A week after Microsoft Level 1 help called and escalated to Level 2 with a scheduled callback for same day between 2pm -4pm, still can’t reach Microsoft App store. Figured I’d upgrade to Windows 8.1 as inference was it would fix the problem while waiting for a callback. Small problem; Upgrade to 8.1 links you to Windows 8.1 app store which doesn’t work. Hmmm guest they’re really not interested in the Small and Medium Business market as much as the profess or readiness is an issue.
Over the past several weeks I’ve been tracking the various vendors: Microsoft, Apple Google, and Amazon as far as service quality; part of my Industry Analyst and IT Service Management (ITSM) background**. A strong component of that is incident handling. While uptime the customer experiences is the most important metric, handling a response in a timely manner is likely number two on the priority list, closely followed by customer communication. Based upon that criteria Microsoft readiness to fulfill it’s new Business Strategy of Devices and Services is lacking. Or may be Small and Medium Business (SMB) is just not the demographic it is going for now; instead using SMB as a buffer to its large enterprise customer business, as large enterprise is now in a transformation to Bring your own Device (BYOD) and virtual working, despite the fallback of Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard to an “on campus” policy.
On the flipside I can see why Apple is able to charge premium rates for products and services. The AppleCare service representatives my wife and I talked with over the course of two weeks to resolve contact syncing issues, ICloud setup, and updating her IPhone to the new OS were impressive. They continually pushed to ensure their systems and product issues were resolved, scheduling calls, and calling back numerous times throughout the week. It looks like they are using consumer service as a training ground for moving to Enterprise Services. If they make a move into enterprise services, they are likely to become the Mercedes-Benz or BMW in the market. If Apple become the BMW of services, Amazon is likely to take on the role of Toyota or GM role, leaving Microsoft in the Ford, Nissan, or Chrysler position as it works out its ITSM issues. Between Amazon and Apple, Microsoft is going to have a significant challenge is the services business if all they do is focus on the technology side the equation.
**yes, I event keep response records for the IT support I give my wife throughout the year and track support hours using QuickBooks -though she doesn’t get an invoice from me. I might have to reconsider that some day 🙂