Big Business and Customer Experience Attitudes – Google

Google is one of top three companies in the world and the customer experience is unreliable.
Sundar Pichai CEO, Google Inc
Sundar Pichai CEO, Google Inc.

Today’s news clip from 360 Law:

“The U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical of whether Google Inc.’s so-called cy pres settlement of a privacy class action was fair, under which $2 million went to class counsel, $5 million went to third parties chosen by class counsel and the company, and zilch went to the 129 million Google users who made up the class

Google’s earnings more than doubled over the last 5 years, their  share Price went from $513.52 to  $1,090 this morning.

I use google as a customer.  I like their email program services for business and at home, not for mass mailings mind you.  That services is very overpriced and doesn’t come with core features.  I have a separate service provider for that.  I also use google analytics, its pretty ok. It should be considering they make their money by tracking web traffic. It could be quite better from my point of view. Google’s big issue is that their instructions are horrible.

I like to be treated well, by knowledgeable, well-trained people who have a humane attitude.  I am not alone.  Customer Service  or more precisely our Customer Experience is now so bad that it is quickly becoming the  New Frontier in generating or negatively affecting ROI.

Google at its absolute worst. 

I rent cloud space.  I guess because  one of my drives  is linked to a free Gmail account the young man displayed an attitude problem.  He assumed it was free even thought it was not. Maybe he didn’t have access to my account details? Or was too lazy to look?  He claimed that when Google Drive lost much of my data, that was:

a) because I only use the  consumer version.  Never mind that I pay twice than what I pay for the business version that I also use.
b) I could not have lost data from before 2012 because they didn’t even offer google drive before then.

Customer service should not drive up your blood pressure, nor should it make you angry.

The young man’s attitude was horrible. He was rude, arrogant and clearly not very bright. The idea that you may back up other storage that included data from prior years entirely escaped his universe of thoughts.

For the business drive I got a young man on the phone – after looking forever to find a phone number – who was clearly able to read his script and while he was not the brightest person I have ever encountered, he was diligent,  thorough and polite.  He got the job done, eventually, after studying the manual and talking to his boss a few times. Due to his positive attitude I was able to remain patient and polite more easily.  Attitude matters!

Google has its shares of problems.  Every large international company has problems.  Google apparently has hired horrible Ku Klux Klan loving men who created havoc for the company.  More here.

The above mentioned lawsuit very much reflects the conversation I had with the Google Drive young customer experience man – he was rude, intellectually challenged, and despite the fact that I am a paying customer, his attitude was inhumane.  The young man for the business account which costs less was diligent and polite.  On the big business side people are down right courteous.

What I glean from this is that Google does not believe that we are all created equal.

I am the same person with three different level of services and I am treated entirely different in each scenario.  This should not be!  Does it really  matter whether I call as an individual or as a business client?  Please, Google hire better people and  train them better.  By having more than one type experience with a large company I can’t trust you in any area of your business.

Google  has  a hierarchy of value systems  or let it fester and they don’t promote women through the glass ceiling.  You  should, you would do better.

Mr. Pichai, trust is build on a relationship that allows each person to count on the other person to do the right thing.  The Supreme Court of this land ruled that “Corporations are People.”  So Google, why can I only rely on you if your employees consider me worthy, and why does it change from scenario to scenario?

How about just one link with help to get to the right person? I want a better customer experience.

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Customer Support Woes – Microsoft’s CX is terrible due to lack of training.

On hold with Microsoft.  What a waste of time.  What a way to irk customers.  Steal their time with faulty products, lack of service and put them on the phone with an untrained macho Philippine young man with a fake name.  “Jared” he called himself.  His lack of English belies that fact.  I am glad that most Indians are now allowed to use Indian names. Anyway what I learned is this:

Microsoft = Hypocrisy.

The 22 minutes I wasted today are better than the 6 1/4 hours it took last time. Today  I got nothing resolved, but gave up quicker.  Yet, I am so upset.  My cortisol levels have sky rocketed, my adrenaline level is in need of rigorous exercise to get them back down. CX is the future.  Everyone including Microsoft agrees.

I ask Jared:  “How long have you worked at Microsoft.  2 Years. Are you an expert on Excel.”

