Their capacity for partying may be unchanged; but the Rolling Stones request for instructions on how to use everything from the TV and DVD players to air conditioning and lighting indicates they have trouble mastering the latest technology.
According to a leaked rider for their recent US tour there is a standard list of backstage requirements for a rock band: a never-ending flow of alcohol and cigarettes, and butlers on hand 24 hours a day. But it's the demand for a set of written instructions on how to use all the electronics (in every single hotel room) that has grabbed the headlines this week.
Do these requests represent a generation game issue for the aged rockers - or could it be the variation of service and lack of consistency from hotel chain to chain? How many of us (with fewer years notched up!) struggle with the same issues? And whilst we don't resort to throwing the TV out of the balcony; like Keith Richard from the Stones did from his Hollywood hotel in 1972, we can get seriously frustrated when battling with what should be simple pleasures.
Of course it's not just battling with technology which causes rage, it's often the lack of operating guidelines detailing what to do when things go wrong that causes ire. Most products come with instructions in every language guiding us to optimal use. Clear guidelines as to how to actually access organisations with details about what each channel can offer should be given as much, if not more priority, but sadly this is not the norm.
Take finding a phone number; many organisations seem to enjoy the sport of hide and seek, as evidenced by the large numbers of services online offering the service of 'find the number'. Generally speaking when someone seeks a number they have exhausted all other avenues; they are unlikely to be looking for a chat for fun - it seems bizarre therefore to make the numbers so inaccessible. .
We often talk about the need for a dashboard approach to customer service, in other words a common approach to navigating services so that customers don't have to start at first principles for each individual encounter. This doesn't mean uniformity and loss of brand uniqueness, but rather providing common principles of contact, leaving the remaining energy for providing the 'wow' of what makes each company special. Take cars; they now have a largely uniform set of operating models, anybody can hire a car and drive off without too much learning, yet each brand is clearly differentiated.
Of course none of this is possible without a thorough and real-time analysis of how and why customers interact, no mean feat given the complexity surrounding the number of ways (and devices) we have at our disposal, and the range of problems we encounter along the way in a variety of situations.
I was encouraged by some stats from CCA Research Compendium
2015 (to be launched at our forthcoming Convention on 25 November) where members of CCA Industry Council
were asked about the degree to which they had mapped the end to end journeys their customers make to do business with them. 62% have completed full analysis, including navigating digital channels, whilst 20% have partially completed this activity.
This suggests that real progress is being made, but like many things, tangible outcomes such as improved customer experience scores, there is a lag factor between analysis and impact at the operational interface.
The truth about transition from simple to more complex digital journeys is dawning in most organisations in the CCA network. It is an exciting yet challenging time, with a real opportunity for those with a thirst for real innovation to leapfrog the mediocre.
I'm really looking forward to some great discussion and analysis of our research scenarios around digital transformation at CCA Convention
in a few weeks’ time. The programme
is quite simply packed with insights and help for organisations across all of our private and public sectors - this is one gig we certainly don't want to miss!