Posts Tagged Apple

Sunday Column (337)

This week I watched the movie about Stephen Hawkings’ life and subsequently read his autobiography. When I was young, my brother who studied physics, read his first book, a brief history of time. While Hawkings gets a lots of attention due to him sitting in a wheelchair, also living longer than anyone anticipated, I like him explaining science in a common way.

He must have patience, speaking/typing at a speed of three words per minute. Whilst this would be difficult for most, I am personally someone that runs at a million miles an hour. Recently I have been practising to take my time, to meditate, to slow down. This helps me a lot. Yet, reading Hawkings’ book I wonder what else is out there to explore? Should I read Einstein’s book? Or should I go back to university? I have those thoughts regularly, often think an academic career would have been nice, yet I believe that I am doing well with what I am doing and I am very happy with my life.

black hole

My next book however needs to tick the box of a more intellectual work than the last one. More research. However, unlikely I philosophise about the universe, black holes and time travel. I am writing an eBook at the moment which is more of a summary, similar to the last one, yet embarking on a bigger project for publication later in 2016. We shall see, it might not be the phd thesis though 😉

Ever since I was a child I refused to think about what could be beyond the universe. What is in space and what does it do? Will we ever find out? Did we become humans by pure chance? Is there a god? Latter is the only question I could answer for myself, and by common definition the answer for me is ‘no’. Yet I believe in energy, infinite greater conscious, a common unconscious everyone can tap into. Some might call it god though.

Other thoughts this week are around music. For many years I have been struggling to expand on the music I am listening to, listened to few new artists, realising that I am missing out on potentially nice stuff. The above mentioned rush doesn’t help. With the addition of another Sonos system to my beloved spare bedroom and the arrival of Apple Music, subject to them two integrating, I am keen on changing my approach and exploring new music. For many it is difficult to understand but I am running on iOS. I like what is easy to use cross device, for work, for pleasure and it being fully integrated. So the more this ecosystem develops, the more I will be sucked into it. Hence only Apple Music is appealing to me, Spotify never was. Silly, I know.

I guess Steve Jobs’ approach works. A closed system that works 99% of the time, or at least more often than other systems. Windows seems to crash by far more often, and maybe Windows 10 will change it all. Or Android for the masses. Is any approach just for the data or as Steve said about user experience.
I (like to) believe that Apple is good, and puts customer and their experience first. Ever since I know, and my wife has done it, that you can buy your new phone and renew your mobile contract through the Apple Shop, I love it. The best of both worlds. Give back your old phone, get a voucher, get a new phone, get a contract and…the Apple service on top. You can’t beat that. No upsell in the Vodafone shop, no silly calls, no waiting for a phone to return to one of the many phone ‘recycling’ sites.

Maybe I am a bit naive. Maybe I just like it simple. Life is complicated enough to not worry about certain things, and having things that work, and not thinking what is beyond our universe, just keeps it simple 🙂

Have a great week,
Volker

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Merry Christmas – from Apple

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Sunday Column (273)

This week I could go on about another favourite topic: the weather. I was off work all week (annual leave) as it was half term. I spent lots of time with my boys and wife. But I had preferred spending it more outside than inside.

One of the highlights was supposed to be a daily bike ride and Legoland for the kids. The weather however put a damper on the first idea. Rain almost daily stopped me from exercising as much as I would have liked to. Legoland too – despite the regular entrance price for two adults and two children coming close to £200 – was weather dependent. So there was no way of going early in the week but we went at Friday instead.

Tescos’ Clubcard vouchers saved us a bunch and we had a fantastic day out – almost “on the cheap” yet not compromising a thing. The boys picked up a present each for being good during the week, not asking to play on the iPad. They held out quite long with C staying awake the whole journey home, arriving close to 9 pm. What a great day, yet most rides are too advanced for our wee ones, but they enjoyed just looking at some, building stuff or having fun running around or joining “easy rides” like helicopters, the submarine, or driving little cars. They had an amazing day – so did we 🙂 We then spent all Saturday building the models we bought! Loved it!!!!

I am not complaining yet the weather has been awful. Swimming, bowling, soft play and lazy days at home seem to be the daily routine. Sorting some things that needed getting done around the house. Getting on top of life.

I enjoyed my break. The boys picked up German again. They had breakfast with me most mornings and I read the story every night. Much needed and much missed bonding time. We managed to catch up with the neighbours, did some errands, and really made the most of the weather.

