in Process

Customer Service Organization


Dear Mr. Lombardi,

I will forward your comments to our E-commerce department to see if this information can be added to the error screen. Please let me know if I may be of any further assistance.

Thank you,


Member Service Officer




An email from my bank, this is the same problem as when I was designing a bank site…the poor saps handling the customer support are not the same poor saps designing the system, so there’s no direct connection in the feedback loop between designers and the public. Of course the designers need some time to design, but they sure as hell would make the site more friendly if it meant cutting down the amount of support they had to field.

It gets even worse when you factor in the rest of the experience. Tonight I was lulled in by the wonderfully egalitarian ads for The Neighorhood thinking this was the revolutionary phone service that was finally customer-driven (turns out it’s MCI’s local phone service, but that’s irrelevant). By listening to their radio ads, I thought it was mobile service, not landline. What are the chances that my feedback on their advertising will go through MCI’s centralized customer support down to The Neighborhood department and back to their ad agency? Maybe like, never.

It seems like a problem of scale, that after a certain size the communication just doesn’t happen. But it’s improbably a small company could offer phone or banking services and compete with the big companies. Where’s the sweet spot between the two, and is it possible to stay there without getting too big or too small?