Don’t Blow Your Client Relationship!

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Apple Computers and I Have a Relationship
apple imageI’m a big fan(atic) of Apple computers.  I bought my first Mac — a little 128K model while working on a project as a consultant at LIMRA — in 1984.  I finished the project so far ahead of schedule that I got a ‘bonus’ check.  That check paid for my new ‘personal’ computer.  I was hooked on Apple.  Our ‘relationship’ has stood the test of some 30 years.  Apple computers and I are a ‘thing’.

Recently, Apple rolled out it’s latest operating system version called ‘Yosemite’.  It reflected a number of changes from prior O/S offerings.  Some were very substantial.  Many were, as expected, pretty cool.

One of the applications that comes with an Apple iOS is called, ‘Keynote’.  This is Apple’s answer to PowerPoint.  And, while both are good.  I prefer to use Keynote.  It’s elegance (and, my skill at using it) makes it my presentation software of choice.

Keynote . . . is a ‘Consequential Damage’ of Yosemite
Unfortunately, the new Keynote / Yosemite pairing has resulted in a major problem.  For me.

Keynote’s got a bug that Apple created with the launch of its Yosemite operating system.  Even worse, Apple seems unable and/or insouciant to address this problem.

I used to create Keynote ‘slideshows’, added audio (voice narration) and mixed both into an MP4 (movie) file I could upload, distribute, etc.  NO MORE!  Now, audio / voice-over recordings are mysteriously ‘dropped’ from an MP4 after about 45 seconds.  WTH?

“Apple . . . We Have a Problem”
I called Apple’s tech people.  They’re pretty top-notch in my experience.  Unfortunately, I was told by the tech person I spoke with that the “dropped audio in Keynote” is a problem that Apple knew would happen, knows is happening and . . . is (currently) doing nothing to correct it.  Seriously?

This is a big issue as it means a lot of time and effort will be required to produce a similar result — using non-Apple software I might add!  This cuts into my profit-ability and adds a ‘hassle’ factor that’s growing by the moment.

I don’t know which is worse.  Apple’s knowingly making changes that compromise what loyal fans have come to count on from their relationship with Apple, or . . . Apple’s apparent dismissal of client concerns once they’re voiced.  Either way, it’s not going to build trust between Apple and it’s community of fans.  Quite the opposite.

Without the ability to do what has been done for many years, life is changing.  And, not for the better.  Thank you, Apple, Inc.  I wonder what Steve Jobs would have to say about this egregious insult to the long-standing expectations of loyal fans . . . like me?

What’s Important to Learn From All This
Any relationship of value . . . and I believe a ‘client’ relationship qualifies for this . . . must be regarded as a fiduciary relationship.  If you’re holding yourself out as a ‘trusted’ advisor, it means you’re worthy of your client’s trust, right?

The problem is, ‘trust’ is a fragile thing.  It’s a challenge to establish it with a new relationship.  It’s also a challenge to maintain it once you have it with an existing relationship.  Trust . . . is the ‘glue’ that binds a client to you and you to a client.  But like any bond, it can be broken.  To the detriment of all parties involved.

POINT:
Trust . . . is hard to earn, and so easy to lose.  Work hard to get it.  Even harder to keep it!

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3 replies
  1. joam bell
    joam bell says:

    I agree wholeheartedly Bill and very surprised to hear the response ( or lack of) from Apple. I’m not a mac user however I can empathize with your situation. “Not good enough” are words that spring to mind.

    Reply
  2. liam scanlan
    liam scanlan says:

    Can I respectfully suggest a few edits?

    – Remove the quotes around individual words (for example, that I got a ‘bonus’ check. Just say bonus check).
    – Also, remove the apostrophe here: Apple rolled out it’s latest operating system …
    – insoucient should be insouciant.
    – profit-ability should be profitability, and ‘hassle’ factor should be hassle factor.
    – a ‘client’ relationship should be a client relationship.

    Great article. Better with good spelling and punctuation.

    Thanks.
    Liam

    Reply
    • Bill Doerr
      Bill Doerr says:

      Liam — your kind words are very much appreciated. Your points are accurate, too.

      For the record, I am no longer seeking to get an ‘A’ in an English grammar class. So if I break some grammar rules on occasion, I do so with (usually) full knowledge and intention to do so.

      I like to break up words like profitability to draw attention to the ability to (generate a) profit. Just my style.

      You’re 100% correct about the spelling of insouciant. Mea culpa. I’ll not make that mistake again!

      Always a delight to hear from you . . . you’re one of the better people out there (or, is it ‘out there’?). Much appreciated and best wishes for 2015!

      Reply

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