Friday, May 25, 2007


DEVIL’S DESIGNS or .........

A leading Automobile Manufacturing company received an unusual complaint. The text was as follows: -

“This is the second time I have written to you and I don’t blame for not answering me, because I sounded crazy, but is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of ice cream for dessert after dinner each night. But the kind of ice cream varies so, every night. After our dinner, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It is also a fact that I have recently purchased your new brand of luxury car and since then my trips to the store have created a new problem. You see every time I buy a vanilla ice cream, when I start back from the store my car won’t start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts fine. I want you to know I’m serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds: “What is there about the car that makes it not start when I get vanilla Ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?”

The car manufacturer was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an engineer to check it anyway. The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well educated man in a fine neighborhood.

He had arranged to meet the man just after dinnertime, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it would ‘not start. The Engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, they got chocolate, the car started. The second night he got strawberry. The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start. Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man’s car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged therefore, to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And towards this end he began to take notes: he jotted down all sorts of data: time of day, type of gas used, time to drive back and forth etc. In a short time he had a clue; the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store.

Vanilla being the most popular flavor was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to check out the flavor.

Now the question for the Engineer was why the car wouldn’t start when it took less time. Once time became the problem - not the Vanilla Ice Cream. “Eureka”, The Engineer quickly came up with the answer: “Vapor Lock”. It was happening every night; but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. When the man got Vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.
Courtesy - E-mail

Customer service, as it should be: do we ever strive this hard?
K. Mathew Thomas)

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