A helpful piece of information to enhance your driving experience…..

When I was working with Mazda out in Orange County California a couple of years back I found out a piece of information that was one of those “REALLY” moments, maybe you already know this but I didn’t and actually some of the Mazda team didn’t either!

In the picture below you will see the fuel gauge from my car and an icon with a petrol pump …on the side of the pump icon you will see an arrowhead…guess what… that is pointing out to you which side of the car your fuel filler cap is.  So no more driving onto the garage forecourt and trying to remember which side to go just look at the pump icon and it will tell you.

This is great example of attention to detail in design terms that is not then followed through in terms of communicating this to the customer – it is one of those things that is useful to have and even more useful to know that you have!!!

Businesses need to think about what they actually want and need to tell their customers.

What have you most likely even invested in and then not told your customers about?  

British Airways customer experience will be worse than Ryanair as early as next year….the end of an iconic British brand?

Following on from my earlier post on October 4th 2016 highlighting how British Airways is sinking into the customer experience mire by taking the opportunity to move from an easily distinguished full service carrier to a hybrid low cost/premium player it now transpires that in a few short months it is potentially  going to be a worse experience than Ryanair (long seen as the price champion that ignored experience a model that the travelling public both understood and bought into) but at a higher price, the story continues….to get worse….read on!

The appointment last year of Alex Cruz as Chairman and CEO of British Airways and previously the founder of low cost carrier Clickair was I guess the inevitable death knell for the BA brand and customer experience as we know it. Someone with a background of success in low cost carriers is put in charge of the crown jewel in the airline brand world.  It didn’t take long for the free food to go, for routes to be franchised out under the BA brand (but to not even necessarily using BA branded aircraft), paying for specific seats is rife and now the latest and biggest change.  BA has announced it is now going to be adding 12 extra seats to its short-haul Airbus A320 fleet from Heathrow, my understanding is that this that this will mean leg room of 29 inches as opposed to the 30 inches offered by Ryanair.

This is described using a term new to me they want to ‘densify’ their aircraft –  lovely way of saying cram more people into the same space this was described by Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA’s parent company IAG as “responding to a market opportunity” clearly not for the travelling passenger!!

Not only that but if you want to use them for international travel, whilst the Business and First won’t change, if like the majority of passengers you travel economy, then they are set to increase passenger numbers per flight by adding an extra seat to every row.  Their business plan obviously assumes that will be BA money in the bank but that assumes that we are happy to still fly with them given they are now going to be competing with both budget airlines and the likes of the mighty Emirates.  Yes Emirates have the 10 seat configuration on Boeing 777’s BUT  it has newer aircraft, better service and more regular flights whereas BA is going’ in many cases’ to be retro fitting to older planes by adding an extra seat to every row on its Boeing 777 fleet adding an extra 52 seats to the aircraft from 2018.  Travelling passengers will notice this!

When we buy today it is a value based decision and that is a combination of availability, price, service, brand and of course how we feel about a particular supplier.  Just as Ryanair has woken up the the power of offering its customers more in terms of an experience BA is heading in the opposite direction.  Why does that matter?  Is this just not a levelling of the playing field (a market opportunity to quote Willie Walsh).  Well I would argue that BA customers have to an extent been loyal because of those little differences – the free food, the better leg room, the brand BUT those customers are going to see a downgrading of their experience and an opportunity to no longer be loyal.  As an example the Ryanair customers are seeing the opposite an improvement in service and a feeling of better value for money – I know who I see as the big winners and it is not BA.  You have one opportunity to trash the brand (sometimes called moving with the times!!) for a perceived short term gain and the world is littered with the relics of companies that have and never recovered.

As a BA loyalty card member of decades standing I am truly sad that the management are going down this road and my loyalty that was already fading is now almost gone 🙁

 

 

Vodafone blatant attempt to access my data – exposed in pictures!

If you have seen my previous blog (if not I have added it to the bottom of this post) about the damage done to the Vodafone brand by their attempt to access my personal data then these pictures will make sense.  They are the evidence of how a major brand is attempting to access personal data and will block future access to their core App if you fail to agree  – whilst you can then go through the effort of refusing access using your phone settings if you know how (they are of course banking on you not doing this) this is a perfect example of hiding commercial aims behind a facade of ‘improving the customer experience”.

So you click on the App it delivers the message headed “improve your customer experience”..oh really!! If you press cancel then it gives you the third screen that says you can’t use the App unless you press “OK” so why even bother giving me a cancel button!  Of course the answer is because when I hit cancel and get the message I delete the App 🙂

As you can see they are even making this access part of the terms and conditions of usage of the App an interesting issue for data protection I suspect and if nothing else it is incredibly sharp practice and clearly designed for a purpose.

