Monday, February 27, 2012

How Skype treat me as a transaction not an individual

I blogged at work on how the challenge of Omnichannel engagement means you need to treat the customer as an individual not as a transaction.

Well here is an example of a company doing the exact opposite.

First some background.  At work I tend to use a VPN that takes me out through the Netherlands but regularly I'm in different countries and I tend to use Skype.  Now Skype know a lot of information about me:
  1. My credit card number
  2. My home address (which includes the country)
  3. email address
  4. All of the locations from which I've connected before
So what happens when I access, as a logged in user, from (notice I'm forcing it to use the UK site at this stage, surely another hint....)

Brilliant eh?  Its all in Dutch.  So Skype take all the information that they know about me and then totally ignore it in favour of an IP lookup to get a country and therefore a language.  This page is truly special as the top of the page has not a single thing to enable me to shift the language into English.  Certainly makes it more 'fun' in adding credit to my account... did it succeed?  Is that an error message?  How on earth would I know its in Dutch.

Now on my mobile there is a screen for profile that includes language... a useful thing... but something that isn't on the profile on the website, which also declares that anything you put on the profile is going to be shared with the world (not what I want).

So Skype is falling down on several cases.  Firstly its not using the internal information that it has to offer me a personalised service, I'm in the UK, I live in the UK I don't want to change my language based on the country I currently sit in.

Secondly its profile configuration is inconsistent between its mobile platform and its web platform.  I have miles more things on the mobile platform but I'm unlikely to set them as they will be shared with the world.  But I decided to set the country and the language as much as I love the Netherlands my Dutch is non-existant.

So I set up the profile (left) and look what I got on the web (right)

So see the issue?  The country hasn't been picked up and the language isn't even an option, the website certainly didn't use the preferences from my mobile device to give me the language I wanted on the web.

Skype is multi-channel not Omnichannel.  Clearly Skype don't have a real-time customer information mastering process that keeps their channels in sync and equally clearly their website doesn't use the customer profile to customise the web experience to the individual instead it uses the IP address to customise it to the network connection.

Omnichannel is about treating the individual like an individual independent of channel.  And its that which requires good real-time operation centric MDM.

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