You’ve got to test to be the best


Reading Buses are in a bit of a mess at the moment. This affects me because my children use them to get to school, but it seems they have also affected a lot of people recently.

This is all due to technology failing. Actually it’s not the technology’s fault, even though it is a human trait to blame the machine and not the person working it. The fault really lies with those the personnel are using it.

The first problem was the suppliers who failed to deliver and install the new technology in time. The next to get the blame was the programmers who failed to make the technology work properly. Then comes the web developer who failed to design and activate the website properly to prevent people buying the wrong ticket. Next are the people who type in the data into the software so it can calculate and send out correct bus tickets to the right people. I’m sure there are more people to add to this breadcrumb line, but I haven’t found out who or what they are.

The moral of the story is: don’t announce fantastic changes in advance of actually setting it up – especially before you’ve tested that it works! Testing something new is soooo important, not only for new technology, but for seeing if a particular marketing campaign works, such as direct mailing or a questionnaire – best to send out a small amount first (this is called a pilot) so you can correct any mistakes or anomalies before the ‘real thing’, especially if you are talking about dealing with several thousands of units.

This is a fundamental element of doing business, to make sure something works properly before promoting it or letting it loose on your public. So why have Reading Buses managed to fail so dramatically this time? Hmmm, just make sure your next campaign doesn’t land you in the same boat…


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