Archive for the ‘complaining’ Category

You might think I am applying for a job at some airline company. I am not, but make me an offer;-)

Anyway. I dont know how many that checkin on internet, I allways do. And if you make it better even more might do it. And reduce time at airport and increase airline profit as a result.

When doing a long haul flight you get food. Often with some option. Veg or non-veg, or some other options. Make those choices part of he internet checkin and you will get two positive effects.

  1. The food of one choice will not run out. Everyone will get wat they want, as you will know that hours before the take off.
  2. Customers will use internet checkin even more as it gives them an advantage.

Yes the chicken was all taken when they got to me last trip. So therefore I offer this solution and way of increasing profit for airlines.


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Anyone that has been in a gate waiting for your turn to board? Everyone else seems to get on before you. Its platina that and gold this, silver something and all kinds of plus. And it takes ages.


So is it any good?


The people paying most board first, then the rest has to pass them to get to the rear end. Which means the sitting ones get bags banged in their heads. Its just stupid. Would you pay to get your head smacked by bags?


Another version is. We fill it up from the back. But any platinas/gold/whatever member or business/plus/paying extra passengers can board anytime. Which they do and just stop everything so no one can pass. Another version of the same stupidity.


A couple of times in the US they have done it in zones. First all window, then middle seats and last aisle seats. Much more effective. And research shows you can get on board much faster that way.


So why continue to do it in stupid ways? I dont think that its worth the cost of doing this for premium class first. Some airlines are even stopping to have one.


It was ages ago premium class was freely available for business travelers anyway.


Make it fast and efficient. Make the turnaround time faster and lower the fare.


And that’s how you adapt to changing customer needs. Don’t deliver today what the customer wanted and was prepared to pay for yesterday.


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It could be just one of these obvious things. Off course we deliver what the customer needs, we are product managers, right?

Why do we then see strange things. When I last sat on an airplane it hit me, they even have different clothes. No on the passengers (although they do off course), what I talk about was the cabin crew.

Lets be the customer! You buy a flight you want to

  • Get from A to B
  • Check in
  • Get a seat
  • Get something to eat and drink
  • Get off

More or less. So to what benefit for you are the numerous titles the cabin crew use ?

They are flight attendance, purser, head waiter and blah blah blah. They supposedly do different stuff, they even have different clothes to signal who is who.

And we passengers just don’t care.


We want coffee, we grab nearest cabin crew,

we want wine, we grab nearest cabin crew.


So all their titles, what good is it. For the customer none at all. For themselves obviously really important.

But hey, why are they there, for us or for them?

So make sure that what you deliver is of value to the customer, if is not, stop delivering it and find out what you should deliver instead.

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Imagine you are creating a software and there are similar softwares out there. You compete in UI, features and support for different file formats. Should you announce your upcoming support for new file formats?

Nikon D600

I am talking about some specific examples here, I am talking about RAW converters. Software used by all photographers that don’t want the camera to create the JPEG file. And each camera has its own file format for their RAW file, so when a new camera hits the market the RAW converter manufacturers need to support it with a new version of the software.



Here are a couple of options. Either you do it really quick, always first supporting new cameras. Or you might not be the first but do it really good. But how far can you wait? How long will you users wait for support for their new shiny camera? A lot longer if you tell them how long it will be. If you say “we never tell what and when we support new cameras” they will wait for a while, and then lose faith and change to your competition.



The funny part is that for some cameras you actually “know” the support will come. It just don’t makes sense to not support the major camera manufacturers models. The cameras are out there also, they are already released. So its not like your competition cant guess what you do, they just cant guess your delivery date. But is it more important to keep that secret from your competition or to publish it to your users? The competition know you are working on it, they are doing the same. The users know you are working on it, but will lose interest if you do it for to long, and switch to a competitor that is faster than you.



So be secret, the only real loser is you. The only real winner is your competition. And the users have to pay for a new software and learn it, but they will do that



Or be smart, announce what everyone knows anyway. Keep your new features under wrap, that’s totally another thing. 


and yes, I have a new camera, and yes my raw converter does not support it and yes they just refuse to tell us when they will. A number of their competitors do however.


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If I were in sales and a product manager said “how can I help you”I would be happy.

I would NOTignore it

But hey, that’s just me.

If I were in sales and the product manager asked me what I needed from the product manager I would start doing a list.

So why does that not happen? Could it be they are so used by us stopping them and us not delivering what they think is the must crucial feature? Have we come to a point where expectations are low and trust lower? If so we need to fix it.

  • Lets make sure we always give reasons
  • Lets make sure we never ignore a request
  • Lets make sure we really understand their reality

    Let us start, and just maybe next time you say “how can I help you” to sales you get a meaningful answer.

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Today I read The Telegraph about the London 2012 Olympics in 3D (well I read it in a sewdish newspaper but needed an english link)

London 2012 Olympics: Games to be broadcast in 3D for up to 10 hours a day

The London 2012 Olympic Games will be broadcast in 3D for up to ten hours a day in a UK and worldwide broadcast first.

My first question is where is the product manager?

If we look into this 3D hype that we have had since the movie Avatar I think we can conclude.

  1. It’s still the same glasses as when we were kids in the 70s, but they look better now.
  2. The boom on home television did not arrive; at the moment they blame these glasses and the fact that every manufacturer has their own standard.
  3. People with ordinary glasses have a lot of trouble getting the 3D at all.
  4. You will lose resolution by going into 3D. By adding depth you lose in the other two. No magic here.

So my question remains, where is the product manager, and whose errand boy is it?


The consumer does not have the capability to see in 3D as the home television for 3D markets are not that big yet.

The consumer does not even have the money to buy all these glasses that is needed

Sport is often something where millimeters and hundreds of a second matters. Do we want to get worse resolution then? Give us real HD so we can use our 50 inch screen in full HD instead.


So if the product manager is not in touch with the audience who is the product manager in touch with?

Who would really want this?


My suspicion is that what we see is that the TV manufacturers are now flooding the Olympics with sponsor money to get this. Al in order to sell more television sets with 3D.


Then the question will be who the customer for the product manager is? For a one time influx of money they sell out the repeat customer’s experience. If you do that over and over again the repeat customer will be a non customer.


Thank god that the Olympics is not sent only in 3D. That way we can still watch the old fashioned 2D broadcast, and the television manufacturers can sponsor their 3D broadcast.


And the product manager has secured a great deal of money that will ultimately not give much to anyone.


I still think it was a wrong move, but if short term money is what you want it might be exact the way to behave. (and they got some free press out of it)



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Most products come in more than one version. Maybe a light version or a version with limited lifespan or as with airlines, limited legroom and not so good service and food.

But when doing a light cheaper version, remember that even the ones buying this version are your customers. When the product break. They have also paid for your product and are entitled to be treated like customers. Yes the full version customers have paid more, but can your business survive on only these? Make sure that what differentiates the light version from the full version seems fair. And trust me, spitting on the light version customers is not considered fair.

If you sell a limited featured version, be sure to deliver it professionally. If you have sold limited service remember that it does not mean that if you are at fault they should receive limited attention. Some airlines consistently ignore this. No airline could survive on business class alone. Still they spit on tourist class passengers whenever they feel for it.

  • Cancelled flight, guess who is at the back of the queue to the service desk?
  • Overbooked flight, who is it that is suddenly not wanted on board?

Treat your customers (all off them) with respect. Dont differentiate on that, make a difference on features, availability or whatever.

But anyone that is giving you the money you have asked for is a customer worthy of your respect and should be treated accordingly.

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