There’s a Bengali saying that a bad dancer blames the uneven floor. But what if the floor can defend itself?

That’s what’s happening in the Case of the Sneaky e-Scooter. A rider blames brake failure for an accident. The bike company produces stored driving data to show that the driver was way over the speed limit. Who do we believe? Who audits this data? Do we need a lawyer to read all our device purchase contracts? What happens when the police department requests access to the drive data?

From a business perspective I wonder why they chose this particular way to let customers know that they are tracking them. Which part of the customer experience chart did this fall into?

Businesses need to have a customer experience map, a data policy, and an ethics officer. If these three don’t sync, sooner or later there will be a decision like this.

Data can’t be unseen. Once it is out there it will be used.

In the cop show Brooklyn Nine-Nine there’s a scene where only good two-shoes Amy Santiago is found to never ever accept terms and conditions without reading them. We all need to be Amy now.

Nail clippers come first

Sridhar Vembu (of Zoho fame) spoke recently on India becoming a developed country by 2047. I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the deck I received on Whatsapp but it has some good points. More than once he mentions that we import nail clippers and need to get started on making our own. He comes at it from the perspective of building up our manufacturing and engineering capability. I’m looking at it from the perspective of self-sufficiency.

In today’s fragile world, it is quite likely that your trade partner can cut off supplies – and then you’d be a nation of (nail) hackers. As a country with a 300 year history of making scissors (check out this quiz on India’s global contenders) we should be able to figure this out.

What about Elon and his tryst with free speech?

One person’s free speech is another person’s libel. Rich people have always liked to own newspapers and TV channels, and Elon is just doing the same thing on a grand scale. But given that all of my communication tools are in private hands – gmail, whatsapp, Twitter, I wonder whether there is merit in national communication channels again. I might send you all a letter soon 🙂

In outsourcing we always advise clients not to outsource any activity that is core to the business. Countries/states/cities have to figure out what that is and then protect it accordingly.

Back to customer experience.

As digital is all-pervasive, it will drive newer customer experiences that are differentiated and real time. To do so without irritating your customers or falling foul of regulation will be key.

One of the keys of good market research is to ask questions only when you plan to use the answer to do something. Similarly marketers should collect data only when it has a tangible business benefit or customer impact.

A hotel for example can ask if its guests have dietary preferences and adjust its buffet accordingly instead of having the one-size-fits-all-and-its-XL sugar and cholesterol bombs on offer. If airlines can do it why not hotels?

And of course, if you do find out that your customers are breaking the rules, you should repair your experience, not accuse them of cheating publicly! Free advice – customers do not take lightly to being laughed at in public.

Back to work!

As you can see I’m doing “in real life” meetings again – and griping 🙂 I enjoy the interactions but the infrastructure does not seem to have kept pace with the tremendous digital acceleration since 2019.

Have a great May Day and Happy Koningsdag to my Dutch friends!

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Jessie Paul is the Founder and CEO of Paul Writer, a firm she founded in early 2010 to raise the bar for marketing in India. Previously, as Chief Marketing Officer of Wipro’s IT business and as Global Brand Manager at Infosys, Jessie has been recognized for her contribution towards putting the Indian IT industry on the global map. With over 18 years in services marketing, including a stint with Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Jessie is considered an expert in brand globalization and has been named one of the most influential business women in the Indian IT industry.


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