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Apple just recharged its customer-centricity cred

360 Magazine 
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Apple just recharged its customer-centricity cred

Another, even more expensive new iPhone? Yawn.

new smart watch? How many of us even wear those?

Apple’s fall launch event yesterday will not go down among its most notable – at least in terms of the products that were offered.

What has garnered far more attention – and what should, for those in customer experience (CX) roles – is the company’s decision to support universal serial bus as a standard.

Why USB-C has triumphed

Even if you never knew what “USB” stood for, you’ve probably benefited from USB-C connectivity on at least one of your devices.

It’s a form of charging electronics that has been incredibly pervasive. Except, of course, on Apple, which has been forcing customers to use its propriety Lightning cables up until now.

Apple might have argued that its insistence on offering its own charging technology as in keeping with its “think different” ethos. Customers, and particularly those of who know a bit about IT, would counter that USB chargers have proven why standards deserve to be embraced.

Attaching a USB-C cord has become so routine on any other device up until now that you didn’t really have to think about it. That’s a benefit.

With Apple’s Lightning, you often had to think about, and (at least in our house) make sure you had the right kind of cable for your particular port. That’s literally a moment of friction in a critical part of Apple’s customer journey (ie: using their iPhone).

When the USB standard first emerged (and yes, I was around then), experts often predicted the ports could be used to create a “daisy chain” of peripherals. In other words, you could connect your PC to your printer, your scanner and whatever else for a more cohesive experience.

Daisy-chaining didn’t really pan out, but it’s one of those areas of technology that gave birth to the phrase “plug and play.” Apple had asking customers to choose if they wanted to play.

The CX lesson in a USB-C cable

CX leaders should look within their organizations for their equivalent of Lightning ports and cables.

See Also

What kind of processes or extra steps are you asking customers to take on simply because that’s the way your company has already operated?

What kind of standard solutions or approaches are widely available that could simplify the experience for customers?

It could be:

  • The way you process payments
  • The shipping options you offer or even
  • The accessories that work with your products.

There may be a fear in some cases that adopting a standard somehow makes your company too much like every other competitor in the same industry.

Apple has finally realized, though, that adopting USB-C will put its customers on a more level playing field with other digital device users. They can now plug and play. More power to them.

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