Converting from a PC to a Mac, it’s dead easy and you’ll never want to go back!

A month or so ago I fuelled my apple addition further with the purchase of a iMac. I have to say I’ve been delighted with the iMac so far and thought I’d take a few minutes to share some of the things I’ve discovered.

As with all the other apple kit I’ve bought getting started with the iMac was a piece of cake, take it out the box, plug it in and you’re away. Well not quite but almost, you need to go through a set up routine but this really is very easy and straightforward.

Next comes the task of moving years of ‘stuff’ from my PC over to the iMac. This again was a very simple task. I had a Seagate external hard drive, which I could just copy files onto from the PC. It didn’t matter that this was formatted NTFS as the iMac could read the files and simply copy them over. This also gave me the opportunity I needed to clean my content up along the way.

After doing the easy stuff I turned my attention to iTunes, which had grown to a considerable size over the years and was literally scattered all over the PC. I remembered reading horror stories of how bad this was to do well and I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to it. That was until I googled for some help and found some excellent instructions on www.macworld.com. (click on the link to get the instructions)

What used to be a complex procedure is now relatively simple with iTunes 9. So make sure you’re running the latest version of iTunes on both systems, and then follow these easy steps.

There is an option in iTunes that consolidates all of your iTunes content into one directory structure and then you just need to copy it over just as you would do for ordinary files. What’s more I feel it’s made iTunes housekeeping much better for me as I add more content on the iMac.

I have over 100 movies converted to Mpeg format, which I use on my apple TV and on my iPad when travelling. On the advice of someone who has been a long time mac user I installed the conversion package called Handbrake. You wont find this on the app store, you’ll need to google for it. You’ll also need to install a new codec and I chose the one that comes as part of the VLC media player. I tried Handbrake once before on the PC but it didn’t work for me. However, on the iMac I’ve had a 100% success rate and I’ve already converted 20 or so movies.

Next was Office software. I chose Microsoft Office for Mac on the basis that I use this all the time at work and my iMac being in my homeworking office it makes it easier to share documents etc. Again this was very east to install and setup. I can’t remember it being as easy on the PC, but then again I haven’t done it for years. Now the 27″ screen on the iMac might be having an effect on me here but I feel the user experience of Office on the Mac is much better than it is on the PC.

Now I’m thinking I should have this thing backed up, so I check out Time Machine. It just gets better, this sounds good but I need a Time Capsule to get it going. Actually it would be nice, and I’ll probably buy one some day, but it’s not essential as Time Machine works with any hard drive. So I decide to reformat my Seagate external hard drive to Mac format, which only took a couple of minutes, and use this (it sits neatly under my iMac). Then it’s a simple job of turning on Time Machine, pointing it at the external drive and we’re up and running.

My Kodak ‘all in one’ wireless printer was just as easy to connect and I’m printing in minutes.

Along the way I also decide that I need a new wireless router and so after a bit of research I buy a dual band Cisco router. It’s great and instead of the 54Mbps I was used to on the PC, I instantly benefit from 300Mbps on the iMac.

And finally I go down to the local apple store and come back with a Magic Trackpad. Words can’t describe how good this thing is. Who would have thought the day would come when you don’t need a mouse? Well this thing has rendered the mouse obsolete, its fantastic.

So, If you’re thinking of switching to a Mac then my advice would be to go for it, its dead easy to convert and you’ll not be disappointed. Other than if you have to go back to using a PC for any reason.

Customer Service whose job is it anyway?

If you follow my blog you’ll be well aware of my recent trials and tribulations I’ve been having with Dell. I suppose like many others before me I innocently thought that when I placed the order that I was buying from Dell and that they would take accountability for my order until it was delivered. Sounds sensible don’t it? Well from the many conversations I have had with them during this debacle this obviously wasn’t the case. For example, here are some quotes I got from their call centre that made me think otherwise:

“Our customer service team is not to blame for mismanaging your expectation; the delay to your order was a supplier issue and it was beyond our control.” – and who picks the supplier?

“Your order is delayed because of a high level of demand at this time of the year.” – I always thought supply was a vendor issue not a customer issue?

“Delivery is now with UPS and you should talk to them about the status of your order.” – erm, I thought my order was placed with Dell not UPS?

It’s quite obvious here that Dell didn’t take ‘end to end’ accountability for my order and therefore the customer experience I recieved was abysmally poor.

Another example I’ve had recently is with Next Directory, if you’re from the UK you’ll know of them as the catalogue outlet part of high street chain of clothing stores right… well I thought the same but it turns out I was wrong!!! In this scenario I ordered something for collection at one of their high street stores. They sent me a email that it was ready for collection, so off I go to collect. When I arrive it isn’t there, there has been a delay and this is what I’m told by the Next shop assistant?

“Sorry your order isn’t here it’s because Next Directory isn’t part of Next and so it’s not under our control.”

Sigh! How about a simple hang on a minute, I’ll check with the Next Directory people for you… would have turned this into a good experience instead of a poor one.

In both cases there was a clear lack of accountability, if someone had taken accountability instead of saying it’s not my job then they could have dramatically changed my experience.

Now compare this to Amazon (Amazing), and a department store called John Lewis in the UK… they both have amazing customer experience because no matter who you talk to they look after you and their people make sure your issue is resolved whether it is their primary role or not.

The lesson here is very simple… no matter what role you have in a company, you are accountable for customer experience… do everything you possibly can, and then a bit more, to make sure your customers have a good one.