Jared claims that he was trained for more than 1 year.  However, he cautioned me right away, that he is not trained on using the product.  He is merely able to provide help with the installation of Microsoft 365’s  program.  Not with solving anything that may go wrong with it.  When I described the problem he first explained that it is Facebook’s fault.  While there are many things Facebook could improve about themselves, I don’t agree with him that being able to save Facebook Analytics xls documents sometimes, but not always is a Facebook issue. The conversation immediately went beyond the young man’s scope of understanding. I asked for a supervisor.  He never came.  Maybe he was never notified.  Who knows?  Well, we only know that Microsoft doesn’t care about my Customer Experience.  I am having a terrible one.

If the program is already installed,  he explains, then Microsoft can’t help.  He told me that I am welcome to ask other Microsoft users in the “community.”  I asked  him, if there is a glitch with the product, such as many times I can save a document but sometimes I can’t – I am on my own?  He assured me:  “No, no, you are not on your own, I am suggesting that you speak with others in  the community.  Often other users who have similar problem can talk to you and listen to you.  I can’t. ”   When I told him that this is preposterous, he said you can also try to find solutions by watching YouTube or by going to a support site, like ansheishlscam.  I said I beg your pardon.  he repeated ansheishlscam or something like that.  I suggested the he spell it for me since I could not make out the answer.  He seemed entirely stumped at that point.  Apparently they didn’t teach him how to spell word aside of not reaching him how to pronounce them.

I asked him where he is from.  He answered that he is in  the Philippines.  I have had wonderful experiences and philosophical discussions with a Philippine Art professor and his mom in the past.  I know that Jared is not the only person representing the Philippines, but he is certainly representing the CX experience of Microsoft.

I can’t understand his accent.    I had asked to speak to his supervisor.  He had kept me on hold for 16 minutes and then told me that his supervisor was busy with another disgruntled customer.  No, he didn’t really say “disgruntled” he said “valued.”

The problem with Customer Service contracts is that people get paid by the minute.  The companies, Microsoft in this instance,  don’t seem to care if the customer gets help or if you are merely put on hold. I imagine that “big data” shows that calls in the Philippines are shorter than those in India.  I know because last time when I didn’t have to luxury of hanging up because I needed the software installed – I was on hold for over well over 5 hours – only to be told that they wanted to call me back in an extra 22 hours.

I asked whether he could help with a Skype glitch while I was waiting.  Realizing that I was being silly as soon as the sentence came out of my mouth.  Since I joined this 365 subscription, my Skype credits disappeared because my email is in use for this account  already.  Completely irrational frankly, since I have been a customer with Microsoft since 1980 and used Skype since 2004.

Microsoft  touts their AI capabilities and how it  provides “finished services to customers” – but clearly Microsoft is not using their own AI platform or it doesn’t work at all.  My service was neither “finished” nor did it exist. Clearly Microsoft can’t keep track of customers, like me.  Sad.  Or, probably, Microsoft just doesn’t care. I has the credit card booking the money out of the bank account each month.  So there is no more need to actually give a functioning product.  They refer me to the “community” whatever the heck that is?    I googled Community & Microsoft and got this:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum  – a place where frustrated people who don’t have a clue can vote up and down of how frustrated they are with the non-existing answers.  Swell.

I actually think it is not a technology problem, but an attitude problem.  The new Indian born CEO Nadella doesn’t give a hoot about his customers. If he did they would not have all these issues.  They want those issues to complete the retreat from consumer based business.  HP tried that and shot themselves in the foot, big time.  They did the opposite.  They focused on the printers and stopped supporting their techies sub contractors who built their company in the first place.  Not realizing that most people are both – consumers and business people.  Love that Epson Printer after years of using and recommending  HP for everything and my clients.   I use a MACs now. Love Apple’s customer service,  I really do.  They genuinely care,  they speak English and are culturally “with it”  and highly trained.  Love them.

Microsoft, certainly is not the only US bred tech company, that seems to suffer from hypocrisy.  They are just one of the largest offenders.   And it is not that the company as a whole doesn’t know that customer service is important.  In their blog they sing the praises about importance of a positive Customer Experience. In reality however they clearly don’t care at all.

What they say:

Microsoft Logo

Social media can have a positive influence on your brand and your product. It can also drive a stronger bottom line. Case in point: loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones.1 Customer relationships that lead to loyalty and trust are the foundation of a brand’s success. At Microsoft, the Customer Experience Center (CXC) is dedicated to building deeper customer relationships. etc.

