Technology is working (mostly), how is that relevant?
It seems that perception about technology has changed quite a bit. We trust technology much more. We are much more forgiving and accept that it will not perform 100% as advertised. Perhaps a combination of a generation who grew up into technology, an older generation who is by definition a technophobe slowly disappearing and - mostly working day-to-day technologies got us to where we are.
I think that years of “Dr. Watsons'” blue screen, weekly (and sometimes daily) reboots combined with cheaper technologies helped us simply accept a slightly above par performing products. The methods of developments have changed as well and surely added to this new reality. With SCRUM and AGILE dictating some sloppy results due to rushing and an option to fix on the next release...next week it is only natural that we have learned to settle.
We used to really get upset when a call dropped in the middle of a conversation and try hard to figure out what caused it. Today we simply call back and continue the conversation. There were days were there was no way I would download a file larger than 1.5MB and run through an install wizard and today we update our iTunes with a 65MB files every freakin’ 3 hours and whatever we download we breeze through the wizard like we really know what we’re doing. We have gotten to an era in which we are between “I just don’t care anymore” and “I’m simply lazy” and let anyone remote access our computer.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it is a bad thing but merely calling it as it is.
If this is the situation, and we all trust the technology and hence technology providers (whether consciously or not) know it...now what? How do we make it RELEVANT?
What does set one technology provider apart from its competition? When you made it to the short list of the bid you most likely have some track record and a working product. But if they have this feature and you have that feature and conceptually the customer is willing to accept either bidders, what is next on our race to do things better and different?
My answer dear readers, is not in the technology! My strong belief is that it is the service and the relationship.
Or in one word – RELEVANCE.
It is going back to basics - we are all human and we react to a level of service that WOWs us, that moves us. We as people need that trust, knowing that my vendor, my technology partner is there for me. I will tell you more than that – make it PERSONAL! It is OK to share that I had a crappy day yesterday and that I am preparing a surprise party for my daughter (just make sure it goes both ways and that you don’t overdo it of course). Personal makes it relevant.
A couple of months ago I went to a new barber shop. Just needed a haircut, a flight the next day and had a couple of hours to wait for my daughter to finish her volleyball practice some 20 minutes from our neighborhood.
A men barber shop. Hot towel, clean shave, excellent service. Enjoyed it. Didn't think much of it afterwords. Then about 3 weeks later I'm getting a text:
"I't's time for your next haircut".
Hmmmmm.....I guess it is. A link underneath that text to guide me through a process of booking that next haircut. With the same barber, same location, same positive experience. 3 clicks! 3! They made it easy, personal, used the technology in such away that I not only didn't need to think through the process but actually felt it is about me.
(As i'm writing these lines, my phone rang, with an unfamiliar number. Yes - i'm one of those who picks up every call in case its a customer or its just my FOMO. I hear a recording: "this is the embassy of China"... didn't even hear the rest of it and hung up. Reminded me of the exact opposite impact, when it is irrelevant. My Next post will be all about that... ).