Jeff Kagan

About the Author Jeff Kagan


Business

The 3 Faces of Customer Care

Companies are run by people. Some do a great job of putting the customer first and growing, which ultimately rewards investors. Others don’t. Some first focus on investors and numbers, simply not caring about or taking care of the customer. That approach can have a serious and long-term negative impact on the company. Following are several examples of what some companies are doing right and wrong.

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marketing

Verizon’s Reawakening

Verizon is finally snapping out of the doldrums it has been stuck in for the last several years. It seems to be on a comeback trail, thanks to its new advertising campaign. All of a sudden, it is blowing its own horn again. Verizon and Verizon Wireless in recent years have made many high-profile missteps, goofs and errors, but it looks as though the company is finally taking a different route.

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Opinions

Uber Is Great Until It Leaves You Out in the Cold

Uber works great — until it stops working, leaving your kid walking home alone on a cold winter night. Wireless technology opens up new avenues for innovation and excitement, with companies like Uber and Lyft. Most of the time, their technologies work just fine, but don’t let your guard down. Prepare for the moment when something goes wrong, because eventually something always goes wrong.

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Mobile

Which Is Best for You: iPhone 8, iPhone X or Galaxy S8?

Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system hit the marketplace one decade ago. Ten years later, there’s still plenty of debate over which is better. I’ve lately been asked which of three new flagship phones is better: Apple’s iPhone 8, its iPhone X, or Samsung’s new Galaxy S8, which runs Google Android? Smartphones have gone through some remarkable changes over the years.

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Trends

The Eve of the Self-Driving Revolution

A decade ago, there wasn’t much talk about self-driving cars or autonomous-cars, but Toyota and Lexus were setting the stage with their self-parking cars. They aired television commercials showing how cars magically parallel-parked themselves. At the time, it seemed amazing, but that was nothing compared to what’s coming next. The self-parking revolution is now expanding.

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Privacy

Artificial Intelligence vs. Echo’s Eavesdropping and Google’s Home Invasion

There’s a lot of excitement about all the new artificial intelligence technology hitting the market — like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home smart speakers, among many other products. However, there’s also growing concern over how these devices may invade our privacy. Despite the companies’ assurances to the contrary, some people worry that they could be listening to every word we utter.

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Trends

Are You Ready for a RoboCEO?

Here’s a disturbing thought: A RoboCEO powered by artificial intelligence — possibly based on IBM’s Watson — could be running some companies within the next decade. Not every company will warm to the idea, to be sure, but it’s conceivable that the practice could begin. This idea has started to bubble to the surface, with leaders like Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma apparently taking it seriously.

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Service Providers

The Best Wireless Service and Smartphone

During a recent grocery checkout conversation, the cashier asked me which was the best wireless service and best smartphone. This is a question I get frequently, and though it seems straightforward, it’s difficult to answer. As I told the cashier, it depends. “On what?” she asked. That’s when I realized that the industry’s marketing doesn’t answer the big question: “Which carrier is best for me?”

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Mobile

Charter’s Wireless Play

Charter Spectrum has announced it will resell Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile wireless service to customers inside its region. The good news is that this deal lets Charter get quick access to wireless without competing with Comcast. Comcast and Charter Communications last week said they had reached an “operational agreement” about working together.

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E-Commerce

Will Amazon Go Reinvent Retail?

Every time I walk into a retail store, I grumble about the same pet peeve. After walking the aisles and filling the basket, you then must go through the most inefficient checkout process. First you unload everything in your basket, then it’s rung up, then you put the items in bags that go back into your basket before you can walk out of the store. There must be a better way.

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Trailblazers

A Solution for the Uber CEO’s Anger Problem

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has earned a reputation for having a short fuse. In addition to his apparent personal anger management issues, there are the stresses that come with running a giant company — and Uber recently has been losing executives. When it rains, it pours. What’s happening with Kalanick, and can Uber recover its mojo? Many people have issues with anger, but few are in the spotlight.

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Mobile

Verizon Wakes Up to Join Mobile TV Race

Following decades of slow movement due to cable companies facing no competition, the television world is changing rapidly. Lots of challengers have arisen in the pay-TV space in recent years. One of the latest comes from Verizon, which has improved its FiOS mobile app to offer data-free streaming. AT&T’s DirecTV started this ball rolling with its wireless TV, or mobile TV, offering.

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Mobile

Trump’s Not the Only One With a Phone Security Problem

Is your Android phone secure? President Donald Trump’s favorite smartphone reportedly is an older Android device. Security concerns flared recently, following indications that he sent some tweets from it. Of course, the president has been given a special secure device, but it’s not clear whether he is using it. My question is, if the president is not secure using an ordinary phone for his primary wireless communications… are any of us?

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Trends

Wireless, Telecom and Pay TV: The Future Is Coming Into Focus

Wireless, telecom and pay TV — including cable, satellite and Internet services — are all on a growth trajectory, but each company is taking a different path. That means comparing them will be more difficult going forward. In the past, the companies in these sectors in many respects looked the same and offered nearly the same basic services. Looking forward however, things appear very different.

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E-Commerce

Why Companies Botch Customer Care

Do your customers come first? Companies spend a fortune to win and keep their customers. They advertise and market their products and services like crazy. Because of that cost, you would think every company would want to keep its customers happy. It’s more cost-effective to keep an existing customer than to win a new one. If that’s the case, why do some companies screw up customer care so badly?

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Carriers

Which Wireless Carrier Is Best for You?

Which wireless carrier is best? Many studies are undertaken every year, and while they are interesting and accurate, they often are not that useful in selecting the best carrier for you. Why? Simple. They are generic studies, but you are not a generic customer. If wireless performance were the same for every customer in every location, then the studies would be helpful — but that’s not the case.

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