Bruised Apple: Customer value starts by valuing your staff

Efficient Thinking Solutions|Bruised Apple: Customer value starts by valuing your staff

You’re probably thinking what has bruised apple got to do with customer value or valuing your staff?

I received a message on my iPhone to purchase more iCloud capacity. How could I need more capacity when I upload everything to Dropbox?  Turns out, I needed to delete my photos so I did, but just deleting them doesn’t work, you have to permanently delete them. What????!!! How??

Using Google, I found that deleted photos go into a separate folder on your phone. A simple process? No, it’s all a bit too complicated and hidden away and that’s the point of this blog.

We earn our living helping people solve their operational issues, fix processes and generally make work easier for everyone. We have done this for so long now that we no longer gasp in amazement at how complicated people can make even the simplest tasks.

An example of this involved people compiling data from multiple sources into a single template. Sounds straightforward, but it wasn’t.

Very little of the data could be transferred directly by an IT program into the template.  This meant the staff had to manually input information into more than 90 separate data fields (over 250 key strokes). It was very tedious work and an almost impossible task to complete without making mistakes.  The staff were overwhelmingly frustrated and another team of over 50 staff were employed just to check the data entry.

Staff turnover on site was very high and those that stayed were constantly being ‘retrained’ or even disciplined for making mistakes. No-one ever considered that the cause of the problems was down to an overly complicated process and poor management practices. No, it was all considered to be due to a lack of attention to detail by the staff!

We sat down with the staff and listened to their issues and helped them to redesign the template.  From this we arranged a few simple changes to be made to the software. All that was left were a few corrections to be made using basic copy & paste functions. Bingo!

Significantly reduced error rates, a 25% increase in productivity, a 50% reduction in the number of people checking & more people data inputting, increasing overall throughput by a further 15%.

Management attitude changed as the need for staff retraining also reduced which led to an increase in staff retention and lower recruitment costs. A good result all round.

So back to the title, Bruised Apple.  Until today I’ve never had a moment’s frustration or confusion with any of the wonderfully intuitive iPhones I’ve had. I think they’re an amazing piece of kit.  But today’s experience has me confused.

You see, when I first encountered the storage capacity issue a message popped up to say I could easily resolve the issue by purchasing more iCloud capacity. This was something I knew I didn’t want or need to do, I just needed to free up storage capacity. Hence my Google search and eventual resolution to my problem.

Now resolved, this experience got me thinking and led me to the following conclusion.


  • Apple have succumbed to the same human frailties the rest of us display so regularly and just didn’t think about how difficult they’d made it for us to work out how to delete photos and make the same storage reusable


  • It’s been done deliberately to increase profits by getting us to buy the extra storage

I don’t really have a view either way – neither are particularly attractive options from a customer point of view. It just means that my previously unfailingly positive perception of Apple has been left a bit bruised and that’s a shame! ☹

It’s important to value your staff, to listen to their problems and to allow them to fix their processes and solve their operational problems.  Let’s face it, they’re interacting with your customers and they will impact your customers’ perceptions and opinions of your company and its products/services.

If you, too, are suffering from high staff turnover or are constantly having to retrain your staff because they are not achieving the targets you’ve set them, then call us in confidence on 01905 380008 or  add your contact details here


p.s. I realise that some people might already know how to do this but for those of you who don’t here’s a link on how to do it.