Paul's Blog

The Well-Grounded Yuppie


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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Customer Is Always Right

I’ve read an article today, and it said Sprint just got rid of 1200 of its "worst customers". They basically said "You’re off the contract, go get another cell phone service, no penalty".

Well, the "official" release statement of Sprint was those people were dialing in "40 to 50 times as often" as the "average customer," and after failing to appease them, Sprint chose to "terminate the relationship with those customers to allow them to pursue other options."

The firm also got rid of its habitual roamers, which I’m guessing is costing Sprint a lot more in operating cost in comparison to Sprint's average customers.

I personally couldn’t agree more with this decision Sprint made. In business variable costs, time is opportunity cost, money is operating cost, and both are resources. Most businesses probably spend 80% of their variable resources on 20% of its customers, and that 20% should be cut to be more profitable, assuming they can be replaced with "normal" customers. If they can’t, then the "additional" 20% of gross revenue (from the costly customers) probably isn’t worth the additional 400% (20%-80% split) resources to achieve.

Customers usually say "The customer is always right". Of course customers would say it, it benefits them the most. Management would usually tell clerks or associates "The customer is always right" because it’s safer to assume they’re right than the other way around; clerks don’t really know which customers are costly and which aren’t. But top management understands the theory of "The customer is right unless s/he becomes unprofitable", then it’s wiser to just drop that customer. One last concern about that approach is the company's reputation. But if the company refuses service to "bad customers", they're probably "bad customers" in other businesses too, and their word probably isn't taken too seriously by most people around them.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Drunk Blog Once More

I haven't drunk blogged in two weeks, and I thought I'd do it once more.

After a nice BBQ in Raleigh July 4th and crashing at a friend's in Winston Salem, I arrived at my parents' place in Charlotte around 2PM today. I rested up, and went to this restaurant that my friend owns, Zen Asian Fusion. It's a lovely restaurant which they had the idea of becoming a loungy club on weekend nights, just like some places in bigger cities. Our friend Nick joined us and we chatted for an hour or so, while I grabbed some good ol' southern Iced Tea and some appitizers.

After that I went to visit my friend Linh like we planned, and we were going to go play laser tag. It was in an "entertainment place" at a local mall, where they had bumper cars and go karts and everything. We were the only ones there wanting to play laser tag, what fun is shooting each other? We left and went to a restaurant, Macados, inside the mall, for some drinks. I had two drinks while she had one. We shot a few games of pool at Dave & Busters after that, and that was the beginning of a great night.

We arrived in downtown Charlotte around 9ish, and we barhopping. After I parked, we first went to this great lounge where they played live jazz. We grabbed one drink each, and went down the street to hit up this Irish place. We chatted with a couple of "regulars" in the Irish place as we sipped on our drinks. We hit up a bar that played random hiphop music after that. The bar seemed empty for some reason, it had a good vibe, fun bartenders, and cheap drinks. We each had our last drink there, and we walked around downtown Charlotte some more. We walked around some nice fountains in downtown Charlotte and it was beautiful.

Linh and I decided to call it a night, I dropped her home and picked up some McDonalds on the way home afterwards. It's been a while since I went barring in downtown Charlotte, great night, great company, life is great.

Monday, July 02, 2007

SEO: Wikipedia Article Of The Day

SEO Wikipedia

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was the article of the day in Wikipedia, about time the search marketing industry got some recognition.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Capoeira Class in DC


I decided to take a free intro to capoeira class in DC today. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that somewhat resembles dancing. It uses mostly kicks and headbutts, not the most efficient martial art, it focuses more on style and less on dealing damage to the opponent.

It was in a pretty bad neighborhood of DC, where the convenient shop doesn't let you inside the store, it had a bulletproof glass with a small Z shaped hole for handing money and merchandise between the workers and shoppers.

The class was pretty cool, they taught the basic step, called "Ginga", as shown at the clip above. The practicer keeps moving to make himself a moving target, and a kick can come out of the end of any step. The sway back and forth allows a lot of variations of movement, but the basic Ginga step is about staying low, and use the arm of the opposite leg you're leaning on to guard your face. I also learned the basic front roundhouse kick out of a Ginga step, pretty good for one intro session.

The class was great, but the environment was terrible. It was hot in there with no AC. At the end of the class, I literally felt like my eyes were blurry and couldn't hear well, regained myself after grabbing some water and catching my breath in the bathroom. On the way back to my car, I was saved by the guy selling drinks on the side of the street, I bought a Gatorade for $2, and all is well. Great class, but I'm not a big fan of passing out, so I think Capoeira will not be one of my new DC hobbies.