Hopefully it's "Tech is great, but you still need to put people first!"
Social & Communications Networks begin & end with people, and so do the tools they rely on.
Rule#1: Whatever it is, you MUST make it User/Customer friendly! That includes the support.
If you launch a new service you must have a back-up plan, and people in place to support that service. Similarly, if you launch some new hardware, even if it looks, feels and works great, you still need PEOPLE to TALK to PEOPLE to sort out their difficulties.
With new systems & hardware, especially with both depending on working together, like a phone that only works with networks, and software, provided by a variety of 3rd parties, you are going to have difficulties.
Sorting those challenges must happen in what's now known as "real time" - people on Twitter, people on the phone, available to help NOW, not via email with a 3 day delay!
I have experienced this myself with my own network supplier, O2, here in the UK, just in the last few days, as my contract comes to an end. Reviewing the options is not easily done by email. Like most now, I like to do the research online, but I still want to buy local, or personal, if I want to sort something with the minimum of delay.
I love Google, even though Wave has let me down a bit thus far, and Chrome for Mac took a long time to arrive, and then needed an op system upgrade before you can use it!
It strikes me that the Big G has been catering a little too much towards techies in these launches, and not with real users, who need forethought, like "how are they going to use it" and "how are we going to support it". The debacle with Nexus One therefore seems just like a repeat of recent history.
I am one of the "potential buyers" they should be aiming at - I love my iPhone, but it's contract is about to end, so I'm open to options. I love HTC, and own a good many of their handsets, because they always seem to deliver on "Looks, Feels, and Needs", so I'd be very open to a handset sourced from them. And, having had the iPhone experience, I am very reluctant to return to Windows Mobile. Perfect combination, no?
Don't get me wrong - the iPhone is the best thing, ever, in my book, but that doesn't mean it can't be bested. Hardware reports suggest that Nexus One actually has bested the iPhone, but I am definitely NOT going to step over the barrier to something so new, for use as my primary personal communications tool (with a "get me anywhere, anytime" tag), when I see many reports of poor/non-existent support from an otherwise respected source.
I've been able to use the mobile phone - one of my own personal passions - as the example here, after reading an article from Glenn Chapman of Inquirer.net but how can YOU see this applying in YOUR business, where you are competing with many others, both online & offline?
Are you putting the User/Customer first? They can certainly tell the difference when you do!
PROVIDING they can find you, but that's for another blog.
What do you think?
Howard J Moorey
January 16th, 2010