My Microsoft customer experience was horrible and the company clearly has no interest in walking their talk.  What goes on my nerves is when people talk one way out of this side of their mouth and the other way out of the other side.  I can’t stand hypocrisy.

I prefer people who are consistent. Microsoft is in decline – angry and upset customer are not a good sign for their future health.  As an angry and upset customers I probably will share my story with more than the average 15 people for negative, and 5 people for positive experiences.

Well, the health advice is working.  I feel much calmer now.  I wasted an awful lot of time.  Maybe I should start working with better customer experience experts and show Microsoft and those other phony companies, how it’s done.   Maybe in the end this  frequent and horrid customer experience is just the inspiration I needed.

PS:  Special thanks, to Yussuf.  You were great last time we spoke and you solve my install problem in 33 minutes flat.  Microsoft should promote you over these uncultured, untrained stone-age macho men who wasted 6 hours and 15 minutes of my time, before I played CX roulette and found you.  If people like you, Yussuf, were in charge of Microsoft, the company would have a chance to thrive again.   The way it is run right now, it will go down as a mere footnote in history.

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How to teach your child the confidence of a peak performer.

We all want the best for our kids Photo Credit: Creative Commons
We all want the best for our kids.   Photo Credit:  Creative Commons

Our job as parents is to prep our kids to live happy and successful lives.  We want them to succeed to allow them to enjoy a life without financial stress. We want them to find love to allow them to have healthy and fulfilling  relationships.  We want them to feel confident and able to achieve their very own dreams.   So how can we protect the kids, while prepping them to become peak performers?

Step 1 –  Build up their confidence.

One way to build confidence in our children. When children feel loved, heard, and held in esteem they feel confident that they matter.  The  child eventually knows that she is important to us. This also means parents have to avoid any prolonged absences.  Small children don’t understand why the parents are not there, even if it feels unavoidable to the parent.  The child needs to know that it can reach us and count on us to be there for them.   We want the children to know they are important to us. We also teach the child that we are in charge of our own life. We have the freedom to set priorities.  We choose to be there for the child.  The child learns by observing.  If we are there for them, they will  feel that it is natural to care for themselves and to care about themselves.  They learn to trust not only the parents but also themselves.

Photo by Caleb Mullin via Unsplash.
Photo by Caleb Mullin via Unsplash.
Step 2 – Honesty is important for realistic self assessment and leads to follow through.

Life has challenges and it has ups and downs.  When we are honest with our children they don’t always like it.  Yet, this is how they  learn that sometimes the truth is difficult.  They also learn to trust us, when we give them genuine compliments. Genuine compliments are worth so much more than indiscriminate praise.  The child learns that honesty is ok.  If we tell them they didn’t seem to have given their personal best, they learn they could try harder and get better.  Then when they do well after they really practiced and succeeded, the praise feels wonderful.  Additionally, if they try something that isn’t realistic, you can plan with them what they may wish to  do instead, or what they may have to do to carry out the desired task. They learn to research, analyze and make plans. The also learn that plans without action will not yield results.  Honest with children leads to self honesty by children, which helps them to keep a clear mind rooted in reality.

Step 3 – Responsibility helps us feel in charge of our own destiny

When we take responsibility for our own actions we model behavior to our children. The sooner we teach kids that they are responsible for their own actions and words, the sooner they will feel in charge of their own life.  They learn while they cannot influence everything that happens around them, they are in charge of how they react to the circumstances.  They are in charge of how they act, speak, follow through, commit themselves and equally important take care of their health, both mentally and physically. By taking responsibility they will learn fast that they have choices in life.  They are free to choose how they want to live their life.  Do they want to study and get good grades, do they diligently practice their work outs.  Naturally as they responsibly work on improving themselves they perform better and better. The children feel in charge because they learned they are responsible for their own actions and words.

