When you buy a product you’ll find yourself stepping into an environment.
It’s something we’ve gotten used to for quite some time. In the IT world, it started with operating systems. Once you had chosen one, you needed to follow up on that choice any time you would buy software. As most of software worked on their own, things remained simple. Things changed with the appearance of program suites, where you could expect to copy data from one application to the next.
Since then, things have changed. We expect software and objects to be connected.
We’ve moved from a situation in which we were thrilled by what technology made possible to a situation in which we expect to find what we need and want at our fingertips.
It means that the places we live in need to provide the means for this.
The one most challenged by this is the car industry. Their product is one we almost live in. It’s a product supposed to connect us with the world. First and foremost by allowing us to drive from one place to another. But also through connectivity tools allowing us to be connected with the world via the web.
The car owner feels that he bought a product that provides everything. The car manufacturer becomes the go-to person for any problem experienced with or in the car.
Taking streaming music as an example. For some reason, it doesn’t work. The first one to be made responsible is the car builder. It doesn’t matter if the Bluetooth connection on your mobile device doesn’t work properly, if you are in an area where streaming doesn’t work well or if your music provider has a problem. Its easier to call the car manufacturer and tell him that there is a problem with the car. To a certain extent, it’s logical, people love to have one place to call. You need to start the problem analysis somewhere and it’s much better to have someone helping you.
Where it becomes problematic, is when complexity sets in and when the user needs to understand the limits of the systems he’s using as well as their interdependence.
That’s what car manufacturers have to deal with. They become the ones needing to gain an understanding of all the tools connecting with the car and how they interact with one another. It’s the only chance they have to locate a problem. Since cars appeared, we expected to be able to call them to solve a problem with the car. To be able to keep a trusting relationship with their customers a car manufacturer needs to identify where the problem is. If they can’t, the customer may not believe that it isn’t their fault. This has transformed the service infrastructure they need to provice.