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Harry poses an interesting question:

Is there a word for the practice of sugar–coating deplorable business models with a fantastic customer experience? Harry Brignull

Rather obviously, and not particularly amusingly, I came up with Amazonification (even the though the sound of it…) Uberfication would probably be better.

As I’ve noted before, my experience of Amazon’s customer service is indeed amazing. And as we all know, Amazon treats its workers like crap.

I’m not averse to a bit of customer experience evangelism myself – library websites traditionally provide a miserable search and discover experience. Improving library websites should make libraries more attractive to more people.

But there is something – what? – sinister, complicit, underhand, obfuscatory, smoke and mirrors? – in this quest to provide an excellent customer experience. As with all transactions, there’s an element of supply and demand, and as consumers we willingly concentrate on only one part of the transaction – our experience.

What price excellent customer service? Or rather, what price for refusing to look at what happens behind the scenes? I’m not saying excellent experience and grubby ethics are necessarily linked, but perhaps we shouldn’t be blinded by a wonderful, shiny, cheap service every time.