Tag Archive: service

Don’t get me wrong…Anticipation can be a good thing, but, as with everything, it must be treated as a calculated risk.

I often think of the long lines that form outside of Apple stores before the release of the latest and greatest iDevice.

Once the doors open, two things are guaranteed to follow in a very short time:

  1. Apple is going to make a lot of money in a very short time.
  2. The internet is about to be abuzz with news links and blogs detailing the disappointments experienced with the new device (What do you mean the maps aren’t accurate?!?!).

It seems like, once some people get their hands on the newest iDevice, they focus their entire energy on finding every flaw with it.

Now, this may be an extreme example, but it is played out everyday (albeit, on a much smaller scale) whether you realize it or not:

It starts with the first add or the first media leak…basically the first time someone hears about a new service or device: they start dreaming about it. 

The danger in dreaming is that people start to imagine their use of the device or service. They start ‘dreaming-in’ features that may not exist, they start ‘dreaming-in’ applications for which the actual device/service may not be acceptable, and they may even ‘dream-in’ a level of usability that the device/ service may not have yet achieved.

When they receive or experience the new device/service, it is already under scrutiny: being compared against the perception that the individual has had ample time  to bake up in their minds.

There is a reason that unexpected gifts make us happier than expected ones (When you get an unexpected bonus you are happy and surprised; when you are expecting a certain dollar amount, you just get upset at how much the government takes away from it and lose focus of the extra money you have received).

So, if your goal is to make a lot of money in a short time (like a new movie), you can use audience anticipation as a great tool to achieve your goals, but, if you want to avoid criticism (or focus on maintaining a lasting seller-customer relationship), you must approach anticipation more delicately (ensure product/service features are explicitly laid out to prevent ‘over-dreaming’, etc.).

So, I have this dorky little hobby where I like to send companies my feedback on their products and suggest improvements. Now, I work at a large company, so I know that the process to implement a change is quite large and that customer feedback/suggestions rarely makes it back to the folks who are actually in charge of the product design (which is a larger problem entirely).

I really don’t expect any changes because of my comments, but I am really curious to see what the company does with my suggestions and what feedback I get.

That being said, I had a suggestion for Panasonic, so I went to their “contact us” page to submit my suggestion.

First of all, it’s buried under “Product Support” option, which makes me feel like I have to have a defective product in order to write to them…not really conducive to sharing ideas!

Next, I came to this screen:

Now, I really don’t like these forms. I’d much rather send an e-mail from my personal e-mail account (I’m already familiar with how my e-mail system is set up, and, at the very least, then I have a copy for my records), but I understand why they do it this way (so they are sure they have all of the necessary information to respond appropriately). So I guess I have to live with what they give me.

Again, though, I have to select from “I have the product [and have issues]” and “I don’t have the product [but I want more information]”. They really must not want my input/ideas!!!

The biggest pet peeve on this site is the 600 word limit. Right from the start it makes me feel like I’m not worthy of their time (I’m only worthy of 600 words worth of their time, anyway). If I was already mad because my microwave burned down my house (hypothetical, of course), I’d be even more mad that you think I’m only worth 600 words!!! Yes, removing this would mean you’d get some long e-mails, but I think you would be providing better customer service by not making your customers feel unworthy to share their thoughts/issues with you!

Finally, I received an automatic response e-mail saying that they’d respond to me within one business day; I received this e-mail over a month ago, and I have yet to receive a response (not even a “Thanks, but no thanks!”). Yet another lesson in “Don’t promise what you can’t deliver every single time”.

Panasonic: Wag of the Finger to you.