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MAY 2023 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 89 until they saw them. Designing products that were beautiful, simple, and intuitive shattered the cookie-cutter products of Apple's compe- tition. Remember spending Saturday aer- noons in the record store? Now, remember your shock when Jobs introduced iTunes? We suddenly had the opportunity to buy only the songs we wanted instead of an entire album. It was not universally accepted at first but talk about a revolution in the music industry. Henry Ford was another heretic who went against the grain with his vision of a motor- ized automobile. Had he asked people what they needed to improve their transportation, they would have told him, "A faster horse." Just think where we would be today without these two heretics. Leadership is hard, but what's harder is find- ing the strength to become a heretic—to drive radical change in the face of massive resistance and inspire others to break norms and do the same. PCB007 Steve Williams is president of The Right Approach Consulting. He is also an independent certi- fied coach, trainer, and speaker with the John Maxwell team. To read past columns, click here. Barry Matties asks David Thomas, master IPC trainer at EPTAC, about his views on customer ser- vice. David says that the more you understand the work and technology that goes into your processes and products, the better you can serve your cus- tomers. There are a lot of approaches to customer service, but I'm a firm believer that content knowledge is the foundation of great customer service. Service is a process, but understanding technology cer- tainly is a benefit. What are your thoughts on that? There are cases that I've personally experienced in which someone knows how to speak the language, but they don't know how to apply it, and vice versa. They may come in and talk about something. They think they're speaking as an edu- cated person but are say- ing something completely wrong. For example, they need to know the basics, from the difference between a resistor and a diode, to how a resistor pack, timer, and an EPROM operate. If you go to a conference or talk with a customer, you need to have basic knowledge so that you're on the same page as them. They should be able to see that you're not the person putting the solder to the application. What advice would you give someone who's look- ing to retool their customer service department or their approach to customer service? First, gain knowledge on the things you're working with. You can often gain a good understanding by taking, for example, a basic soldering class. Even if you don't use that knowledge, at least you have it. You were there, you did it, and you saw what it takes to do it. You have a better understanding. I find that many engineers who are at the design level want something done to a cer- tain degree, but they have no idea what they're asking for. It makes no sense at all because they aren't there, trying to put it together. Cus- tomer service improves when people speak the same lan- guage and have a good understanding, whether it's the engineer and whoever is doing the work, or a cus- tomer and a company. Knowledge: The Heart of Great Customer Service David Thomas

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