any way whatsoever. […]