I am sure that, like me, many of you will be tired of hearing all those ICT managers saying that they are, oh, so focused on their customers and that their major occupation is listening to what they want.
Even if we give them the benefit of the doubt and accept that they really may be doing this, these customer-focused exercises seldom produce anything that demonstrates the fact. They always seem to come up with the most complex price plans; with bundles that don’t suit me; and with devices that are classic examples of user-unfriendliness.
Just some of the issues that come to my mind …..
• Providing a mobile call plan that really delivers me the best service for what I want – we estimate that the failure of the industry to provide such customer services nets them 10%-15% in additional revenue, since nobody is actually able to find the best plan. There might be a conflict of interest here with true customer service.
• Installing new services on our PCs, mobile phones, iPods, etc. They all say that their devices (with that new program or update) are extremely simple, yet the consensus is that it is very likely they will not work first time, leaving you with a problem to sort out. And, while I am happy to pay for a service to do this for me, most of the time that service is simply not available.
• Vendors’ features, not my features. True, most devices I own have over a thousand features – perhaps, who knows, even the ones I need. But, unless you are a teenager, what hope do you have of finding them? Why can’t they be delivered pre-set with ‘my’ applications? This is one of the key reasons data services on mobile phones are not seen to be user-friendly, and therefore are not used.
• Supporting customers’ Internet connections when they are attacked by a virus. For most users this is a traumatic experience, as their providers leave it up to the customer to sort out the mess.
• Simplifying the myriad wires connecting VCRs, DVDs, digital TV and pay TV receivers and surround sound. If you have more than three or four devices it is likely that you won’t be able to manage the cable forest at the back of the home ‘entertainment’ set-up.
• No outages – of several hours, several minutes, or even several seconds. This is particularly relevant when trying to obtain an Internet connection, a dial tone, or when trying to record your favourite show on your DVR.
• The curse of bundles. Give me the choice to select my own bundle of triple play or pay TV services.
• Feel free to add your own customer service wishes to this list.
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