Tag Archives: iPhone

Why Can’t a Tech Giant like Google Have Amazing Customer Experience?

Is a company like Google too large to make huge impacts on their customer service? I don’t think so…

Now, to be fair, when I complained that the iPhone App for Google+was no longer working, I did get a comment from +Vic Gundotra, who “plus-mentioned” someone else (I’m assuming the person responsible for the Google+ App for iPhone).

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The iPhone App has yet to be fixed, but I give Google major points that the person in charge of Google+ actually read my post and passed on the information to someone who may actually be able to do something about it…

I sent +Vic Gundotra  a private message about this, thanking him and offering up a suggestion, but I don’t know if he read it or not (he never responded, but he is a busy man), but it’s not private information. It is a deeply held belief of mine, so I don’t mind sharing my advice on this post…

Companies Make Mistakes

Shit happens. From my many years managing in the restaurant industry, I learned that no matter how “tight of a ship” you run, occasionally the ball is going to get dropped. At my restaurant, it might be a spilled drink tray or an undercooked piece of meat. For Google+, it may be the iPhone App breaking or various other bugs that occur from time to time.

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The two are actually a lot more similar than a lot of people realize (running a restaurant or running a billion dollar tech company). Both occur in real-time, right in front of the customer. There is no “down time” during the operating hours of a restaurant, just as there is no “down time” during the running of a social network. They can’t just magically fix all the mistakes while things are shut down and reopen the next day fresh.

They have to stay running on all other fronts, in addition to fixing whatever went wrong. A restaurant has to continue serving all of its other patrons, and a social network has to keep functioning for all of its other users, while the problem gets fixed in the background (at the same time).

Initiating a Moment of Truth

This is what I used to call it when something bad happened at the restaurant. It is not a ‘problem’… it is a ‘challenge’ that gives the business an opportunity to show what they are really made of. As I said, initially, companies make mistakes (even the best companies). How the mistake is handled is what separates the weak companies from the strong companies.

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The “problem” that occurred is an opportunity for the business to:

  1. Apologize for the mistake.
  2. Let the guest/user know that a solution is being worked on.
  3. Fix the problem (get the right food out or work out the kinks in the Google+ iPhone App).
  4. Make it up to customer/user (with restaurants, I would comp a guest’s meal, but with a social network they may need to think outside-the-box on this step).

I was the only one that I know of that complained, but I’m sure the bug in the iPhone App affected all Google+‘s iPhone users. To make up for the iPhone App being unusable for multiple weeks, perhaps on the next App update, they could include an extra feature that is iPhone-exclusive.

So, a way +Google+ could “initiate a moment of truth” would be:

  • issuing an official statement that explains the error
  • that they fixed it.
  • they are including an extra special feature in the next update to make up for it.

Another way Google+ could initiate a moment of truth would be:

  • issuing an official statement.
  • that they fixed it.
  • maybe offer a couple free songs from Google Music (a way to apologize, and secretly convert iTunes users over to using Google Music).

The fact that +Vic Gundotra  took notice of my post at all was huge for such a large company like Google… and I can infer from his plus-mentioning of someone else that it’s being taken seriously. However, Google could take it to the next level of customer experience by doing something like the examples I’ve listed above.

I know that it is such a large-scale user base that the individual can get lost in the shuffle, but I don’t think the solutions I’ve suggested above are unreasonable for Google to do, and it would set them apart from the other technology companies by actually taking the user’s discomfort seriously, showing that they empathize with them, and making an effort to do something to make up for it.

That’s what would push them into an exceptional customer experience level, like what you would expect at one of the Disney Parks. The “word of mouth” alone from doing something so positive would spread like wildfire on the net: “Even Tech Giant Google Cares About Their Users, Whether They Use Their Branded Smartphones or Someone Else’s.”

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You couldn’t beat that. Just a suggestion…

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Apple patent details optical image stabilization for iPhone cameras

Gigaom

When it comes to smartphone cameras, Apple(s aapl) might not use as many megapixels as the rest of the competition, but the iPhone is generally believed to have one of the best mobile cameras out there. Just yesterday a report came out saying that Apple might retain the same 8-megapixel camera sensor it uses now for the iPhone 6, focusing instead on features like optical image stabilization. And it looks like that very well may be the case, judging by a patent published on Thursday that was spotted by Unwired View.

