More Convergence Consumer Commandments
- The first of these would be overall efficiency in post sales servicing. I know this is the unsexy part of the business, filled with irate and intransigent consumers from hell and some hundreds of faceless call centre operators from some distant land. But all this adds to the customer experience (as it does I'm sure to the bottom line). So it would be nice to have service with the same enthusiasm with which one gets sales inputs. When I bought an earlier phone - on a Three contract, and lured by all the 3G hype, I paid dearly for my enthusiasm. The store knew nothing about any problem I had or how to solve it. The call centre teams (irresepective of wher they were) knew even less, if that was possible. Anybody's who's been in BT's call centre labyrinth will have their own epics to tell. The last time we moved, it took 3 weeks for the engineers to find the reason why we weren't getting broadband at home and another week for an engineer to actually come over. The problem itself took 20 minutes to fix. By then we'd begun to know quite a few call centre guys by first name and were actively talking about getting together for a drink, given how much time we'd spent together! Everybody was polite but nobody had answers.
- Wires, connectors and interfaces. A simple first step towards the holy grail of "Interoperatability" would be simplification of the interfaces. That way we could avoid building snake pits at home and our work spaces could look less complex than the wiring of an aircraft control panel. It came as a pleasant shock to find that both my Sony camer and my O2 phone use the mini-usb port. OK so somebody may sell a wire less, but trust me I'd pay to have one less wire to connect.
- Modularity. Bill Joy, from Sun wrote an article many years ago extolling the wonders of modular design in computing and hardware. It would have been fantastic if my space station phone with all its wonderful functions could have a moduler "just phone" bit that I could detach, slip into my pocket for an evening out and save myself the embarrassment of carrying what looks suspiciously like a small laptop in my pocket.
- Now we're getting into fantasy territory but it would be really great if I could get software that worked seamlessly across these devices. I've finally got my laptop and phone in synch, but thats because both now run Microsoft Windows versions. Actually, Microsoft are the good guys in my life since it works simply with the camera, the phone and the desktop. And doesn't need me figure things out.
- Finally, life would be so much easier if we had unified messaging, unified entertainment and unified information/data environments - so that all these could reside in a common and secure space, with back ups and pulled off into any device for consumption at that point of time, and from anywhere in the world. A home hub? A local distribution point? Or just in the pages of a science fiction novel?
Well, the thing about commandments is that there have to be 10 of them. There you have it. Check out the first 5 here.