Attention To Detail

This evening I updated my iMac to the latest MacOS version, Sierra.  I finished a call, had downloaded the update and because I had to duck out for half an hour or so, I figured I’d click “Install” and it would happily upgrade itself while I was out.

I got back to my desk about an hour later and discovered my iMac was turned off, but my secondary monitor was active – the iMac went into sleep mode.  I never turn sleep mode on because I hate it, so I just assumed that during the upgrade process, it was some configuration change to turn on sleep mode by default.

I tapped on the space bar to wake the iMac up and when it came back to life I could see that it was about 10% done with the update.  It had literally gone into sleep mode while upgrading.  If that wasn’t stupid enough, Apple’s developers had actually overridden my configuration of not using sleep mode to achieve this perplexing state of stupidity.

I jumped on to Facebook and commented about how silly that was wondering if perhaps it was only my machine, but within a minute my friend James said he’d had the same experience with the MacOS Sierra update.

For a company that prides itself on high quality and superior user experience, that was really dumb.  Worse, it was a staggering lack of attention to detail.  For Apple, that might be the worst thing you can say about this company.  Steve Jobs was renowned for his pedantic nature and almost maniacal focus on getting every detail right.  Now though, they can’t even figure out how to do their updates correctly.

Same thing with the new iOS 10 update for iPhone and iPad.  The lack of attention to detail is everywhere – in fact, the experience is often far worse.  For example, when you’re on a call and your phone locks itself.  You used to be able to swipe right on the name/number of the person you were talking to and you’d be taken to the phone app where you could hang up, mute the call or do whatever.  Now when you swipe right while on a call it takes you to that stupid notifications screen.  Then when you get into your device and go to the phone app, rather than take you to the call control screen while you’re actually on a call, it takes you into the number pad requiring you to tap into the call control screen to end a call.

I find those kinds of things so annoying.

I’m a bit of a stickler for observing things.  I notice what type of socks people are wearing and are they matching.  I walk into a room with a half dozen people and before I’ve sat down, I’ve noticed which women are wearing wedding or engagement rings, who’s wearing watches and what type of pens they carry.

I don’t even do it consciously, it’s just a subconscious thing that I study details in whatever room or situation I walk into.  Like if a woman is playing with her hair or her jewellery, it’s like a red flag for me.  Most of the time I don’t even know I’m doing it.

Great example, the other day I was at work and walked into a team meeting.  I noticed that one of the guys on our team was wearing socks with the logo of a vendor and we were doing a workshop with that vendor right after that meeting.  He wasn’t even aware that he’d put them on, conversely, I’d not only notice his socks, recognized the logo and worked out that we were seeing them in less than an hour.  I pulled all that together in under five seconds from when he walked into the room and sat down.

While that can be a neat party trick, it is also something as business owners that you need to be aware of.  You’re going to have customers that are examining every detail of your product, service or delivery.  By no means can you be perfect, but you should be aiming for something akin to “really good”.  More importantly, you shouldn’t be like Apple where their delivery is so sloppy that they are turning on features that actually impede their ability to do what the customer wants.

Most customers will forgive the odd mistake or problem, but what they tend not to be so gracious and magnanimous about is when you make things worse and seemingly have no idea that you’ve done so.

Pay attention to what you’re doing, put yourself in a customer’s shoes and try and deliver them the best experience you can.  Think about how you’d want to use your product or service if you were them.

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