Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How Does Your Company Relate To Your Customers?

I can see that I'm becoming more interested in this topic of how businesses and non-profits treat their customers and clients. Two more stories:

College of the Canyons Jim and I would like to take Italian at our local community college, which opened a new branch literally down the road. We took Italian last summer at UCLA extension, which was excellent, but a bit of a haul twice a week, and sort of expensive. The community college is far cheaper, but, according to the registration guide I received in the mail, in order to take a class, we have to:

fill out an application on-line (all right)
send our high school and all college transcripts (this is where my problem starts)
take assessment tests in writing, reading, and math (and here is where my problem continues)
take an online orientation and quiz (at this point, I've already given up).

This has been enough for us not to register at College of the Canyons in the past. But my neighbor, a faculty member, insists that we do not have to. So I poked around on-line and guess what? I see that on-line where the policies are explained in more detail that I don't have to send transcripts or take assessment tests because I have a degree. Thank you.

College of the Canyons? For those people who do not live across the street from faculty members, you might provide more clarity in your schedule of classes. Most people will not do the amount of work I did in order to take a class. And I want to give you money. Please.

Carolina Quarterly I submitted a personal essay to them in the fall of 2004. The essay has since been published in the Concho River Review in Fall 2005. But I just received notice in the mail from the Carolina Quarterly that they had a backlog of submissions, could not read my submission, and that I should resubmit in September. So what they are saying is that in almost 3 years, they haven't read my submission or the letter withdrawing it from consideration since it was published elsewhere, and that I should completely resubmit. Lovely.

Carolina Quarterly? Now I've worked on a small literary journal and know that it is hard unpaid work, but I find this sort of relationship with writers totally unacceptable. I'm not submitting anything in September. Why should I? It's not like you're going to read it!

So, lest I'm too hypocritical, how I relate to clients as a small business owner? Am I making it confusing for them to use my services? Do they know what to do in order to use my services? Do they know how to pay me? And am I responding to them in a timely matter? Good questions for me to think about.