"Do You Understand?" (April 2017, pp. 36-41) was a straightforward representation of the ineffective norm of the commonly used read-and-understand testimonial approach to training. I appreciated its reinforcement of the fundamental need for practice to achieve progress and facilitate competency. For me, it boiled down to assessing actions and behavior, as well as expected output instead of relying on bobble-headed testimony of understanding.

Randy Wasberg
Auburn, IN


In response to "One Good Idea: Five Whys and a Why Not" (January 2017, p. 63): This seems like one of those ideas you look at and say: "It seems so simple. How did we not think of this before?" Good article and interesting approach that I may integrate at my organization. Thank you for sharing.

Chris Sweat

The Reaction Gauge

This Month’s Question

Recent news has touted the benefits of using chatbots—a computer program that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to convincingly mimic conversation with a human—to improve the cost and quality of customer service.

Wells Fargo, for example, is testing a Facebook chatbot that will provide around-the-clock customer service—answering inquiries about customers’ account balances and where they can find the nearest ATM. A recent study by Juniper Research predicts that by 2022 chatbots will save more than $8 billion per year in customer service costs.

How else might chatbots change the customer experience in the future? Are there any drawbacks to using AI over human intelligence?

Last Month’s Question

It seems everyone has an airline horror story. And recently, several airlines have been called out for especially poor customer service—cancelling hundreds of flights, dragging passengers off planes, threatening families with jail. But aside from apologizing after the fact, action is rarely taken to prevent these situations. What can airlines do to improve the customer experience and avoid these PR nightmares?

Misael Lugo Jr., Philadelphia, writes:

This a corporate culture issue. It starts from the top down. CEOs and other executives that have promoted this culture should be replaced.

I don’t believe this is an issue of policies or process per se. You shouldn’t need to institute a policy that prevents you from dragging a paid customer off a plane because you (the airline) greedily double book seats. Good customer service should be common sense (though I’m not sure how common it is today).

I agree that effective processes can prevent double booking from occurring in the first place, but the unprofessional manner in which the incidents are being handled is atrocious and borderline criminal. Give executives the ax and start holding managers, pilots and employees accountable.

Christopher Vallee, Knoxville, TN, says:

Operate on growth potential (more seats mean more planes) not avoidance of profit loss potential (empty seats are bad).

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