Whilst they may claim you may get an improved experience and that is highly questionable, that assumes that you want Vodafone to make money out of selling for example your location to commercial partners who may want to advertise to you using your real time data using near field and similar potentially invasive technologies – do you really want a company to be able to rack your movement and monetise them for themselves.  Yes at the heart of this is making money out of data… your data and my data as they seek to diversify and develop revenue outside of their core business of providing access to calls and broadband – in the final analysis whilst their business models aspire to be multi purpose providers all telcos are just utilities like water and electricity and would you want your water company using your data.

The reality is that we will in future become more not less sensitive to companies trying to access our data and only those with the highest trust ratings are going to be given that privilege …I don’t see telco’s in that bracket today and this type of activity just underlines that view in heavy black marker pen.

The original post……

Love the strap-line “power to you” if only it was true – maybe it should read “Vodafone we abuse the power we think we have over you” not quite as catchy but at least it is true.

It seems that mobile companies cannot help themselves when it comes to killing their customer experience in pursuit of their own objectives. What do I mean, well I am sure we could all think of occasions where this has happened to us and this was my latest experience. As a customer I was encouraged to download the Vodafone app a potentially useful little tool for checking usage of my monthly allowances – that was the driver for me. I used it only occasionally but it was helpful particularly when travelling overseas.

So I switch on my phone last week to find the app image with “2” next to it indicating that Vodafone were communicating with me. The message basically said we want to a access your personal data “to improve the service” oh of course I thought – well in this age of data security no one gets access to any of my data unless I see real value in sharing it. So I declined the option thinking that was it!!! But no I then get a message saying that if I decline this then I won’t be able to use the app! WHAT!!!! Now that is firstly supreme arrogance that they believe this crappy little app is so significant to my life that I would immediately say “ok have my data” and secondly has completely ignored how I might react to this and feel about this…frankly I feel like cancelling my and my families contract….not rational I know, but when people make you angry you cease to be rational and that is a key point that businesses fail to comprehend.

Reading on I find that I can accept the request and then I can go into my phone and deny the requests through my settings – so let me see how that lands in terms of their customer effort score (bearing in kind that the lower the client effort the greater the propensity to be loyal)..and the answer is very very badly. Clearly the ‘design assumption’ is that people will agree and then forget to or not understand how to stop Vodafone from then accessing the data.

Trust is going to be an increasingly key element of our relationships with suppliers and there will be a few winners and lots of losers, Vodafone could have been one of the chosen few but with this approach have thrown away all trust they had built – with me at least, all for what? Access to some personal data that they hope to make money out of having access to ….dream on!

Vodafone continue to undermine their customer experience….read my rant!

Love the strap-line “power to you” if only it was true – maybe it should read “Vodafone we abuse the power we think we have over you” not quite as catchy but at least it is true.

It seems that mobile companies cannot help themselves when it comes to killing their customer experience in pursuit of their own objectives. What do I mean, well I am sure we could all think of occasions where this has happened to us and this was my latest experience. As a customer I was encouraged to download the Vodafone app a potentially useful little tool for checking usage of my monthly allowances – that was the driver for me. I used it only occasionally but it was helpful particularly when travelling overseas.

So I switch on my phone last week to find the app image with “2” next to it indicating that Vodafone were communicating with me. The message basically said we want to a access your personal data “to improve the service” oh of course I thought – well in this age of data security no one gets access to any of my data unless I see real value in sharing it. So I declined the option thinking that was it!!! But no I then get a message saying that if I decline this then I won’t be able to use the app! WHAT!!!! Now that is firstly supreme arrogance that they believe this crappy little app is so significant to my life that I would immediately say “ok have my data” and secondly has completely ignored how I might react to this and feel about this…frankly I feel like cancelling my and my families contract….not rational I know, but when people make you angry you cease to be rational and that is a key point that businesses fail to comprehend.

Reading on I find that I can accept the request and then I can go into my phone and deny the requests through my settings – so let me see how that lands in terms of their customer effort score (bearing in kind that the lower the client effort the greater the propensity to be loyal)..and the answer is very very badly. Clearly the ‘design assumption’ is that people will agree and then forget to or not understand how to stop Vodafone from then accessing the data.

Trust is going to be an increasingly key element of our relationships with suppliers and there will be a few winners and lots of losers, Vodafone could have been one of the chosen few but with this approach have thrown away all trust they had built – with me at least, all for what? Access to some personal data that they hope to make money out of having access to ….dream on!