In my last job, it was my pleasure to report to the president of the company and the Executive Team in regular formal meetings. My part was to present the thoughts, concerns and suggestions in any and all facets of product, services or communications that interfaced or affected the customer. John Larson was the president at the time and he formalized this process as “The Voice of the Customer”.
I was to bring up any issues that we heard in the Call Center, Retail Store outlets, Social Media, Live Chat and other communications. As part of his directive, I would not only give him and the Executive Team perspective from feedback we would hear ‘in the trenches’, but also to offer suggestions to improve customer experience, relieve processing delays or perceived road blocks to any and all customer interactions. This report included everything from product design, repairs, support, marketing, communications and many other company efforts.
In his wisdom, John Larson realized it was important that everyone in the company understood what we were all there for in the first place, and that each of us had a role to play in how positively – or negatively we impacted our customers. He understood the Executive Team might think they are successful and doing a great job in their own perspective fields yet still fail miserably in the customer’s eyes.
I bring this up in a political climate where watching the debates (from both parties) leads me to ask two questions from my usual sarcastic point of view;
1) Of all the talented and educated people in this country, are these candidates the best America has to offer? Is this really the best we can do as a nation?
2) Who speaks for Americans? I know there are party-faithful people out there but when I listen to the politicians that climb to the top of the heap I realize none of them speak for me. I have not heard my concerns reflected for a very long time.
I also would like to make sure you understand that I do not ‘buy in’ to the common and fatal cultural mistake of blaming everyone else but me and criminalizing others for our problems.
There are politicians – policemen – civil servants – lawyers – teachers – people of faith – people without formal religious beliefs – immigrants – poor – or rich – that are dedicated, sincere, hard working and unselfish in their attempts to do what is best, even though it is not easy and certainly not appreciated.
I would love to help. I thought about entering politics at an early age as a noble way to serve my country. I still do. But then President Kennedy was assassinated. Then Bobby Kennedy was struck down and to my horror the list kept growing. As my last name is Kennedy, that talked me out of politics quickly. Maybe I let ‘them’ win. Maybe that is what they wanted.
And here we are. Voters that believe in ‘democracy’ only as long as they are in the majority. Only if they continue to control every aspect in our lives and can influence each decision to make sure they fit their beliefs or allow them to benefit from disadvantaging others. Powerful people that feel it is their option to take as much as they want from whomever they can; because they can. If you make the laws, you can never be convicted of breaking the law.
Does it make sense to elect more and more politicians from a narrowing list that only includes the wealthiest candidates? Do we benefit most Americans when the rich only talk to the ultra-rich to decide what policies, laws and directions our nation will take? Who speaks for Americans? More importantly, who listens?
Listen to those with other opinions. They are not your enemy simply because they have a different perspective. Read more than just ‘bumper stickers’ to make your decision. Go out and vote. Pick the lesser of two evils until we get a real choice.