Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Lion OS upgrades: Are Apple corporate needs in sync with customer needs?

Apple Lion OS: Loyal customers are not very happy.

Apple's OS Lion Upgrade: How to produce customer and public relations nightmares.

by Tom Thorne
Public relations 101 is really quite basic. Never do anything that draws negative attention to your products and services. Apple seems to be in the midst of a customer and public relations situation that their commercial enemies will relish.
The recent introduction of OS Lion seems to be abuzz with negative, or at best, mediocre responses from customers reminiscent of when Microsoft launches new software. Just put "OS Lion problems" in your browser and you will see what's going on. There is a lot of negative comments.
An Apple authorized dealer told me that I should wait to upgrade because OS Lion will create problems for older software. They have been putting out fires for their clients who have simply downloaded and installed Lion form the Apple App Store. They also told me they want to sell the upgrade on a Apple DVD. Apple has decided that everyone will download from the App Store. Since there is no DVD for Lion they suggest keeping the download install files on an external hard drive.
Apple makes a mistake.
Apple has made a big mistake. To this point in time you cannot get a DVD of the OS Lion upgrade. Clearly an option for Apple customers should be a DVD copy that they can order and carefully put away for the time that the systems has problems. Apple is becoming more bureaucratic. They now know better than their customers. They don't.
Customers, especially the loyal Apple variety, expect to be in control of their machines and software. App stores are great but it is essential that for those of us who want a DVD we should be able to get it from an Apple authorized dealer, an Apple retail store or by ordering it directly from the Apple on-line store that sells hardware. 
Simple. Give the customer choice. I don't like the big brother nature of current Apple thinking that everything is a download and a backup on an external drive or on their iCloud when it finally starts. Physical DVDs are not passé should I need to restore my computer's  Operating System.
Why are we engaged in this change of heart from Apple? Control of software perhaps is at the basis of it. However that is simple enough to deal with if I order a physical DVD. Give my order a specific code that I must use to upgrade to OS Lion that is sent back to Apple after the install. It would read my computer serial number and connect to my purchase code. No one else could use this software.
This customer is placing Apple on Customer Relations Watch status.
A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on this blog about Steve Job stepping down as Apple CEO. I was quite upbeat saying that it is business as usual at Apple even with Jobs gone. Now I am rethinking that viewpoint. 
Apple has to do more than grow and be innovative. It may be becoming remote from its very loyal customer base/ If it is true or continues it will cost them business.
Apple needs to correct this mounting situation surrounding the OS Lion upgrade and its mounting list of older software compatibility gaffes. Until they do I will stay with OS Panther for a while longer.
© Copyright 2011, Tom Thorne, All Rights Reserved.

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