I also decided to shave off my full beard. Not sure if the goat tee is the best option or if I grow back the full version. The latter seems to be fashionable at the moment, 2014 as the year of the beard.

Cast your vote! On Facebook it is 3:1 to grow it back….

Then there were two topics in the press that caught my eyes besides the European election which I don’t like to comment on. Politics are getting more ridiculous each year.
One is that they still haven’t found the plane. The Malaysian airliner wasn’t in the search corridor they anticipated – so where is it? Are any of the conspiracy theories true? What if someone hijacked it and flew it to a remote island? Or, is the ocean that vast that it could be anywhere? How can a plane disappear in the 21st century not leaving a trace. Maybe a way of testing some bigger thing….we might find out one day.
The other one is Apple buying Beats, a headphone brand appealing to younger people. If they reduce the average age of an apple buyer by maybe 2 years, the acquisition makes sense from a commercial point of view. Will it fit in with the brand and will Apple be able to innovate ahead of the game? Android and Samsung, Google and even Motorola are stepping up the game. I wonder if I might move back to Android at some point. Not for my laptop but maybe for my phone/tablet…..oh no chance…..or is there?

That really sums up a wonderful week I spend at home with the loved ones. Time to get my work head on again, look at my emails which I avoided all week. Just.

Have a great week, a nice start into June!

Cheers,
Volker

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Customer Service 2014

Ok ok ok. I know I am having high standards for some measures, am picky with builders and customer service. That is because I believe in doing a good job and servicing clients exceptionally well. That is important for me. If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing it well.

Now what are the things that piss me off most? Probably wasting my time, letting me wait without an update. That happened at a branch of Metro Bank recently. Once escalated, the branch manager called me, totally got it, said how annoyed he gets at these situations, and that he will do better. On the back of it, I got a present to make up for their mistake. No hard feelings left.

Customer-service-meme

My builders, even if my wife said things are fine, I got quite picky with sometimes. Their patience and resilience in fixing things, moving things and helping was amazing. Not your average builders, and they didn’t do anything wrong, it was just me trying to perfect things 🙂 I love them, they doing an amazing job. Others we had doing some work were not so good, others were pickier than me 😉

Then there was TM Lewin. They needed some pushing, a VERY long email from me, and then they responded. They asked me for the receipt to identify and blame the staff that served me, yet the issues I addressed were not only the way I was treated, but really about the way they handle their staff, shop and business as well as clients in general. Maybe they didn’t appreciate my feedback, despite they said they did. Yet I decided to walk away from a further dispute, some companies just don’t care or don’t want to care. My next lot of shirts will be bought elsewhere.

If you think this is all in the last four weeks, think again. Apple of all companies sold me a faulty computer. Can you imagine? But the way they dealt with it was amazing. Based on the in-shop Genius team’s feedback, the online shop, where I bought my refurbished MacBook Air, replaced this one outside their normal time frame. And when waiting at the shop they kept me informed every step of the way, were friendly and helpful. Now that is what I call superb customer experience.

complaining

As I sit on the train writing this, I remember endless conversations with Southerntrain, or being stuck without communication. It is the same as being on a plane, when you circle for hours and the captain doesn’t tell you why, you get worried and annoyed. Happened before!

And before I post this post, just waiting for the official email from Apple when they dispatch my new machine, I opened a birthday present from my wife. A new Christopher Ward watch. It ain’t working though. Wow. Of course they will return it, send out a new one and all, they apologised and all, but WTF is going on?

Bad karma? Things happening in 3 (that is product not customer service) or just bad luck?

So key about any good customer service is:

– Clear communication: good listening, good understanding and keeping you informed every step of the way.
– Resolution: acceptable solution that makes client happy. This doesn’t always have to be money.
– Follow up: Are you still happy? Did we keep you informed every step of the way?
– Be friendly.

And if you tick all those boxes, you are on a winning street.

Good luck. I seem to need it!

Volker

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Here is to the crazy ones

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#jobsmovie – trailer

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Go Steve :-)

Today my MIL’s birthday present arrived. Thank you 🙂

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Steve would have been proud

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I love Apple

I am such a geek 🙂

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Obsession

You all know I have an obsession with work, productivity and motivation. And since last year I sold my soul to Apple.

Mixing all that results in a little motivational poster/frame on my desk.

One of many, maybe from others, to come. I think I start creating my own homemade collection now.

And certainly a new obsession.

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