Re: What kind of names do you make up?

Subject: Re: What kind of names do you make up?
From: Gwen Thomas <gthomas -at- PAYSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 11:22:59 -0500

I think it's important to carefully consider the cultures of your company's current clients and potential clients.

One company I know had a product sold domestically. Sample data included Middle Eastern leaders, with "funny" addresses and collections status hinting at whether the programmers thought the individual was a "good guy" or "bad guy." Probably not appropriate under any circumstance, but the feeling was that "Americans can take a joke."

So then the company went global, and no one thought to revisit the sample data. Customers were offended BIG TIME and it affected the company's bottom line.

How? The product was challenging to implement (everyone knew this going in) and challenging to learn (again, everyone knew this going in). But even though they knew this, tempers naturally got short. As I recall, the doc thing was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. The company had to do some serious "make-good" that included eating the expense of sending a couple of trainers halfway across the world for a week of free training. This episode also affected future Customer Relationship Management initiatives and colored perceptions of product support.

That was a very expensive little joke, and certainly not the way an employee wants his/her name to become known to the CEO.

Gwen Thomas
Knowledge Management Consultant
CIBER Information Services

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