Eric Democko

Customer Experience

I’ve been thinking about doing a few blog posts on customer experience. It is no doubt a hot topic right now, and I have to say I’m relieved to see business begin to look at things from the customer’s eyes.

Gartner defines customer experience as “the customer’s perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with a supplier’s employees, systems, channels or products.”

This is pretty accurate but not particularly interesting.

This article from Forbes begins to make this more relevant:

“Customer service isn’t getting worse, it’s just getting harder”– because of the rising expectations of customers in all age brackets, and the already-risen-and-never-going-back-down expectations of the born-to-digital millennial generation.

We need to be working harder on providing memorable customer service so we don’t lose our customers to the next guy.

There are a couple brands that have killed it in this department for me recently: Warby Parker and Tuft and Needle.

They are certainly not the only ones who get customer experience, but boy do they stand out. I got a personal email from one of the founders of Tuft & Needle after I placed my order, and Warby Parker offered to pay for a professional fitting for my glasses after I received them in the mail.

Owen has been covering Stella up wherever she passes out lately.

Owen has been covering Stella up wherever she passes out lately.

Social Customer Service


Recently I’ve had the chance to interact with some top-notch support teams on Twitter. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to see how well some brands listen and respond to their customers. I will post a few examples here in the next few days.

Example 1 is…..

Read More »


So I sort of created a hashtag thanks to inspiration from a friend. It took off pretty nicely!

Here are some of my favorite tweets


Something else that struck me about the Olympics is the annoying obsession with medal counts.

This article is a good start at explaining the problem. It mostly focuses on the statistics side of things, and as we know, you can make numbers say almost anything you want.

What’s really great about the Olympics? Watching all these elite athletes from around the world come together, get to know each other, and put it all on the line to see who’s the best.

If the USA won 89 medals and the next country won 22 would I think that was cool? Sure. But clearly there is population, wealth, and all kinds of other factors that contribute to that.

Did you know the British ski team trains on plastic ski slopes?

I just want to see a good competition. Besides the Olympic Spirit is about coming together and uniting people. All these medal counts every 15 minutes seem to be virtually the opposite of that.

In fact, lets actually celebrate some of the talented athletes from other countries who win medals. It shouldn’t be about what a disappointment it is for J.R. Celski who only medaled in the relay. The story should be about Viktor Ahn and how he managed to dominate the short track.

Sochi Olympics 2014

The 2014 Winter Olympics started off with the #SochiProblems hashtag and all kinds of concerns regarding safety, security, and it even had people questioning whether construction had been completed on the hotels and facilities for the fans and media attending the Olympics. 

Did the Opening Ceremonies go perfectly?


That didn’t concern me too much. But this on the other hand…

Luckily the Sochi games appeared to go off without major issues. Of course there were complaints about the quality of the ski slopes, the officiating, etc.

My highlights include:

  • This NBC documentary on the plane crash that killed the entire Lokomotiv Hockey Club in Russia in 2011. If you can manage to find the whole thing someplace, it is a real tearjerker.
  • Hockey. The level of play was tremendous, but even better was the passion that these countries have for the game. Also, international ice is more fun to watch than NHL ice. The USA played quite well (men and women), as expected, until they ran into Canada. Those guys had an unreal amount of leadership from the management to the coaching staff to the veteran players to give them the consistency and guidance to roll right to the gold. It was a heck of a thing to watch.
  • Curling. This event always makes me want to put on some festive pants, head down to the Rochester Curling Club, crack open a beer, and start yelling “HARD!”image
    (Image via Business Insider)

And possibly the best part of Sochi 2014, was watching a fellow Clarkson alum make his country proud. No, he didn’t compete for a medal, but he certainly did support the athletes.

He even got some major facetime on NBC (one of the commentators questioned how he got through customs):

After appearing at multiple games at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, he developed a real mystique.


And then he partied with some fun-loving Canadians:


(photo via USA TODAY)

I had also thought about writing a post about what a terrible job NBC does with the Olympics, but my friend Dan sums it up pretty nicely on his blog.

Now back to your regularly scheduled, non-Olympic programming.