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Horror Show

January 26, 2011

Technology is a great enabler when it works, but it can get ugly fast when it doesn’t. Over the past two and a half years my team has hosted about 20 Kronos at Your Service webinars. We collaborate with our Services people to build content that shares their knowledge and experience to help our customers work smarter with their Kronos technology. After executing 20 webinars, we’ve got really good at it and consistently receive positive feedback from our customer attendees. Maybe we got overconfident…

Yesterday’s event was “How to Optimize Your Workforce Central v6.2 Upgrade.” The primary intent of the webinar was to get customers to dig into how they’re using their systems today and then to understand the new software capabilities before they move. By “optimizing” prior to upgrading, our customers can increase the ROI of the engagement by:

  • improving their workforce management processes
  • implementing new, productivity enhancing functionality in their new software

That was the plan and I had two smart and entertaining presenters to deliver on it. Then the event started.

I opened up with a brief introduction of our presenters, then heard our webinar vendor facilitator loudly say:

“YOU’LL HAVE TO START OVER. NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU.”

Of course, that was broadcast to everyone that could hear. Beautiful. Good start.

Unknown to me, customers could not hear for several minutes, then the vendor “solved” the problem by switching all attendees from “listen only” mode to full, un-muted stereophonic sound! Suddenly we started hearing office conversations, on-hold messages, a sneeze and one heavy breather… Several minutes later I was handed a note with directions to ask attendees to put themselves on mute, but the damage was done.

We did receive many positive comments on the content from those who actually heard it, but many comments were very tough to read, although several customers kept a sense of humor:

  • “The audio problems made it of little value.”
  • “Webinar was horrible. No audio.”
  • “Need to work on the muting of participant listeners ;)”
  • “Thanks to the techie that finally muted the heavy breather…”

We’re re-recording and issuing an apology to our customers that attended.

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