Apple has extended two additional free months for users on their MobileMe service due to a few service issues and frustrations experienced by users. Actions like this speak louder than words and demonstrates Apple’s consumer-focused mindset. Good job, Apple!
It’s not about being free, it’s about being receptive and exceeding the needs of their users on the MobileMe service. The service credit has been applied on all accounts, even if they were given an additional free month last month for much of the same reasons. The service has monetary value ($99, annually) and in an effort to make the value exceed the cost, Apple has been working hard to improve service quality for all users.
Despite Apple’s efforts to right a wrong; Michael Arrington from TechCrunch shared his perspective on the MobileMe conundrum and anyone with any understanding of customer service would know that free service is not a replacement for bad service. People want things to work, work the first time and that has a priceless punitive damage on consumer’s perception of your company. It’s safe to assume that there are a number of folks who agree with Arrington on this front.
Consumer advocacy is anticipating and reacting to consumer needs — all the time. Not just at a product launch or a product failure; but always be considering the end-user experience. Consumer advocacy is not a quantifiable ROI or realistically a “justifiable” cost; a company demonstrates consumer advocacy because it’s the right thing to do.
That said, it’s no question that a couple waived months will likely help subscribers remain loyal and engaged with the company. For consumers, as long as they don’t lose any value in a service; they will continue to use it. Apple gets this — even with their cult-like customer following.
I’m not a user of MobileMe, it’s not a service that would yield me much value; but I can see how it gives others a much needed value. I give big kudos to Apple as they improve their service. One might ponder if the MobileMe service was a carefully calculated beta test (gone awry) or if these pains are typical launching issues?