Monday, February 28, 2011

More is nothing more than more

Marketers always assume that their customers want one thing from them: more.

So every year they add more – more features, more options, more news – to make sure their product has something for everyone.

One problem: added features mean added complexity and added complexity rarely leads to greater customer satisfaction.

Ford found this out recently with their MyFord Touch digital dash system. They've loaded it with so many features and made it so complex to use that dealers are having to spend an additional hour with customers when they deliver their new cars just to make sure they know how to use it. There are online tutorials, and even after-sale dealer training classes.

My guess is, Ford built a lot of features into the system that most people will never use in order to make sure that they didn't leave anything out that someone might want. Once you get past the wow-factor of the snazzy new technology, its complexity and cost will ultimately detract from the driving experience. And that will leave owners unhappy.

It's hard to be satisfied with a product when you don't know how to use it.

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