In Praise of Excellent Customer Service

Barry Friedman

Editor & Publisher

We all know what bad customer service feels like: the company is slow to respond; the rep doesn’t understand the issue; they’re reading from a script that doesn’t take your situation into account; you’re on the phone for hours.

We hear the complaints, but I’m not sure we hear as much about good customer service.

So I’d like to compliment the excellent customer service that LkldNow gets from Newspack, the company that hosts our website and provides us with an evolving set of tools to display news and support our operation. 

The reps are smart, knowledgeable and quick to respond. We are developing personal (though virtual) relationships with some of them. They ask probing questions that help get to the core of the issue. And things get fixed quickly.

One nice bonus: All support issues are filed and answered through the Slack messaging app, so we can often search through past tickets to quickly find solutions to our problems and not even bother the reps.

We pay a healthy fee to Newspack — thank you to the Knight Foundation for a grant that is supporting our Newspack costs for at least the first year — but it feels like an inexpensive way to add a talented team that provides both tech support and continuing education to us.

And while I’m at it, here’s a shoutout to Anders Noren, the Swedish designer behind the elegant theme (template) I’ve used for several personal websites. His themes are free and I’ve never paid him a cent, but he responded quickly with a perfect solution when I presented him with a very obscure issue about some photo galleries the other day.

Thank you to all who respond quickly, clearly, intelligently and correctly.

LPD Chief Calls in FDLE to Investigate Videotaped Arrest

Four officers are on paid administrative leave. They must be available to investigators but can’t exercise police authority.

Black Leaders to DeSantis: Reverse Decision on African-American Studies

The rally was called by the NAACP Lakeland Branch after the governor said a new AP course won’t be taught in Florida.

Conservative Group is Targeting More Public School Library Books

County Citizens Defending Freedom objects to 15 titles to be placed at two new Polk County schools.

KidsPACK Helps Feed Rising Number of Polk Students

The nonprofit organization sends students home with backpacks full of food to get them through the weekend.

Moms With Monitors Program Aims to Reduce Infant Mortality in Polk

The initiative is a joint effort by the Polk County Health Department and the League of Women Voters.

Dr. William Roth selected as Watson Clinic’s managing partner

The previous managing partner, Dr. Steven Achinger, chose not to seek the position again, a clinic spokeswoman said.

Photos and Videos: 2023 Lakeland MLK Parade

More than 100 groups participated in the annual event. The theme was preserving cultural history.

Tigers’ Willie Horton Recalls Segregated Lakeland, Gives Thanks for Progress

The retired slugger is grand marshal of Lakeland’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade.


Southeastern University seeks talent for its new bass fishing team | Fox 13 News

Catapult entrepreneur awards go to Bill Mutz, Jeremy Brumley, Nate Kendrick, Mike Mitchell, Hunter Abramson | LALtoday

Talbot House scheduled to open 36 affordable apartments at Plateau Village in west Lakeland next month | Fox 13 News

After 30 years of homelessness, man gets a home at Gospel Village via nonprofit Worth and Purpose | ABC Action News

88 workforce apartments proposed for Neville Avenue northwest of Bonnet Springs Park | The Ledger

Photo gallery: 2023 Comic Con in Lakeland | Tom Hagerty

LHS’ Cormani McLain, nation’s top cornerback recruit, flips from Miami to Colorado | Sports Illustrated

As part of DeSantis’ war on ‘woke ideology,’ Polk State College and Florida Poly reveal their spending on diversity has accounted for 0.2% to 0.3% of their budgets | The Ledger (subscribers-only story)

Cancer claims LPD Sgt. Travis Miller | News Channel 8

BLM claims it showed Lakeland’s police chief evidence of more violence involving 3 officers before he curtailed their duty | The Ledger

Self-store company trying again to get a Harden Road facility approved by scaling back its plan | The Ledger

Visit Central Florida promotes Polk as a craft beer destination | ABC Action News

Pigfest | Friday-Saturday | Sun ’n Fun
More than 150 competition barbecue teams are expected at this weekend’s Pigfest, which takes place Friday 5-10 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 and free for kids 12 and younger. Purchase Pig Bucks at the site to buy food from competitors.

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress | Friday-Sunday | Lakeland Community Theatre
This comedy set in Knoxville, Tenn., is intended for mature audiences. The Lakeland Community Theatre performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Lake Mirror Center, 121 S. Lake Ave.

Coffee With The Artist: Chryssie Tavrides | Saturday | 10:30 a.m. | Polk Museum of Art
The 94-year-old artist, a former Lakeland resident, discusses works in the museum’s exhibition “An Artist’s Journey: The Lifeworks of Chryssie Bilder Tavrides.” The exhibition continues through April 16.

Florida Southern College’s distinctive Frank Lloyd Wright architecture can be seen in this photo of the Emile E. Watson and Benjamin Fine Administration Buildings. Political science professor Bruce Anderson took it from his classroom in the Sarah D. and L. Kirk McKay Jr. Archives Center.

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Barry Friedman

Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.