My team and I were recently travelling to mainland Europe on a business trip, as you do. Shortly after crossing the Channel an operator message started to pop up on my (personal) mobile phone:
“Don’t forget, using data on your iPhone while abroad for things like web browsing, Google maps, and Apps can use 1MB/min. To monitor how much you use, go to Settings/General/Usage. It’s £3/MB in the EU and £6/MB outside the EU.”
Not only was the message persistent, it was also missing a trick. What a wasted opportunity to make me happy and get some money off me at the same time – I thought. European Commission regulation states that customers travelling to another Member State must receive an automated message of the charges that apply for data roaming services.
All fine, except, in their eagerness to satisfy the authorities, the operators, in this case O2, forgot that their primary objective should be to satisfy their customers and please their shareholders. Is it really that difficult to dream up a bolt-on data plan for a one day trip and put a ‘YES PLEASE’ link / button at the end of this horrible and mildly threatening message? I think not.
Customers demand nothing less than seamless experiences these days, particularly if they are prepared to shell out on their all-singing, all-dancing smartphones. One would think this should particularly be the case if those same customers are travelling within the integrated market of the European Union. This looks to me like a big wasted opportunity not only to create positive outcome for the customer but also to make the operators some money. The irony is that we were travelling on a project that addresses customer experiences and ways of making them more joined-up, more satisfying and more profitable.