A revolutionary idea on mobile tariffs just by thinking differently…..

This story plays to the heart of my campaign to get companies to think differently and to truly focus on customers to drive commercial success.

Ok having had the problems that I had with my O2 renewal described in my previous post, let’s build on that as it got me thinking about the world of tariffs and how they are so out of touch with the reality of today, yet all mobile companies are ‘in the club’ so nothing changes.

When I was sorting a new SIM only contract for my teenage son I asked the company to tell me his usage over the last 2 years so that we could get the best bundle offer for his needs, what emerged was that he had used

….2 minutes of voice calls in 2 years

..and not much more in terms of texts as everything is done through Skype and Instant Messaging, so biggest usage data.  Ok I would like the minimum number of call minutes and lots of data – ok they said “that’s 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB data” – “what 500 minutes per year” “erm no per month” “hang on so the minimum is 600 times his proven annual usage what use is that” “well that is the best bundle available”.  Now, to check this out I then went on to a comparison web site and sure enough the best ‘deal’ I could get with the data he needs is a staggering 200 minutes per month and all those unused texts.

Clearly the marketing people think it sounds good to be offering these big numbers BUT the reality is they are about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike and are just a legacy of a previous world where these things mattered.

I don’t claim to fully understand the pricing and cost model behind all this BUT let’s get real kids/teenagers and older do not use the three elements of calls, texts and data this way anymore and are not fooled by this simplistic and lazy marketing.

So lets introduce a “Teenage Tariff” and if you think the name is excluding us older people create a variant (personally I quite like the idea of having a teenage tariff ;)), it has 60 minutes of calls a year, it has 250 texts a month and either 2-4Gb or unlimited data.  Now you marketeers see if that lands well with your audience I know I would buy it for my kids in a flash, because it reflects THEIR NEEDS, I might even expect to pay a small premium.

So mobile companies who is going to be first to break ranks and prove that you can #thinkdifferently and meet your customers needs not your own and win new customers ????


Mobile companies persist in ignoring experience in pursuit of short term profits….

mobile o2

It was only last week that I once again had the impression that mobile telephone businesses are happy to rip you off fully reinforced.  My son’s 2 year contract with O2 ended and given he now needed a SIM only deal we should have seen the bill fall.  I waited to be contacted by O2 to say that contract was over and what I assumed would be review of the usage and an offer of a different much cheaper deal.  Well I could have waited all year as they did not contact me and instead chose to charge me the old contract fee of £22 at the end of the month – in my view this is tantamount to fraud.

So I called the team and asked why they had not called me to provide a new contract – the answer was “you ticked the box saying that you did not want to be contacted about marketing and other services, so we did not call you” unbelievable, so apparently they construe a legal end to a contract  as “marketing” I don’t think so just an excuse to let the old charge roll forward and for them to make bad profits.  So I said what is the new tariff, £8 but we will, now charge you for the proportion of this month that you have already ‘used’ at the old rate!!!  So now having accepted that the were wrong verbally there is no effort to make me feel any better in fact lets grab another few pounds…..

When will these companies realise that these practices are totally unacceptable, the truly sad part is I left Vodafone to join O2 because they were equally appalling, oh for a mobile company that actually cares about its customers and their experience 🙁

Expectation meets experience reality…

I was seduced by the pictures on the Ride & Slide website and we booked a Chalet holiday as a direct result. They included some pictures of what appeared to be high end restaurant level food, so high expectations but of course we didn’t really believe that it would be that good.

It is normal for us all to calibrate down even sub-consciously as we have all been disappointed before! So imagine the surprise when the amazing chef Lou produced this standard of food every evening. Her skill and attention to detail was truly outstanding…as you can see from the picture right down to the detail of the accompanying chocolate and raspberry sauce design :))

Of course we now want to go back and are madly recommending the Ride &Slide to anyone that will listen. #thinkdifferently

Ski food chalet

Attention to detail really matters…

On my recent trip to the French Alps it was great to find a restaurant with attentive staff and an understanding of how their previous experiences can be used to solve a customer problem even when you can’t actually stop the problem from happening and its not even your fault!! .

They spotted that one of our party had clearly forgotten her glasses and was having difficulty reading the menu – that full arm extension with the menu held as far away as possible is a bit of a giveaway! Discreetly the Maitre ‘D” popped over and offered a small selection of reading glasses that she had on hand for just such a situation, now that is experience by design;))


Not quite the image British Airways wants to portray…..

Lovely picture of BA airline food en route Jo’burg to Cape Town. All that cash on brand development turned into this experience. A case of better not bothering? They will say serving food in difficult conditions is the excuse,,,well coal miners solved that problem decades ago it was called the Cornish Pasty – maybe try that next time. I will be publishing a whole series in my 2016 theme of #thinkdifferently when it comes to customer experience,,,enjoy 😉

BA FoodCornish Pasty

It’s the little things that count…..

There I was sitting on the Eurostar on the way to Brussels and along came the breakfast tray, complete with lovely traditional English Tiptree jam (about as traditional as they come). Opened up the jar and what a lovely surprise a little breakfast message was printed on the inside of the lid – it really made me smile!! :))

Then my travelling companion opened his and he too had a message but a different one (I wont spoil the surprise by telling you what his said).

They didn’t need to do this and imagine the Boardroom discussion where the CFO in most company would say “what’s the cost, we don’t NEED to to do this” well clearly Tiptree decided they did and I for one am really pleased they did. Hope it makes you smile too!! #thinkdifferentlyTiptree Jar Tiptree message 2

Hello world!

Hi and welcome to my blog on customer experience and how you need to think differently to stand out from the crowd.  The blog will focus on ideas, innovations and themes in customer experience.  My book on this and more comes out in August and meantime I will be adding content designed to make you think and understand how attention detail really can make the difference.

The picture of the square water melon illustrates that you can reimagine experiences  – in this case a square water melon fit more easily into a fridge and doesn’t roll off the shelf!  The magic formula is simple grow it in a box and you transform the shape.