iPhone, Harry Potter, and customer service

Iphone I got an Apple iPhone for my birthday--that is, I bought one myself but my wife said, "Hey, guess what? That's now your birthday present, mister! And I'm returning the BOSE computer speakers that I already bought you." So anyway, I bought it while traveling, hooked it up to my PC in the hotel room, connected to the internet, and the phone activated immediately. I was actually amazed at how wonderful the experience was since I'd heard  that many people had bad experiences. Happily I didn't. This weekend, I took my daughter and her friend to see Harry Potter at the IMAX theater. [Man! That's a big screen! And that fight scene in the room with all the prophesies! Sweet. And did anyone else question their filing system?] But despite a sold-out show and over-the-top buzz, the theater seemed surprised that all these people were showing up. They were completely unprepared--so much so that the patrons took the law into their own hands and policed the queue. [How bad is it to jump a line for a kids' movie! Yeesh.] But my experience is nothing compared to the story from James Stoup about buying a fan from Honeywell. (Don't drink anything while you're reading it!) What's the difference between a product-driven and a market-driven company? Product managers in the market-driven company look at the entire buying and using experience... beyond just the device or service itself. Apple did it right. The iPhone is indeed gorgeous! Activation was elegant and easy. Alas, for those who had problems, AT&T dropped the ball on customer service (no surprise). IMAX was thinking ticket sales instead of managing the thundering herd. The Honeywell fan? 'nuff said. Some companies seem to say, "Once we have your money, who cares?" Market-driven companies say, "I want you to tell your friends!" And people do either way. Happy customers tell some people. Unhappy customers tell everybody! It's five times cheaper to keep a customer than it is to get a customer. What portion of your marketing plan contains strategies for keeping customers?
Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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