Saturday, February 23, 2008

feedback loop

Do big companies pay any attention to the suggestions we submit? A few years ago I wrote to TiVo about two little things that were bothering me. They have since fixed both issues. Maybe I had something to do with it or maybe it was just a coincidence.

On weeknights, I record "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on WATE. The next morning my TiVo should still be on that channel in case I want to hit rewind and see the visual of something that I heard on the audio simulcast on "World News Now." Sometimes I wouldn't turn on the TV until later when I wanted to see something on "The View" or the noon news. More than a couple of times a week, the TiVo would be tuned to the Discovery Channel instead. The TiVo had switched to it at 4:30 in the morning to record some movie trailers and car commercials that show up in the main menu. I wrote to complain that my TiVo should leave things the way it found them. I suggested that they insert a command to return to the previous channel after recording their infomercials. If there's a button on my remote to go back to the previous channel, they should be able to write a line of code for it. They must have agreed because it's no longer an issue.

On another occasion I wrote to TiVo asking them to make it easier to record future episodes of a show I had sampled. If I tried one episode of a show and liked it, I would have to search for it in the guide to find more. For shows that were still on the To Do List, they have a button marked View Upcoming Episodes. That button would go away once the show was finished recording. I suggested that they keep it around. Their solution wasn't perfect, you still have to look for it under More Options, but it is satisfactory.

I once asked the manager of a new movie theatre to lower the intensity of their hand dryers because the noise was deafening, especially when the bathroom was crowded and all the dryers were in use. They said they would.

Those same dryers gave me the idea for my next suggestion. In the locker rooms at the UT Student Aquatic Center and at most fitness centers, they have hand dryers placed at two heights on the wall. One is for drying hands, the other for drying hair. My idea is to add a dryer lower on the wall for drying feet. I gave my idea to the front desk staff at one branch of a health club. Meanwhile, a friend and co-worker of mine is about to take a new job in marketing at The Rush, a fast-growing chain of fitness complexes based here in Knoxville. I will bug him with my idea until he talks his new bosses into doing it.

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Blogger Monica said...

Are you sure Marc is the idea man and not you? I guess the difference is you follow through with your ideas.


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