The Litany of Excuses Stifling Communication Innovation Part 3

A previous article set out the litany of excuses given as to why communication innovation has stopped in operators; and we’re working through how those excuses can be solved / avoided / ignored.  This article expands a little more through a case study the “We tried that service (or similar service) in our market and it failed (and we’re never ever going to try again)” excuse.

Comcast recently launched their Home Security business with a new service called XFINITY.  The service is available in two flavors. Their “basic” offering provides the usual range of home security options, including door and window intrusion detection and video monitoring. Their “preferred” option includes a wide variety of home automation services, including remote climate and lighting controls.  The company also offers accessories including networked fire alarms and thermostats. All of this manageable via either the Internet or smartphone, with an XFINITY Home Security application already available in the iTunes application store.

We’ve seen many similar services launched and fail from AT&T (Remote Monitor), Telus, M1, etc. The fundamental issue is the operator must look at the service from the customer’s perspective, not a self-focused inward-looking perspective.  A person who wants to spend $1000 per year on security will want to work with a security specialist, not their ISP / telco / cable operator.  As an analogy, would you let your postal service person perform a medical operation on you?  No, its a doctor you choose for that.

What is happening to create this strange situation is an operator thinks, “Security, that’s high margin let’s sell that!”  Then once the service fails because of an inherent misconception, they never go back and understand why did it fail, and what can we do differently?  This is where GotoCamera has learned from others and their own experience and delivers to customers “peace of mind” not “home security.”  To the customer the value propositions are very different, its the difference between buying Health Insurance versus a blood pressure monitor.  And for the operator the difference between $1000 * zero customers per year ($0) and $29.95 *500k+ ($15M+) per year.  Every service failure is an opportunity to learn what the customer thinks, and we’re simply not learning from failure often enough, nor listening to people (e.g. GotoCamera) who’ve done the learning for us.

2 thoughts on “The Litany of Excuses Stifling Communication Innovation Part 3


    So how can/should an operator take advantage of the experience of someone like GotoCamera?

  2. Alan Quayle

    Thx Vaughn. Firstly, stop and think about the service from customers’ perspectives. Second, talk to GotoCamera. Third, rather than launch a misaligned security product, launch a peace of mind product like GotoCamera.
    Another popular misalignment in the customer relationship for operators is advertising. If customers are paying $100+ per month, do not under any circumstance push advertising at the customer, unless its:
    Comms products that will make their life better (e.g. when they travel and send lots of texts let them know about an international text bundle that will save them money); or
    At their request with sponsored services (e.g. with the kid runs out of cash on their prepaid account in the family plan.)
    Banners are an insult when the customer is paying in cash, they don’t expect their time and privacy to be interfered with. This is one of my gripes with TiVo, they’re taking my money yet also push advertising at me. All I want are the show recommendations and a slicker UX.

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