Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When Technology Doesn't Help Customer Service

I'm sitting on a slow and ocassionally not moving NYC subway right now. Every few minutes, there is a friendly automated announcement informing me "we are being delayed because of train traffic ahead." That's all well and good and it's somewhat better than the previous situation of no information at all.

But what is it really telling me? What I mean is, am I getting any useful information that will help me on the rest of this trip?

What I really want to know is how far up the line does the traffic extend and should I consider transferring at an upcoming station to a line that's moving better. It wouldn't be difficult to implement since all the trains are already monitored. Simply calculate the delay and update the announcement to include that information.

But the MTA hasn't done that (at least not yet). They installed new technology but didn't actually provide any additional value.

Don't fall into that trap with your technology. There are always new and exciting things out there. But just installing a new system doesn't necessarily give you an advatage. What has to be done with that new system to improve you business, sales, revenue, customer experience, etc.

The iPad is cool. But it can be more than just the slickest way to check your email. What should you do with it to drive sales? Same for Facebook. And Windows 7.

Don't take the easy way out and then wonder why you spent all that time and money. Take the next step and use technology to drive your business.
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