Its all about the dumb stuff, stupid!

As I get older, I am getting dumber! May be not dumb enough to forget the proverbial glasses in my rear pockets before sitting down for dinner (ouch) – but enough to have given up on using the remote controls at friends’ houses & such …

This got me thinking – perhaps most customer support requests come from “mature” guys & gals – ’cause the youngsters are quick to figure things out merely by sniffing at the product?

I had an opportunity to put this hypothesis to test a few months ago. I had just purchased an iPhone5 and was struggling to configure iMessage correctly so it would stop sending messages to myself when I try to send them to my wife. Not being able to use an Apple product is the definition of dumbity – so I found myself telling my phone “Its not you, its me” …

Lo & behold, a few days later we were graced by a visit from the Apple family (a friend we fondly call as such – you know ’cause the father and teenage son have to stand in line every year to buy the next new model & they just know everything about everything Apple).

During conversations, I brought up iMessage & the teenage son immediately asked me for my iPhone. While the father was telling me how the “originals” always get respect in the society even if “others” have more marketshare – a couple minutes later the teenager had configured my iMessage correctly (something about having the same email setup on two phones) .

This put the nail in the coffin for me & my “Its not you, its me” became “Its not you, its definitely me”. But then (perhaps out of self defense or sheer stroke of brilliance – yeah right) something occurred to me – I went upstairs and brought an old Nokia phone & gave it to the teenager. What is this? he asked. Its a phone from an ancient era, can you please switch it on for me? The boy had grown up around iPhones and had never seen one of these before! He looked for the power button on the top, right, left, behind the phone, tried to swipe his finger on the tiny screen – hoping against hope, shook it nicely, fretted while looking at the tiny physical buttons for any clue. He even took out the battery & put it back in, but ten minutes later he could not switch it on!

My shattered ego now woke up to tell the phone, “It was not you, but it also was not me!” And that brings us to the moral of this short story. There are no dumb customers or dumb products – its just dumb for us to think that! In fact, the only knowledge we get smarter from is the one that was dumbed down for us.

Think about that, the next time you create a Yonyx Interactive Guide for customers to follow!

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