According to the patent – which is for a VCM OIS actuator module – Apple has been working on optical image stabilization since at least as early as the patent was filed in late 2012. The language in the patent describes:

A lens actuator module including an autofocus (AF) mechanism capable of moving a lens according to at…

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The NSA can reportedly gain backdoor access to the iPhone, among many other tech products

The NSA can reportedly gain backdoor access to the iPhone, among many other tech products

 

Google Glass and Wearable Tech

Alternatives to Glass

These products are significantly cheaper, but lack the functionality of Google Glass. However, I’m certain that shortly after Google publicly launches Glass, there will be serious competitors.

Just think:

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  • Who made the first smartphone? Are they still relevant today?
  • Apple almost went out of business and became all but obsolete, until their “restart.” Now, they make the most successful phone on the planet. I’m a Google fan to the core, but there’s no denying the technological, not to mention societal impact that the iPhone had.

Google is on the Right Path

I am critical of them because they are the best, and I want to see them continue to do be the best. What they are doing right is taking a risk on developing a device that has a major issue of not knowing whether the customers will actually want it.

That’s called innovation at its finest:

  • Great companies make products that are currently in high consumer demand.
  • Legendary companies make products that will eventually be in high demand, and they get a head start on it. These are the companies that change the world.

The issues about customers wanting to wear them will be fixed by:

  • Improvements to the style of the glasses.
  • Time passing as millennials will become the predominant buying force (Millennials like to have a unique style and show that their hip. Remember geeks are the new jocks).
  • Prices of the Glasses will gradually go down, as they develop more efficient & cost effective ways to manufacture them.
  • Most importantly of all the factors, is the “bandwagon effect.” It’s happened every time an innovative device comes out and Google Glass will perhaps be the biggest one in history, due to advertising, TV, social media, and the fact that they make a huge visual impact.

At first, this works against the product, because nobody wants to be the odd man out. As Google Glass becomes relatively commonplace, those same people that didn’t want to stand out still won’t want to.

So, they finally give it a try:

“Oh, this is actually pretty neat.”

Yes, we know…

Stop Being Such a Wuss and Release a Full New Phone Each Year

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AKA Stop Being a Pussy and Be Innovative

Rumors say that the new iPhone 5S will have a new super HD camera/screen, a better battery, NFC, and “possible updates include an IGZO screen for Retina+ 128GB storage.” It could sport a 4.3-inch screen and feature a slo-mo camera and faster processor. It may also come in 6-8 colors, similar to the iPod Touch, and will be thinner and lighter than its previous version and fingerprint reader technology. It may also have a price of $199, just like the current iPhone 5, and have possible release dates of August, September, or October.

The iPhone 6 may have a 12-megapixel sensor, up from the 8-megapixel version of the iPhone 5. It could be waterproof with a 4.8-inch Retina+ HD display with a 3D camera and fingerprint reader. In terms of storage, the next-generation smartphone will come with 128GB instead of the current 64GB. Also, the iPhone 6 may have an indoor mapping feature, NFC integrating with Passbook App for storing store cards, tickets and coupons integrating with NFC. It will have a smart bezel and may have a quad-core Apple A7, using ARM Cortex A15-based cores, or update A6. The iPhone 6 also may have iOS 7 and be made out of plastic and cheaper, with a release date of June 2014.

For Apple, no more of this “S” crap to test out new technology.

Make your products groundbreaking, push the limits, and do it each and every year. Give Google some competition to actually work with.

Since Steve Job‘s death, the lack of innovation at Apple has been unacceptable. Sure, he may not be around to “push for things” anymore, but his cultural influence should have left a mark for Apple to do the same things without him. In my opinion Apple is being pussies and is no longer the innovative, “Think Different” company they once were.

Google is close to becoming this type of company, but they need to fully embrace their GoogleX tech and lead with that, instead of minor updates to their existing products.

