In twelve days we will graduate. Pending our grade in this independent study, of course. (Have we mentioned how much we value our Professors? They are utterly fantastic!) We sought out this independent study after, as we noted in our first blog post, having “fallen in love with an emerging idea that fuses the ideals of consulting with the analytics of operations, all the while focusing on the consumer. In all, we have found, hope to define, and ultimately build our careers around: The Customer Experience.”
Since our first post, we have both become more conscientious consumers and more analytical customers. We both find ourselves standing in lines at stores thinking “this experience would be better if the execution was better,” and mentally redesigning the processes that seem inefficient or to be causing the bottleneck. We sat at a food court together, enjoying a falafel and a subway sandwich, geeking out about how we mutually agree that service recovery is the MOST important part of customer service and the entirety of a customer experience. “A service could be amazing,” we contend. “If it goes wrong, however, and the fix is non-existent, the whole experience is blown. By the way – are you going to finish those chips?”
All in all, the blogging experience was refreshing, though not without drawbacks. In an exciting, yet limiting way, committing to such a small piece of writing was difficult as each sentence, phrase, or idea opened up new avenues to explore. With a smaller venue for our thoughts, however, and less of an idea of how to structure continuous, yet abridged, thoughts, we had to limit the depth of our exploration and move on to new breadth. In order to stay in a linear fashion with our research, we both wrote offline so as to focus on logically sequencing our thoughts. This made it harder for our smaller posts to be indicative of the depth of research that we actually sought out.
On the flip side, however (as Safi always asks us to consider), the smaller posts forced these two generally long-winded writers to condense our points and get across in 500 words what we might have used 1500 to, in the past. As we now head out into the world of corporate emails and to-the-point executive summaries, this is a great pilot program for our real world lives.
The bottom line is, with some added professorial structure, we both feel that blogging can be a viable platform for sharing articles, contentions, and overarching ideas between professors and students. If we had a longer timeline we both think that it would have been fun to have “guest posts” by both professors and potentially other experts in the field. Looking long-term, I think we both feel that we’d like to keep this up even if our posts become more sporadic.
Our mutually favorite moment of the class was the session we spent discussing two agreed upon articles one afternoon in April with our professors. We all allowed the conversation to wander and ended up delving into seriously interesting topics. An afternoon to freely think with great minds is one of the greatest gifts of an MBA program.
And so we thank you – Safi and Kay – for allowing us to blog for a semester every now and then. But we thank you more for giving us the opportunity to THINK; to take the time to analyze an everyday situation and leave our mark on it in this safe space. To get to the heart of an issue by scouring the internet and asking our friends and family about seemingly inane moments of their service-based lives. For getting excited about reading case studies… for FUN… for once, instead of for “work.” We specifically sought you out for the knowledge and experience that you have to share and we were not disappointed. Ultimately, our roles as “customers” and our views of “experiences” have been forever changed. We could not be more grateful.
Ali & Amy