Is Apple showing empathy to customer frustrations?
The large number of problems with the latest release of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 is unprecedented at Apple and something never seen on this scale before with all the problems. The Apple Maps has come to show that Apple is not perfect and does make mistakes, but this one could have been avoided. And we hope that it will never be repeated again in the history of the company. The one thing that Apple did was to respond to the map problems with an open letter to consumers from Tim Cook apologizing for the lack of quality and that they will do better. And they must do better.
While there is a lot of focus on the Apple Maps problems, it seems that some have missed the point of what has happened here. When Steve Jobs was at the helm, he would have never admitted they made a mistake. We know that he would never have released the product as we are seeing it. But, when there were problems, such as AntennaGate, he would not issue any statement about the problem. Tim Cook has opened a new page at Apple and it could be a really great change for the company.
Apple has such a loyal base of fans and for years, they have been taken for granted it seems. When there are problems, such as the continuing battery life issues, Apple would not publicly admit there was a problem. You might see something in the release notes for iOS where they were trying to “improve” battery life, but never to fix it. That was the Steve Jobs way of doing things.
With Tim Cock running the company, we may be seeing a company which wants to connect with their customers in ways that they have never done before. The open letter admitting they made a mistake goes a long ways to connect with customers. And they should continue to connect with customers in this way. Their customers are what makes Apple a really great company which has very high value. They must re-connect with them.
One of the ways to do that might be for Tim Cook to offer an open letter to consumers talking about Apple and their products. That has not been the Apple of the past, but the Apple of the future really must do something like that. People want to feel that a company is reaching out to them. An open letter 2 or 3 times a year from the CEO might generate more interest in the company.
The current open letter has generated a huge amount of interest and definitely shows the value that this kind of thing might hold for Apple. The idea of a new and improved Apple really needs to come through as it seems things have floundered with the latest releases. There must be steps to show that this is a brand new day for Apple and how they are going to move forward. There needs to be redemption so that customers continue to have great pride for owning Apple products.
For Tim Cook, I applaud the example he has set at Apple. It is one that needs to be repeated over and over again to show they are an even better company than before.