Let us say, you are reading a long article from your favourite website. It goes on and on, you like it, but there is no time, you need to leave NOW. Otherwise you won’t be able to catch the bus to reach home.
With heavy heart, you shut down the computer, leave your office, get inside the bus, find a cozy seat… Ah, Bliss!
But, this comfort lasts only few minutes. Suddenly, you are bored, really bored. It will take at least 45 minutes more to reach home. ‘May be I can finish that article now?’
So, you take out your smart phone, open the internet browser and start searching for that article. No luck. Even after many different combination of keywords, you are not able to find it.
This is crazy, just a few minutes back you were reading that article, now you are not able to locate it. Looks like you can’t read it till you reach office tomorrow morning, switch on the same computer, and use the same browser, so that you can find the article from “Recently Viewed Items”.
Oops. This is bad Internet experience. Just because I switched to a new device (Smart Phone), I lost all my internet browsing history. Not fair!
Google realized this and they have come-up with a cute little concept called “Browser Sync” across devices. This means, irrespective of where you access internet from (Your office PC, home PC, Smart Phone, Tablet PC, any other device), your browsing experience remains the same, as long as you use Google Chrome as your browser.
For example, I may be reading a long article in PC, continue reading it in phone, go home and share it with my friends via a different PC. Tomorrow, I may be sitting with a client in their office, suddenly remember this interesting article and show it to them by opening it in their laptop… All these browsers are synchronized with each other, so that I have the same internet browsing experience wherever I am.
Now, let us not worry about the technicalities on how Google achieved this. Instead, we need to focus on how this changes the way we experience internet.
Each device we use to access internet, is a new channel. All of them connect us to the same internet, we access the same websites, but the browsers installed in those machines, make it a ‘silo’ experience. Means, Browsing internet from my computer, is different from Browsing internet from my phone, they are two disconnected experiences.
With “Browser Synchronization”, Google has totally removed this complexity. Irrespective of which channel (device) I use, my browsing experience remains the same. I can start my journey in one device, continue in another, and finally conclude it in a totally difference device. Smart!
Let us take this example to a real world scenario : I open a newspaper and there is an ‘interest’ing advertisement about a new scheme where I can get better returns on my Fixed Deposits.
I like it, decide to invest some money in this scheme. I visit the Bank’s website for applying.
Surprise. There is absolutely no information in the Bank’s Website homepage about this advertisement I just saw. I search a bit, Not able to find it.
So, I call their support center. provide details on who I am, and ask for details on how to open a Fixed Deposit using this scheme. Even they are not aware of the changed rates and promising to get back to me asap.
Now, I am frustrated. These guys want my business or not?
Problem is, I am moving between channels : Newspaper, Web, Phone : Each channel may be very sophisticad, may have excellent technology backbone, Yet, they are not connected. Each has its own way of providing information and they are not synchronized yet. As a result, I am not getting a consistent experience.
Instead, Imagine this case :
- I see a Newspaper Advertisement
- This Advertisement has a special URL
- Instead of going to the regular website (http://www.mybank.com/) I go to this URL (http://mybank.com/newFD)
- It provides me all the details about the advertised scheme
- I can fill out a form to express my interest
- This form gives me a Unique Code, The same code is SMSed to my phone number
- I walk into the branch, Give this Unique Code to them from my phone
- They have a prefilled document with all my details, where I need to just sign, provide my cheque and the account is opened… All done in 60 seconds
Now, we can go a step ahead and make it 100% electronic, but that is not the point here. Even in the second example, I switched between multiple channels (Newspaper, Web, Physical Branch), still my experience is consistent, which saves time for everyone, avoides errors, and improves the overall customer satisfaction.
Google has done it with a common browser across multiple devices. Companies need to start thinking what / where / how they can “Sync”, so that the “Customer Experience” is improved.
Senior Director, CRMIT
Originally Published In : http://nagachokkanathan.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/google-chrome-customer-experiences/