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People resist change. People don’t understand how the future is going to be. They need to be lead, taught, and shown how things will be.
Like a magician, Google (Apple used to do this) needs to show users what’s in store for their future. Get them excited about the change. Get them ready for the innovations ahead. Push yourself to be more groundbreaking and rely less on playing it safe.

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Google, you did this pretty well with +Project Glass , but the advertising should have been stronger and more conceptually oriented. There should be commercials showing us the world of tomorrow. There should be commercials showing a world using Glass , Self-Driving Cars, and Embedded Systems to get us pumped up about what’s coming next, and to create a demand for it. This will allow you to dedicate more resources to developing the technology, since it will be a shared vision of the future with users, and not just the one you have in your head.

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Google has quite possibly the most consistent, well-performing products in the world, and this helps them market themselves. But, Google still needs a “Steve Jobs” to be a showman and to get people excited about the future. Google should continue to run it’s bread and butter search operation, and continue to make improvements to the Android phones, but focus their advertising on Future products that will mystify and amaze people.

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The word “Google” should become synonymous with the words “Future Technology / Amazing Culture,” no longer just the word you use to look stuff up with.

This is ultimately Google’s responsibility to present themselves in this manner. The future is almost here, and the ones quicker to accept this and take full advantage will be the future leaders.

Is Google doing everything they can to make this point known to the average user?

Is Project Glass and self-driving cars just something that geeks know about and think will be super awesome, or are there average consumers talking about this shit at the water cooler?

Automatic Technology

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The iPhone

The first major technological innovation was the iPhone, putting the ability to connect with others, listen to music, play games, and surf the web for information all in a person’s fingertips. More than that, it was intuitive to the point a child could use it with ease.

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That invention disrupted everything, and although it achieved extreme success, it also caused problems. People became screen obsessed, staring more at their phones than each other. This caused a normalcy that both separated and connected humanity from each other.

The next benchmark innovation is “automatic technology,” a coin I’ve phrased that encompasses wearable tech, embedded systems, and self-driving cars.

They all go hand in hand to create a seamless experience for the user. Imagine that your entire house, your wearable device, and your car are all apart of the same system. The technology knows where you are and what your doing.

Embedded Systems for Your Home

You are at home in the morning and all of your home is one connected system. You can check your day, listen to music, watch TV, or look up information from anywhere in your house. Screens all connect to the same system.

Wearable Tech

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You are about to leave your house and you pop on your Google glasses or watch and they automatically power on. The system shifts to this mobile mode without you having to do anything.

You go out and can use the wearable tech without having to fiddle with a smart phone. It provides all the functionality of a smartphone that you need, without getting in the way.

Self-Driving Car

Google-Self-Driving-car

You get in your self-driving car and the system automatically knows to switch to that. You input where you want to go, and it does the grunt work for you. In the meantime, while in your car, you have the same functionality that you have at home. You can watch a movie, make a phone call, or surf the web without thinking about it. Seats could shift so that you can, as a family, watch a movie together. The best part is that it’s 100% safe.

Drinking and driving, testing and driving no longer are things that need to be worried about.

Absolute Integration

Everything is integrated to a level where you just go through your day as normal, and the technology hides in the background.

At your office or at the store there are embedded systems that allow you to link up and have full access to your data, while allowing for unique, customized experiences at each place you go.

Automatic Technology will make smartphones obsolete within the next decade, if not sooner.

Google’s Steve Jobs

 

Google’s Move to the Future

Project Glass eyewearLately, their products have gotten slicker, there’s been more focus on futuristic products such as project glass and self-driving cars, it’s own social network, and even Android itself was a huge leap from the search giant’s normal way of doing things.

Where is this focus and vision coming from? I definitely have an opinion about where, but I wondered if anyone else has pondered this. When did the conservative ad agency and search engine decide to focus more on what’s next versus what’s hot now?

Google’s self-driving car

Meanwhile, without Jobs, Apple has begun to slump into mediocrity. There hasn’t been a product that sparked magic since the iPad. It really makes you wonder how much one person’s influence can have over a company’s direction.

Apple lost their Jobs, but where did Google find theirs, and where is he hiding?