We Have Revised Our Gibberish to Serve You Better

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Summary:

I'm always amused when I receive a bill that's accompanied by an insert that reads, "We have redesigned our bill to serve you better." Typically, following this heart-warming message is an explanation of how to read the redesigned bill. But if the bill has been redesigned to serve me better, shouldn't I be able to figure it out without a cheat sheet? Or is the purpose of the new design not to inform, but to obfuscate?

I'm always amused when I receive a bill that's accompanied by an insert that reads, "We have redesigned our bill to serve you better." Typically, following this heart-warming message is an explanation of how to read the redesigned bill. But if the bill has been redesigned to serve me better, shouldn't I be able to figure it out without a cheat sheet? Or is the purpose of the new design not to inform, but to obfuscate?

Often, of course, the bill has been redesigned because new facts and figures have come into play regarding the services being delivered. In that case, the insert can be helpful in understanding the new or changed information and its whereabouts on the bill. It makes me laugh, though, when the "how to read the bill" insert is more cryptic than the bill it's supposed to help customers read. Maybe what's needed is a second insert labeled "How to read the insert on how to read the bill."

I like to think that before the spec for revising the bill format goes to IT, the new format has been tested on actual customers for readability and comprehension. But sometimes, I wonder. Take a look the next time you get a redesigned bill and see what you think.

About the author

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten

Naomi Karten is a highly experienced speaker and seminar leader who draws from her psychology and IT backgrounds to help organizations improve customer satisfaction, manage change, and strengthen teamwork. She has delivered seminars and keynotes to more than 100,000 people internationally. Naomi's newest books are Presentation Skills for Technical Professionals and Changing How You Manage and Communicate Change. Her other books and ebooks include Managing Expectations, Communication Gaps and How to Close Them, and How to Survive, Excel and Advance as an Introvert. Readers have described her newsletter, Perceptions & Realities, as lively, informative, and a breath of fresh air. She is a regular columnist for StickyMinds.com. When not working, Naomi's passion is skiing deep powder. Contact her at naomi@nkarten.com or via her Web site, www.nkarten.com.

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