A wise person asked me the other day: “What would you do if you rang your mobile phone provider and would not get the service you expected?” – “I would switch”, was my answer. Would you do the same? My guess is: you would.
This is why companies spend a fortune trying to find out what it is that their customers are looking for. Customer satisfaction is what they need to achieve to grow their business. It’s bad news for them when customers start to complain and the word gets around that this particular company doesn’t deliver what they promise.
I am sure you can think of examples: remember the Galaxy Note 7 literally catching fire? Remember Kodak cameras or “New Coke”? Kodak cameras are a thing of the past and customers preferred the ‘old’ coke… you’ll probably have your own preferred examples.
Now, how does that compare to a system that tells their customers to be thankful for what they are getting for their hard-earned euro, produce more appalling statistics every year, don’t admit to any mistake made until they settle in the highest courts, and literally put their customers in what their own employees call ‘unsafe’ environments?
You know, I was thinking that such a system should be sidelined, ignored, substituted, and put out of business. Not fought. After all, that would be a waste of perfectly good and very necessary energy. Complaining, fighting, shouting is, generally, not good for you. Building, sharing, caring – much better!
Pádraig got this new table for his wheelchair with a build in button. Here is what he can do with it.
It’s no longer ‘just’ his left foot that is operating a switch that he can use to answer questions, it’s also his hands. Brilliant progress that many people didn’t expect.
He has also started to make more use of the bathroom, not just for showers, but also for combing his hair, watching himself in the mirror as he is doing it. Check out the super-cool comb.
It’s easy to overlook the complexity of what is going on here. He holds the comb, moves it with his hand, lifts up his arm and combs his hair (with help), while watching what is going on in the mirror. He is doing something himself that so far someone else has been doing not just for him but ‘on’ him. The level of autonomy and of taking back control might seem minuscule but is, in reality, enormous. Not least because this is just one of the first steps. And you know what happens when you take the first steps – usually they are just the beginning of a long and wonderful journey.
This is what it is all about: moving forward, revelling in what is possible, assisting and supporting, caring, motivating, discovering, enjoying, being on a wonderful journey.
It’s definitely not about fighting, arguing about who is right and who is wrong, being depressed because life is so shitty and no-one cares, getting constantly angry because the system has abandoned us, non-stop shouting, complaining and roaring about all the injustices. – Of course, I do all that and I do feel all that myself (far too often). There isn’t a day I don’t feel like some of these emotions. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. But I also know that ‘that’ stuff doesn’t get me anywhere. I cannot change any system, I cannot change people who have closed their eyes in the face of injustice and neglect. But I can try to change and try to be an example – and, even if I will, at times, fail, hopefully can make people think. And change. Because they want to.