I’m working through some fun interface issues in my Under Armour / HTC Band. It’s the equivalent of a fitbit but with a few extras that come with a higher price tag. I use this as an example of how important it is to get the experience right. You can’t afford to get it wrong when there are many other choices. Let me give you a list of competitors in this area:
- Under Armour / HTC
- Microsoft (huge surprise to me)
- 007 Plus
They come in a variety of price points ranging from fairly cheap ($29) to pretty expensive ($500+). When they all have the same baseline range of functions like step measurement, heart rate, sleep monitoring, and time; you can’t afford to skimp on the device interface or the mobile app experience. I could change my product with the click of one Amazon button. So that begs the question on why a tool on the higher end of the price curve gets the following wrong:
- Enter a workout and it doesn’t show up for 30 minutes
- Device sends stored workout data for several days and it registers as one day
- Integration with the calorie counter has a delay of an hour to a day to show up in the application
- Weight from the scale or manually takes a long time to show up
- Support automatically closes tickets with no activity in two days. Think about that. You have a problem and they haven’t solved it so they pretend it’s solved……
You get the idea. Anyone who uses a fitness tracker said one thing, “I need to track myself better so I can get in shape or lose weight.” Yet the experience fails in that basic purpose. When several major fitness brands (Nike, Adidas, Under Armour), many independent brands (Fitbit, Samsung, Jawbone, Misfit, Moov) and established watch brands (Mondaine, Withings) all want your business; you have to focus on the complete customer experience. Failure to do so means failure in the marketplace.
So while this seems more of a complaint on a particular vendor, it’s not. In any crowded field, you have to differentiate yourself. When replacement is literally a click away, you can’t afford to create a poor customer experience. So when you launch a new product, have the interface working, make your app snappy with quick transactions, ensure digital support options are easy to find and use. In other words, create a great customer experience.