Last class, we talked a little about whether or not it would benefit cable companies to invest more in building relational value with customers, considering this is often their weak point. This made me think back to a somewhat annoying, but funny interaction I had with a Comcast service rep a couple months ago.
Sometime in the fall, midway through the NFL season, my roommates and I decided on a whim to subscribe to NFL Redzone. For those who don’t know, NFL Redzone essentially allows you to watch highlights from all NFL games that are happening on Sunday in real time. Anyway, we saw that it only added another $5 to our cable bill so we figured, why not? I hopped onto Comcast’s Xfinity website to sign us up, naively thinking that it would be a simple one-click process.
I was quite mistaken. For whatever reason (that only Comcast knows), I had to chat with a Comcast service rep prior to activating Redzone. Again, I thought it would be a quick, “would you like to purchase NFL Redzone – Yes”, kind of interaction. Not Quite. I was bombarded with questions about why I was purchasing it, if I would like it activated today (vs. tomorrow?), with a little bit of small talk sprinkled here and there. I’m pretty sure I lost count of how many times I asked, “could you please just activate it?” After about 20 minutes of talking, he finally set it up and asked if he could help with anything else. I had grown a bit impatient by this point, so I jokingly typed out “No, I appreciate you too.” He offered his thanks and ended his message with “May the Almighty Father guide and bless you always” which took me off guard, because of all the people who could have possibly blessed me on a Sunday, a Comcast customer service rep was probably last on my list.
Going off of my personal experience and the countless complaints I’ve heard from friends, I believe that a cable company could greatly differentiate itself within the industry simply by being more customer focused. Considering it’s a given that cable company = poor customer service, there is a huge opportunity for a company to step up and be the cable company that truly cares about its customers.
This article is also key in light of the discussion last class. According to Statcounter, Singapore once had the highest count of ios devices per a capita in the world, with approximately 72% of mobile devices being Apple products. Yet in the past year alone, Apples share of mobile devices has decreased to 50% and Andriod has doubled to over 40%. Consumers contribute turning away from the iPhone due to iPhone fatigue, a desire to be different and a plethora of competing devices. Apple is world renowned for having one of the highest brand loyalty of any company, which makes this new trend in Asia quite surprising. Apple needs to begin to aggressively campaign for brand loyalty again by establishing what consumers want from Apple products that they are now finding elsewhere. If not, Apple faces the possibility that this trend will spread and loyalty will be a decade low.
I thought the above article offered an interesting complement to last class’ discussion of customer loyalty and services such a Belly and FrontFlip. The piece acknowledges that consumer actions belie expressed privacy concerns, yet cautions that companies would be remiss to consider it an insignificant issue. Significantly, it notes that “moreover, they [consumers] tend to conflate issues like identity theft with marketers’ collection and usage of data about their daily activity.” Nevertheless, the article also indicates that few individuals are aware of ways to restrict sensitive information collection by sites they visit. With increasing technological immersion and accompanying data leakage scandals, it may behoove companies to take a preemptive approach to assuring customers of their data’s security. If not, some companies may perhaps suffer backlash from overwhelmed and wary consumers confronted with increasing demands for their information.
This commercial was released this past Sunday during the SAG awards. It’s interesting to see one of America’s iconic candy bars and one of America’s iconic actors pair up together. It will be interesting to see whether or not this addition to the “you’re not you when you’re hungry” ad campaign will boost Snicker’s sales in an increasingly health conscious society.
Casually wandering around the vast information-scape that is the internet I stumbled across an interesting service. Trunk Club (http://www.trunkclub.com/) is a website dedicated to enhancing the wardrobes of men around the country. Founded in Chicago, the internet start-up offers a unique value proposition: They will buy your clothes for you, if you tell them what ballpark to look in.
The model is designed to simplify shopping for men, who traditionally have not been fans of the activity. They have a staff of individuals that will scour the fashion world to find you exactly what you’re looking for upon your request. It seems an intriguing proposition, though admittedly nothing truly groundbreaking, since sites like Gilt have been bringing high quality fashion products to discerning consumers over the internet for years now.
What I believe separates them from companies in the e-high-end-clothing business is three principles they proudly display on their website.
We only ship trunks at your request, and you will never pay for an item that you don’t keep. It’s all up to you.
There are no membership fees, minimums, or long-term commitments.
Try Then Buy
Break out the mirror and give yourself a fashion show. Don’t be shy about trying anything on.
I personally think the high level of service that these three principles afford will be the key to the success of this business. They effectively create a real and personal relationship with their customers that is catered specifically to that customers needs at that specific point in time. By mirroring all of the beneficial qualities that an actual personal stylist gives a customer and making it more affordable, I believe the Trunk Club’s membership will be on the rise.