Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"NBC Live" - An Example of Companies Losing Sight of Their Purpose: Their Customers

Current logo created by Chermayeff & Geismar u...Image via Wikipedia
Yesterday I got an email from NBC stating they were releasing a new feature in beta. The email was titled: "Watch Biggest Loser, The Office and Celebrity Apprentice with NBC Live!" My first reaction was "Sweet! I don't have to wait for this to be on Hulu, I'll just watch Biggest Loser live online tonight at seven! When the time came, I referred back to the email for the login password and username to access it. I logged on and saw nothing. After looking around for quite a while I sent an email that I couldn't find anything talking about the Biggest Loser being on. Shortly after I sent that, the link did appear for it, but I realized it still wasn't what I was expecting. This whole "NBC Live" thing is a secondary service that allows you to chat with others who are watching the show live on TV. It's funny how NBC Live isn't really "live" at all, except for the chatting part. I sent a second email saying my two cents on the matter and they replied saying "Thanks for your input. We'll consider it."

Here's my question though. Why do larger companies, such as NBC, do things like this? You're probably wondering "Things like what?" Well, sending out a mass email about this "great new online feature" that is "only available to super fan members" and then completely, and I mean com-plete-ly, miss the mark! NBC, you realize live chat rooms have been around since IRC right? This is no pioneering feature by any means. And it was hard as heck to navigate around! You are expecting people to sit down, in the living room, in front of their television, with their laptop, and talk to people about the shows? Good luck.

First, you need to launch the show live on your website! Get people used to watching it on there. Then launch your little chat rooms and surveys and whatever else. That's how you successfully get people intrigued in communicating during your live shows. Very few are going to go get their laptop just to chat to random people about the show they are watching when they can just as easily talk to their family or friends that they are sitting next to.

I don't know. Am I wrong? I don't feel I am. What do you all think?

The thing gets back down to money and I feel larger companies just are more focused on what makes them money, instead of giving their customers and product users the best features. Take Skype for example: There are several free video chat programs out there that allow group chat, but Skype only gives it's users a 30-day trial period and then you must pay for that feature. I feel like in the long run, companies that are focused more on money than their customers, my prosper for a while, but will never reach their full potential because they aren't tapping into what their customers really want.

But I'd like to here what you all have to say on that matter!

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