It’s not always about the technology

This weekend I was in an Apple Store, which was full of people. Kids were playing with iPads (primarily iPad minis), parents were buying their college students new MacBooks, and some people were just there playing with the technology. The children were taking pictures of each other with the iPads and playing games.

I was also in Staples, and went over to look at two Microsoft Surface tablets on display. There was no one around. I clicked on an Office app, which asked me to sign-up for a SkyDrive account before it would work. I set it down and walked away.

What felt almost offensive to me about the Staples experience is that I know that thousands of people worked on the Surface, which seems to be a great product. Billions of dollars were spent on research, design, and production. Yet at the end, how much thought was given to customer experience?

In a time where people are doing much of their shopping on the internet, the store experience had better be something that is hassle free and adds value, like friendly and experienced staff who are readily available and know what they are talking about. If Saturday were any indication, Microsoft better hope that people are just going to the web and buying the Surface, not stopping in Staples before making a decision.

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2 thoughts on “It’s not always about the technology

  1. The challenge is the channel.

    I visited an Office Depot recently where they have an Apple section, and the experience was the same as the Microsoft section of the store. Last month I stumbled across a Microsoft store at a mall. The look, feel, and atmosphere was just like the Apple store. I learned a great deal about the Surface, and was impressed by the experience.

    It’s tough to get your channel to be as passionate about your products as your own sales force.

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