Hmm, this blog entry from Mr Crap isn't good.
I used to work in the retail sector which - in my experienced opinion - is probably far more customer-focused than any other sector of business. In retail, your customers aren't miles away on the end of a telephone line or a randomly-generated name in a chat box but RIGHT THERE in front of you, so your customer service has to be second-to-none.
I was proud of the fact that when my shops (I worked in several across a chain) got back their bi-monthly Mystery Shopper scores, they were always within the top 2% of the company. 'What was my secret?' colleagues would ask. There was no secret: I simply instructed my team to treat each customer they helped as an individual, meet their individual needs, treat them like a human being with a human query, not as a potential cash-cow. Some in retail would suggest that this didn't get results - i.e. sales through the till - as you'd allow people to walk out without taking any money from them; but they'd come back, I'd argue, and more often than not they did, because they knew that they could trust that team to help them.
But the key question should have been: how difficult was it to achieve this? And my answer would be: as easy as opening your mouth to talk to someone. Simple as that.
If the Lab can't find someone with basic human decency to treat people as their equals; but the fact is, the Lab is probably populated now solely by computer engineers or coders - who again in my experience have as much social approach as a twig with a piece of dog crap stuck on the end of it; if you're a coder, feel free to argue your point - and that is where the Lab will fall down.
Bottom line: helping someone isn't hard. It isn't a chore. And the reward it brings from doing it right is immeasurable.