Where is the Loyalty?

What happened to old fashioned loyalty? Are we really living in a world where it no longer matters?

We’ve heard about customer loyalty for decades.  But in the original context, the topic is about how to get customers to be loyal, returning, consistent, and committed supporters.

In the context of this writing, I am talking about the direct opposite.  What happened to the loyalty FOR the customer?  Let me share an example…..

I became an Apple product fanatic in 2007. I’ll save you the time of hearing about all the nights I spent sleeping outside the cell phone store’s from 2007 onward – just to get the iPhone early. I’ll save you having to hear that in my house there are four people and each of them have their own Apple watch, iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, and that every room in the house has an Apple TV.

The problem is that Apple has lost their loyalty to the customer.  Why should they care? If I leave them today, there are millions of other customers out there, that are as fanatical as me, who will keep them in business.

Frankly I’m disappointed.  I have four recent stories (a broken MacBook screen, an iPad that would not charge, an Apple Watch that was blamed on my child for the detached face, and an iPhone trade in that I was told would not power up – yet my son used it up until the day we mailed it in).

In each and every one of these situations – Apple assumes no ownership, no blame, no responsibility. If you have “Apple Care” then they will give you a DISCOUNT on the fixes for their malfunctioning and defective products.  If you do not, then you better be ready to pay near full price for the fixes or replacements.

What led me to write this today was the lack of compassion, the cold insensitive and uncaring attitude that Apple customer care, stores, and support has for their customers. In the early years, they NEEDED us.  The more happy customers they have, the better.  They built a dynasty. They entranced all of their customers to follow them on the technical evolution that would be what Apple is today.

I remember back in 2010 when I accidentally dropped my iPhone and, as you would expect, it landed in the perfect way that broke the screen into a million little pieces.  I took it to the Apple store, my face showing the signs of sadness as i walked up.  They looked at it, and my account, and realized how MANY products I had in my possession – and the support person said “This one is on the house” and gave me a new phone.

Those days are long gone folks.  Even with Apple Care, you have to pay a hefty price to get their broken or malfunctioning product fixed.  But most of all, there is no appreciation and response to loyalty.  As I stated earlier, I am sitting here with 25+ Apple products in my home, an Apple Credit card on my phone that I use heavily, and a reputation of being an “Apple Guy”.

But the recent in compassionate responses from Apple, and the coldness in their support has led me to believe that APPLE NO LONGER CARES IF I STICK WITH THEM OR NOT. If I stay…good.  If I go….we will find a replacement for you.

I’m saddened by this. I’m saddened that Apple has a lineup of products that fit my every need – and they all communicate together and work so elegantly for me. They are all connected, and it makes life so simple.  But God forbid that any of them have an issue – or else I will be left to pay for the fixes and the repairs.

Loyalty is ABOUT the customer, not FROM the customer.  Companies that realize that giving a few moments of attention, love, and support to your customers will pay dividends in the end.  Good companies never forget where they came from and who was there to support them when they were ‘growing up’.

I don’t feel the love Apple….  I’ve tried talking for literally hours with your support team.  I’ve tweeted to Tim Cook and your support twitter account – no one cares, no one responds.  In all four of the recent situations I have encounter, I never once asked for “full refund” or “full support”.  I only asked for SOMETHING.  Something to show you care for me as a customer.

It will never be the same – especially as long as you don’t see the value of keeping one customer happy.  I’ve been true to you Apple.  Since 2007, you’ve been the only one.

But that Samsung S20 is winking at me. Android may be in my future.  I wonder how Samsung would treat me as a customer? I wonder if they would hate to lose me if I began using their phone?  We may have to see…….

Loyalty – it’s about the customer, not the client.  Apple has forgotten the thing that got them where they are.  I’m just a number to them. Sad… I thought we had something….

“Testing is Not a 9 to 5 Job”: Webinar Q&A – Part 1

Thanks to everyone that attended my webinar with AppliTools called “Testing is Not a 9 to 5 Job”.  In the next week, AppliTools will be sharing with me the questions that were not reviewed during the webinar.  I will plan to answer each of those questions here with another blog update.

Until then, I had promised to provide two things before Monday, March 19th, and I wanted to share them with you below:

Question #1: In the webinar, we discussed crowdsourcing and crowd testing.  Which sites would you suggest to learn more about, and participate in, crowdsourced testing?

