Friday, June 30, 2017

Respect Thy Customer

We all have been bored to death by the cliche, Customer is King. Just as some kings are benevolent and some are malevolent, some customers are delightful to have and some are pain. More on that later. Irrespective of the nature of the customer, you just have to respect them. Simple. Period.

In my opinion, the biggest and worst form of customer abuse happens in Knowledge sharing sessions! For lack of better and appropriate word, I am calling them knowledge sharing sessions. If you are wondering, what exactly I am talking about, think of big time conferences and smaller events where there are speakers who are supposed to be thought leaders offering the expert opinions.

People come to the conferences and events to gain knowledge. They place an implicit trust that facts, opinions and learning shared by them are authentic. Of course there are certain things that have to be taken with a pinch of salt and context. Still, the speakers have a strong moral obligation to their audience who are their customers! Sometimes Audience pay a bomb to attend these talks, (even if it is company sponsored) they invest their time and effort, put up with not so good food at the events.
It is possible that the speakers don't get paid monetarily, still that doesn't justify the cavalier attitude speakers might have towards their customers, i.e the audience.

So, if you are going to be a speaker and would be talking to audience of twenty or two hundred or twenty thousand, please do the following

  1. Do not accept a speaking engagement just because someone asked, or you have time or it would make you look good. Please do accept it because you are an expert and would know what you are talking
  2. Research, Read, Research, Read, Repeat, Repeat
  3. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
  4. Be cognizant about what you are talking, more especially with respect to data and numbers
  5. During the Q& A
    1. It is okay to say, you do not know
    2. Do not beat around the bush 
The above might seem simple, in fact a given one. Strangely and surprisingly, some people just don't do it!


I really had to write this and get it out of my system. In the last one week alone, had to sit through some speakers who were brazenly quoting wrong numbers and dumb statements in an unabashed manner with utmost confidence. It was such an insult to audience. I really wish, I was brash enough to call them out publicly! 

1 comment:

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