Editorial: Tech and Consumers
“What’s the difference between this and an iPhone 4?”
This is probably one of the first questions people ask when they are willing to splash out for a new mobile phone.
I remember purchasing my last phone. I was waiting to be served by a retail advisor, when I saw a girl, holding a Samsung Galaxy SII, asking a retail advisor the above question.
“It’s black, it’s got a touchscreen, it’s got a button on the front and a camera on the back, what’s the difference between this and an iPhone 4?”
The young, but slightly over-confident retail advisor glanced over at me. He looked away, and immediately I saw a slight tint of confusion in his eyes, and then he got explaining. Mind you, he didn’t do a very good job.
“Well miss“, he started, “This Galaxy phone is a really nice phone.” He paused for a while, then proceeded to his notebook. “It’s got an 8 megapixel camera which can shoot full 1080p high definition video, for all your girly nights out.”
He chuckled. The girl look unamused.
“A 1.2GHz dual-core processor, giving you blazing fast operating speeds, a giant 4.3inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, giving you lots and lots of detail on your phone. Also, it’s really nice and thin so you can put it in your purse or handbag, but at the same time, being large enough so that you won’t lose it when you’re drunk out of your mind!”
He stopped, and looked at her. She stared back, speechless. He stared helplessly at me while I stared back at him. It was as if a dust ball just rolled passed. The awkward moment took several seconds to subside. She started to say something, and I saw him swallow.
“But, it’s not an iPhone 4, right?”
“Nope!” He replied.
“So, is it like a fake iPhone?” she said cautiously.
At this moment, the retail advisor excused himself and asked a more senior member of staff to explain to the girl. They had a small conversation and she left the store, looking obviously unhappy.
When it was my turn to be served, the young retail advisor turned to me and said nervously, “How may I help you?”
“I’m looking to purchase a white iPhone 4S 32GB.”
“Very nice choice, sir. The iPhone 4S has a 5 megapixel camera which can shoot 1080p…”
I cut him off.
“It’s got an 8 megapixel camera.” I said.
“Excuse me?” He said.
“The iPhone 4S, it’s got an 8 megapixel camera, the iPhone 4 has a 5 megapixel camera.”
He smiled to me and said, “Oh yes! I mixed them up, there are no physical differences you see, and…”
I cut him off again.
“The stainless steel strip that wraps around the phone is different.” I said.
He looked confused, so I just bought the phone and left. This process took at least ten times longer than it should have taken.
Consumers don’t want to know all the complicated stuff about a phone. If they’re willing to spend their hard earned dosh to buy one, the chances are, they already know what they want. The girl in the first scenario, she asked whether or not the device she was holding was an iPhone 4. Instead of simply saying no, the retail advisor started to list the over complicated specifications of the Samsung Galaxy SII. She doesn’t and didn’t need to know that. Furthermore, on the second scenario, the retail advisor started listing the wrong specification, this is by all means unprofessional, and may greatly affect the consumer.
I know a great deal about mobile phones, and I know a great deal about creating relationships with people. Being clear and concise is better than being vague and overly complicated.
During my subsequent visits, unsurprisingly, this young retail advisor was nowhere to be seen.