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Cagle 12-03

December 2003

Pay Up!

Excuse me? Seeing that I'm a poor simp who misuses his credit, can I pony up a little more next time instead of buying a case of Schlitz and lottery cards?

I'm guessing that this was a special promotion, but it came off sounding like a slap in the face. It should go without saying, but apparently it doesn't. Should you want to call an audible regarding credit terms and extend an offer that reduces debt in exchange for a slightly higher payment, do not make the customer sound as if he/she is downtrodden and irresponsible. Take care of your customers, or someone else will.

BOZ MISSED THE BOAT: My co-worker buddy, Pat, found himself with an extra ticket to a Boz Scaggs concert. For those unfamiliar with Mr. Scaggs, he is a former guitarist with the Steve Miller Band who set out as a solo artist with a string of pop/rock hits, including "Lido Shuffle" and "Lowdown." Pat offered me his spare ticket and, being a huge fan of "Lido Shuffle" and a few other tunes, I decided to tag along.

During the preshow setup for Boz, Pat noticed the stage was a little lacking in instruments. The drum trap was minimal and a floor base was set up. When the lights went down, Scaggs and a quintet eased into a standard refrain. Pat's eyes were filled with horror. For those of you who love Tony Bennett, this was a masterpiece. But for those of us who prefer Scaggs' catalog, it was a most unpleasant surprise.

After the first song, Scaggs informed the audience: "This is a different show than you're probably used to seeing. We won't be playing 'Lido Shuffle' tonight."

A gentle groan went across the audience, and Scaggs launched into a set of the standards. Pat was thoroughly disappointed. He wasn't the only one; as the show progressed, people quietly left their seats and didn't return.

Scaggs had released a standards album, but there was no forewarning in his advertisements that his tour would support only those tunes. We were a test audience.

Customers don't like unexpected changes. You already knew that. Someone, obviously does not.

Before you go for the last time, I'd like to thank everyone who took time out to send along letters of encouragement in reponse to some of my columns, as well as those who occasionally took issue with subjects and provided a little food for thought. No single person has all the answers, or even most of them, but sharing ideas is the most productive way to discover the better ones.

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