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May 3, 2013

Clean up before you co-create

Posted by Simon Towers (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:54 AM

Review | First Google Fiber customers  [Source:NBCActionNews  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjIXyvcHybs]

Do non-business consumers really need gigabit Internet access? Google seems to think so, as it readies to roll out its Google Fiber network into Austin, Texas, its second location after Kansas City.

So, do non-business consumers really need gigabit Internet access? To get to the answer, and in the true spirit of customer-centricity, let's play co-creation with the customer.

So Ms. Customer, would you sign up for a new Internet service that delivers exponential speeds at an incremental price increase? How about if the price increase was also exponential? Or how about I leave everything as it is but just ensure that you consistently get the service you are already paying for? (The correct answers, for those whose fingers are not on the customer pulse, are, respectively: Yes, No and What? You can do that?!) Before you scoff at those answers, consider what Google 'Fiberers' told a local Kansas City newspaper (you can read the entire story here.) Even those with its fastest Internet hookups say things feel more evolutionary than revolutionary. So far, they've not found new uses for the Internet.

But: Installers show up on time. Headquarters often tells customers when something needs to be fixed without prompting. Unsolicited credits sometimes show up on bills to account for small service glitches.

See? In spite of the sizzle, all they really ever wanted was the steak they willingly paid for.

That's my long-winded point about co-creation. Is it a wonderful new opportunity for customer-centricity? Yes. Will it move the needle? Push the envelope? Encourage blue sky thinking? Create blue ocean opportunities? Maybe, if you play it right. No, if your customers are still stuck at the bottom of the Maslovian hierarchy of needs.

So, do I want a gazillion terabyte connection at the price of a dial-up? Absolutely. But before that, I don't want to enter my 10 digit broadband number, twice, to get to the third level of an IVR system that I am certain is configured as 15 second loops. I don't want an automated response to my service request email promising me a solution in 48 hours. And then I certainly don't want a response assuring me that that according to your systems I shouldn't have a problem.

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