It’s been a mixed week for Apple fans. On the positive side comes the launch of the iPhone 5 (people are already complaining that it’s too thin and too light). At about the same time iOS 6 was unleashed on an unsuspecting public.
I already have some strong views on iOS 6, primarily because Apple have chosen to abandon the excellent Google Maps. Given Google’s huge investment in map data it was inevitable that any replacement would be playing catch-up, and given the US-centric attitude that Apple showed with Siri and localised data, why would we expect anything better from their propriety map data?
My neighbour decided to upgrade her iPad to iOS 6 against my advice – the following day she was begging me to get her back to iOS 5 (it’s possible, but you need to have done a backup first). So pity the poor inhabitants of Doncaster (Duncaster), or anybody looking for Manchester United (you’ll end up at Sale United, a team for five year olds and above).
I’ve no doubt that Apple will work hard to improve their maps – they certainly have the resources, but one big change that affects businesses is the use of Yelp as providers of data for their maps. Yelp.com is best described as yell.com meets Trip Advisor – it’s a directory of businesses that bases ranking largely on reputation, and reputation comes from user reviews.
Given the widespread use of iOS devices it would be foolish for any business to ignore this opportunity. We’ve been on Yelp for a year or so, but I took some time to fill in the gaps on our profile and look forward to the reviews flooding in.
I think Apple’s use of Yelp reflects a growing trend in consumer-driven directories, and it also bears out the maxim that people who receive bad service are highly motivated to post negative reviews. This morning I spoke to a new customer who was very focused on our service record – we directed her to our website which contains a live feed to our feedback survey results, which every customer is invited to contribute to. Her concern was due to her past experience with one of our less reputable competitors with whom we have had dealings in the past.
Once they had done their damage she only then thought to check them out online, which is a shame as the customer feedback is unanimously poor , and had she known this in advance she wouldn’t have touched them with a barge pole. Another of our local competitors has taken to repeatedly changing their name in a pathetic attempt to leave their bad reputation behind them, but as their address is the same I’m not sure who they think they are fooling.
If you can detect a measure of schadenfreude in my tone you’d be spot on. Good service takes hard work, and if companies aren’t prepared to put that work in then they shouldn’t be in this business. It’s fantastic to see that social media is now playing a part in weeding out the cowboys. More power to the people!
PS If you’d like to give feedback on our service you can do so via our website or tell the world at: