Data driven… events !

A couple of events I’ll be speaking at in the next few weeks:

The first event it’s all about IoT, smart manufacturing and how software can shape the future of industry. My keynote will be about the data driven factory, from digital workers to predictive maintenance. It’s a seven-in-one event, with 200+ exibithors and more than 3000 attendees.

The second event is the first edition of an inspiration arena during the Barcelona Motor Show. I expect a lot of automotive executives to be there (not only from Spain!) so networking and learning from other speakers will be great. My keynote will be about connected cars and how organizations should leverage data to survive in a digital world.

If you’ re around or plan to be there, just let me know so we can meet for a coffee!

e-journals on planes? Great, if it works…

Paper is disappearing from planes, and providing e-media to customers is just great. But airlines must make sure everything works fine…
I love the way some airlines are using digital across different touchpoints. Digital transformation means exactly this: using bits to disrupt product, process and… people. Flight on line search and booking, flight management (eg on line check-in, boarding pass, etc), social engagement not to mention the enormous activity in the background while digitizing staff, airports, maintenance and, in the end, the entire company.

This week I was flying on Monday 23rd from Torino in Italy to Munich in Germany. Flight was late in the morning and when I stepped in, the staff provided me a printed brochure to tell me the plane has a Wi-Fi based in-flight entertainment system. Cool, right? A small plane for low range providing in-flight entertainment which I can use by my smartphone or tablet or Pc. Since few weeks ago, the only amusement was getting a printed newspaper before boarding. Now music, videos, e-journals.

I’m not gonna talk here about the system itself (maybe I will test it a couple of more times before writing about it!), but about the experience with e-journals. Yep, because when I tried to download one of the 4 newspapers the system was offering me on Monday, the e-newspapers were out to date. News printed on Saturday 21st that I was supposed to read on Monday 23rd. Or even printed on the 20th, as you can see below.

I flew again on Thursday 26th, my plane left Torino around 9 am. Same situation: e-journals from 23rd or 24th, so a couple of days old. Oh yes, the Monday issue was not a single case (picture below taken on the 26th).

On one side, digital is great: imagine how many printed newspapers are substituted by their digital copies in planes, every single day. Tons of paper not wasted, an incredible result for the environment. Great customer experience too: you jump on the plane, connect WiFi, read newspapers. Easy and quick.

Savings coming from operations (hopefully no more trucks with papers to the airport, no more microbuses for distributing to different gates, no more time wasted collecting paper when passengers are out of the plane, no more garbage to be moved around) and from purchasing (hopefully to offer a digital copy has a lower cost right?).

On the other side, you need to make sure systems are perfectly running: you cannot deliver newspapers at 1 pm, if first flight is at 6 am. But I want to be positive: they will fix it, cloud allows a one click delivery, integration with media outlets is easy, probably some more alerts in operation will make everything smoother.

Last thing: social media listening. Too many companies are not yet present where their customers are, or are just there for promoting themselves. When I set up the first social media team at 3 Italia (an Hutchison Whampoa Company recentrly merged with Wind becoming first mobile operator in Italy) we spent 80% of our efforts in supporting customers (eg involving the right people from customer care) and only 20% in sales-based communication. And it simpy worked!

This is my tweet to the airline:

and this is the response, only 45 minutes after:

Well done “Bob”! Fast, charming and even if the problem could not be solved, as a customer I felt the right approach. Love digital <3

Apple and the power of CRM

It’s a known issue: battery level on iPhone 6, 6+ and 7 is an unpredictable item. You could be at 20, 30 or even 40% on the display, and 10 seconds after you have the phone completely dead (and yourself desperately looking for a power outlet).

I decided to let my Twitter followers know that it happened to me also (here’s the tweet). It took less than 4 hours to get a tweet back from Apple Support account, saying “We’lle help out). They were not tagged in my tweet, by the way.

Lesson number one:

if you care about your customers (and about your brand image), you MUST actively practice social media listening, no matter how many resources you have to put in it.
After a couple of tweets conversation went private and Apple Support team asked for some technical data (eg serial number) and remotely started a diagnosis session on my phone to check battery status. Yep: if you’re under WiFi with enough power left, Apple can remotely run tests on your iPhone to check issues (terms and conditions apply, and you must accept them before test can begin).

Lesson number two:

if you care about your customers and you’re selling a connected device, there’s no reason why you should ask customers to physically go into your stores, lose time and get upset if you just need to check if there’s an issue.

Test was showing my battery health is good, so we did a couple of extra check on settings (eg all applications updated, kill and restart a couple of them, etc) and agreed that if the issue is coming back again I will directly contact them via DM ot they will boook an appointment at Apple Store for me. My iPhone does not need battery replacement (you can check if yours does).

Lesson number three:

if you care about your customers, make sure that agents can offer an alternative even when the issue can’t be solved. In my case it’s the ability to directly contact the agent or have a pre-scheduled appintment at Apple Store, in other cases might be a discount on the next purchase or a courtesy follow-up call in the next few days.

I guess there are no many comments to add: Apple is doing it right, from social media listening to pro-active CRM to big data (one thing I did not mention is that from few data provided they were able to check my customer history, preferences, other Apple products I own, etc) to direct email. Having everything integrated and in the cloud allows to smoothly run customer care operations across the board, with no pain for the final customer. Is your company doing the same?

(for iPhone owners: rumors around… it seems battery bug will be solved with iOS 10.3 release, no need to run remote battery tests also for your phone :D)

Does Proactive Work