Product Choice Getting Stupid

Posted on April 25, 2008. Filed under: Hardware, Software | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I like the Sandisk Cruzer 8GB USB drive a lot. A real lot.

The thing is that Sandisk currently offers 11 different models of USB flash drives and there are several different capacities within each model. I recommend the SanDisk Cruzer® Micro USB Flash Drive family of products to my clients and often when they are interested in getting on I pop onto the Internet and find a big box retailer that is offering them for sale, often at a big box retailer.

The problem is…Too much choice.

Recently I had an opportunity to “help” a client and because none of the SanDisk Cruzer® Micro USB Flash Drive that I generally recommend were on sale so I recommended the SanDisk Cruzer® Micro Skin USB Flash Drive instead.

A problem arose out of this recommendation. Though the two products are from the same manufacturer the software that comes with them is different. Specificaly the Micro Skin drive does not come with any software at all! If you look at Sandisk’s site they say it does come with some backup software that is actually different than the Micro drive and to add insult to injury there was none actually on it even though the web site marketing material says there is a trial copy of a back up software on the drive.

This was obviously a problem for my client and an embarrasement for me. I made an assumption about a product based on the idea that it was a product family and would have the same software as my Micro drive (which I love) and it did not.

The good new is that as far as I was concerned I was going to get that drive up and running even though I did suggest that the client return it and source a Micro model instead of a Micro Skin model. Once you recommend something you should stand behind it or work diligently to resolve the issue.

So my intention to help actually became a hinderance to my client and my client was very good to work with me for a resolution. I did a courtesy visit, downloaded the trial version of the U3 Smart program and installed it and trained her on its use for back ups and now she is up and running.

Though my client will have to buy the version of U3 Smart program we have installed on the drive she is now backing up key documents and gaining the security of having those back ups.

There are several morals to this story:

  • Do more thorough research before recommending.
  • Do not assume a product family is related in features offered!
  • Stand behind what you recommend.
  • Work diligently with the client to resolve the issue. Give them realistic options on either using what they have or obtaining what they really need.
  • Build your business on good customers. Things happen and the clients that value you will work with you.
  • SanDisk needs to rationalize their product offerings and be consistent with the specifications.

I certainly am thankful for having good clients!


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