Peak Performance is a result of hard work, a good attitude, and the willingness to do what it takes.  We can start our support for children by providing them with the basis of success. We let them know they are important, valued and adored by us.  We are available when they need us.

www.vigilints.com - smartwatches for kids
www.vigilints.com – Hawkeye Smartwatches for kids

In the digital age, this means we are there to guide and coach them.   One valuable tool is a Hawkeye Smartwatch which is designed for 3 to 7-year-old kids.  The Vigilint Parental Assistant app provides the function to check their child’s friends. Parents can talk or text (emojis) allowing to share in their life. The app has a listening function and an SOS button.  This allows parents to coach the children and advise them when the child needs help dealing with other kids. A parent can share responsibility with three other trusted adults and link up to 8 people into a phone tree of trusted care takers.  Additionally the child can have up to 20 friends in their phone.  The Hawkeye Smartwatch has a roll over function which can be set to call the father if the mother is not available. It  rolls over to the babysitter, aunt or the child’s friends parent.    Being there for our kids matters and it is the foundation to a successful life.

 

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What you want to know before you buy a Smartwatch

Smart watches for Kids from www.vigilintbiosensors.com
Smart watches for Kids from www.vigilintbiosensors.com

Wearable technology offers a wide array of choices. Keeping track of the options is a daunting task.  Here are some quick tips.

Does it work with your smart phone?  All Smart Watches for kids are tethered to the parent’s smartphone, but you need to know not all watches work with every mobile network plan.  as

Does the watch come with a SIM Card installed?   All smartwatches that receive text, calls and data require a SIM Card.

Does the SIM card on your watch work with your mobile carrier?  Many smartwatch providers sell to customers without explaining whether their mobile carrier supports the watch in their local area.  Most smartwatches are sold without a SIM card  plan, leaving you, the customers, to tackle the issue.

How long does the battery last and can you reload with via USB?  Many smart watch customers (and their kids) complain about short battery life, often running out in mere hours. Make sure your batteries last for a full day or more.  This way you can reload the batteries every night while you sleep.

What are the important features on a watch for your kids and which do you really need?   Simple, reliable, trusted communication with your child is paramount. Many smartwatches sell a catalog of games — but your kids already have access to games on a tablet or computer at home. When they are on the way to school or outdoors playing, they shouldn’t get distracted. Wouldn’t it be better if they paid attention to their safe travel or playing with other kids?

Is your watch water-resistant or waterproof?   Most smartwatches like most watches are water-resistant, but not waterproof.   Make sure you buy a watch for your specific needs.

Can you communicate with the smartwatch?  Many smartwatches are only glamorized pedometers.  So carefully read about all the features when you choose a smartwatch.  There are only a few companies that actually want you to be able to communicate via the watch.  Apple Watches run from $1,299 for their top products all the way to $139 for their Walmart specials.  Naturally the features from each smartwatch vendor vary greatly.

Some are specifically designed to keep families together,  Vigilint Biosensors’  Hawkeye Smartwatches  inform parents, babysitters about the children in their charge.  Hawkeye Smartwatches link and work with every major U.S. mobile carrier: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, unlike most other kids smartwatches, that only work with one or two. This is due to the fact that Vigilint Biosensors offers Hawkeye smartwatches with SIM cards pre-installed and ready to use and  compatible with all major smartphone carriers for $10 per month.  Vigilint Biosensors customer service test it for you before it is shipped after you fill out the COPPA compliance form. Keeping kids safe is a top priority.

Vigilints’ Hawkeye GPS keeps a close eye on where your kids are, and if there is an emergency, allows others you designated to text or speak with them directly.   Hawkeyes  run on the proprietary SIM cards and are fully functioning right out of the box, unlike many of the very inexpensive watches that need assembly and are not out-of-the-box ready found on Amazon and other retailers.  Many come without a SIM card or a service connection to the parents’ smartphone. This is frustrating for parents who don’t have the time to become watchmakers before their kids smartwatch works.  So check the fine print before you buy.

Buying a smartwatch for your kids may be a bit confusing and overwhelming. Choosing well is worth the time and effort. Just do a bit of homework and compare features.  When you want to keep a family together by sharing parenting and babysitting with up to 3 adults and a total of 8 connections, Hawkeye smartwatches are a great solution for your young child. They stay on their little wrists. Thus they are a great alternative to buying smartphones and plans for each your 3 to 6 year olds.  Phones are too big of a responsibility for  young children.  Put a Hawkeye on their wrist and relax.  Affordable, ready to use, and designed with the parent / child relationship in mind.

 

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