Answer #1: I personally have used www.uTest.com for the crowd testing that I have participated in.  Two other popular sites that I have been the most familiar with have been www.99tests.com and www.passbrains.com.   I was researching this weekend and found the following link, which is a very good writeup for their opinion on the top crowd testing sites.  You can find the link here:  The Top 11+ Most Popular Crowdsourced Testing Companies in 2018.  The 11 that were discussed in the article are mentioned below (unsure why uTest is not on this list!):

  • Crowdsourced testing
  • Global App Testing
  • Crowdsprint
  • Bugfinders
  • rainforest
  • Pay4Bugs
  • Testbirds
  • Test IO
  • MyCrowd QA
  • 99tests
  • UncoverBugs
  • Bugcrowd
  • TESTBATS

Question #2: Also, in the webinar, I suggested that even if your company does not have your test team conducting Security Testing, everyone should become familiar with how it works, and some of the tools that are used to conduct security testing.  A question from the webinar was — What sites, articles, and tools would you suggest to read and learn more about Security Testing?

Answer #2: There are many leaders in the security testing realm.  I will add more to this blog as I get more folks involved.   For now, I would like to share with you a blog site from Ken De Souza, who recently did a webinar for Software Test Professionals on security testing and created a quick start list for those wanting to know the basics of security testing.   You can find the following about Ken and his site below:

I will add others that can help with security testing articles and tools.  Please stay tuned for more!

Thanks again to everyone that attended my webinar!  And if you weren’t able to make it, I will be updating everyone when the recording comes out!

Mike

My TISQA 2018 Keynote Video

On February 28, 2018, I was honored to be the keynote speaker for the TISQA 2018 Conference in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

My talk was “Testing is Not a 9 to 5 Job” and I’m happy to share with you the link to the video for all of those that are interested in hearing the keynote.

I hope you enjoy it!

Mike

 

Take my Testing Survey today!

If you are in software testing – please take my testing survey. It’s very short – just a few questions and mostly multiple choice!

I am compiling responses to this survey to share in an upcoming conference presentation in a few months.

Please share this blog/link with your friends in testing and ask them to take the survey as well.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

My “Double Vision” Article Published!

If you work in software testing, I request you inputs on my latest article with the AppliTools blog.  You can find it at the following link below.

Even if you’re not involved in software testing, I think it’s a fun article to read.  Let me know what you think!

AppliTools – Double Vision

Thanks for reading!

Mike

9/11: Did We Forget?

15 years ago today, on September 11, 2001, the world woke up just like any other day.  Millions of people got ready for work and made their way to the office.  Thousands got on planes, expecting the same result as they had gotten hundreds of times before.  They depended things to be as they had been in the past.

But as we know, this was going to be a day that would be remembered forever.  Thousands of innocent lives would be lost.  The United States of America would be under attack.  And fear would reach new heights.

The world was glued to their televisions for days.  We wanted to understand why such acts would be undertaken, and how such evil could exist on this planet.

Whether you’re in America or another country, I’m sure you will always remember where you were when the news came that terrorism was taking place, and that lives were being lost.  You will always remember how it made you feel.  And everyone will remember the phrase that was born of this event “We will NEVER forget“.

It is now 2016.  So many things are happening everywhere we turn.  We have a political debate between two candidates in which many American’s are struggling to decide why EITHER should be the next president.  We have fighting and debates occurring in multiple circles.  We see people all over the world turning to social media to tell the whole world how they feel about EVERY situation that occurs.  Social media has become very “UN-SOCIAL”.

I’ve kept my silence as others have stood their position.  I have remained tight lipped as many friends and social media connections have gone out of their way to show their support of one side or the other of a topic of debate.  I’ve watched as the world abuses their freedom of speech by talking far too much about their stand on things.

On this day, I’m anxious to see the stand of those that make a significant influence in the world.  I’m talking about famous actors, speakers, authors, and professional athletes.  All over the world, fans are watching.  Some are emulating and supporting their favorites.  Some are embarrassed by them.  Some are unsure how to react and/or respond.

I’m not here to judge anyone who takes EITHER side of a debate, a discussion, a political party, or a problem that we face.  I’m looking at the facts at face value.  My challenge to the NFL Quarterback that feels he will sit through the American National Anthem to show his protest for all the wrong in the world is this – “Sir, you are symbolizing your take on the events that are ruining this country and the world.  YOU are SITTING DOWN and not taking a STAND”.  Honestly, it needs to be said.  I don’t make tens of millions of dollars in salary.  I don’t have a platform to stand on to address millions.  My challenge to this arrogant athlete would be that I don’t see him spending one penny of his extravagant salary to teach awareness to the next generation.  I don’t see him spending one penny to fund activities that could bring change in the world.  This is because he is SITTING DOWN.  He’s out to make a scene for something he has much more power and ability to influence.  I don’t buy it, and I never will.   I’m embarrassed for him.  I’m embarrassed for the National Football League, and I’m embarrassed for the media and for America to let someone with such a tiny percent of compassion have so much power and authority.

Let us go back to our promise and commitment in 2001.  Let us “Never Forget” what we have gone through as a country, and as a WORLD.  Let us never forget that there is almost ALWAYS something more that we can do to create change for any situation we do not like.

Sitting down is not the answer.