The World of Convenience; Steve Sims

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Recently, I actually posted on my Facebook page that I had a pair of headphones that broke. There’s a story that I want to go into about these headphones that I believe can help you in your business, and potentially in your life. You see, I had grown up wanting good audio. Throughout the years, I’ve been able to get some pretty decent audio systems, until I ended up with my ultimate. I always wanted the blue Macintosh amplifiers and a set of floor standing B&W speakers. It took me my later years to both not only be able to afford these, but also to be able to appreciate these. I got these speakers, and I got this system, and then I needed a pair of wireless headphones, or should I say a pair of headphones. I naturally assumed, hey, I got the B&W floor standings, I should get their headphones, and I did, until my wife decided that she wanted them, so then I ended up buying a wireless pair of B&W headphones, and I loved them.

Clare loved hers, I loved mine, and then hers broke about two months outside of the two year warranty. One of the ears went a bit fuzzy, contacted them. We don’t repair headphones, and buy another pair. Okay, fair enough. It happens occasionally. Then, guess what? A month and a half after the two year expiration of my wireless headphones, they broke as well. It seems a though there was a timer inside, that after a couple of months outside of warranty, they both just buggered up. Now, here’s the funny thing. I got the exact same response, even though they could look into my account and see that I had two sets of floor standing speakers, I got the exact same totally unhelpful response of, “Well, we don’t repair. Buy another pair.” Now, you can appreciate, I was a little bit apprehensive to do that, twice shy, and so I went out to try and find a pair of headphones that would maybe appreciate my business.

I wanted good audio, though, so I ended up looking at B&O, and I ended up looking at some of their little earbuds, some of their rivals to the Apple AirPods. I bought these, I got them in the mail. I tried to connect them to my phone, my phone wasn’t having it. It was not syncing. I tried. I was really persistent. I knew that they were going to be good, never had any luck. I actually drove down 30 minutes away from my house to the local B&O store on Beverly Hills, and they installed, uninstalled, did a software update, did all of this stuff. After 45 minutes of my life gone, they worked and they were astonishing. No complaints about the sound. The sound was beautiful.

I get home that night. They brought out an iOS update on the Apple. I did that on my iPhone, and guess what? My ear pod things from B&O would no longer sink to my iPhone. I tried and I tried and I tried, and I got them to work. I thought, “Great. I’ll try and do the same with my iPad and my computer.” My computer, all of these being Mac, could not detect these Bluetooth systems. My iPad wouldn’t connect on it all the time my phone was on. It was very proprietary. It had to work with one system or another, but if both systems were up, hey, it threw a fit and got confused.

This was getting annoying. I could only listen to them through my iPad if I had my phone off. Now, as we all know, we sometimes watch things, but keep the phone on in case someone text you or something. This was getting a bit annoying, and I had to go to the Apple store the following day, funny enough, to pick up something. I turned up there, and I’ve got my phone with me and I saw these Apple headphones. I think they’re called the AirPod Max. I saw these and I picked them up. As I picked them up, my phone says, do you want to connect? Connect, bang. I’m listening to them. That was as deep as I needed to make sure these things got connected. My other headphones, hey, I needed to understand the DaVinci Code back to front before these things would actually connect. But the Apple things, they connected without thought.

I spoke to them and I said, “Look, they sound good here. What’s the return?” “Oh, you can return them in 30 days. Take them home, try them out.” I took them home, took them out of the package, and guess what my iPad said? Do you want to connect with these headphones? Connect, bang, done. My phone was on, so I walked over and I’m challenging things now. I walked over to my computer with my iPad in hand, with my headphones around my neck, and with my phone in the other hand. I laid them next to them. I thought, “It surely can’t do it again.” Pulled the headphones off my neck, opened them up, and my computer asked if it wanted to connect.

Now, the sound quality of these AirPod Max, beautiful. Absolutely brilliant. Couldn’t be more happier with them. But, what I was ecstatic with was the convenience. You see, the other companies made it difficult, and we don’t have time for difficult today. We don’t have time for friction. No matter how good the reward is, the reward is nulled out if it’s taking you pain to get to that point. Also, the help desk should be renamed the unhelpful desk. You see, it challenged me. If that had looked into my system and there’s 30 grams worth of speakers there, maybe a bit more lenient to go, “Hey, here’s a heavy discount code, or here’s a refurbished set as a loyal customer.” Maybe somewhere that would’ve come in, but they lost a client because they seem to employ people to refuse business.

How many of us out there are making people’s chance to do business with us hard? You see, Apple is in the industry, is in the business of making things easy. Yes, it’s in audio. Yes, it’s in phones. Yes, it’s in computers. But, they make things compatible. They make things easy. They make things impossible to misunderstand and misuse. I went for that convenience. In fact, I went for that convenience so much so that I bought my son a pair of the headphones when he needed to pair of headphones, and I wanted to say thank you for some of the work he did. What did he do? Got it out of bags, opened it up, bang. Do you want to connect? He loves them. In your business, I want you to step out of there, and I want you to ask yourself, how hard am I making it for people to do business with me? Then, if you are, Apple it. How can you make the connection between what they want and you seamless and stupidly simple?

Now, the next time I need something, am I going to go over to one of these big brand audio file names, or am I going to go over here where the sound to me is just as good, but it’s definitely easy to use? We’ve come out of COVID. We’re in a mad world of distraction, distortion. All upset, all woke up to the eyeballs, and we want simplicity. How simple are you making it for people to do business with you? A business is only a business with a customer. Without a customer, it’s a store front. It’s a simple one, but please pay attention to it. Hey, if you like what I’ve got to rant on about, find me up on YouTube, find me on The Art Of Making Things Happen, the podcast. Subscribe, share it with your friends, but get the message out. But, more importantly, if you tell no one about it, do something about it yourself.