Helping The Customer – The HDMI 1.3 Question

Last October, I wrote about the decisions customers must make regarding emerging technology such as the new HDMI 1.3.  Since then, this post has consistently been one of the most active on NextUp getting an average of 8 reads a day.   Those stats tell me that technology customers are looking to really understand the landscape before purchasing and I thought that was a great insight that my company could use.  You see, Circuit City has a pretty good website with lots of educational material, user ratings and forums to help customers with their technology decisions.  But if you search the site for “HDMI 1.3” you won’t find anything. 

With my statistics in hand, I went to the website’s content managers and suggested that we should provide educational info about HDMI 1.3 (pros and cons), even though we don’t sell any HDMI 1.3 equipped hardware at this time (except for the PS3).  My rationale went like this:

  1. Generally, people are researching their technology purchases more than ever before.  Many customers are better educated on the particular technology than the average salesperson.  Researching HDMI 1.3 is no exception.
  2. Putting the info on our site allows us to help them with their decision.
  3. If we don’t put it on the site, we lose credibility with some customers.
  4. If they decide that HDMI 1.3 is not for them, great, we might make a sale.
  5. If they decide to go with HDMI 1.3 after learning about it on our site, that’s great too because we were able to help them.  That provided something of value and earns us credibility.

Unfortunately, that argument didn’t win out over the one that says:

“We don’t sell and HDMI 1.3 stuff.  If we tell them about it, we may lose a sale.” 

Hmmmm.  Is that putting the customer first????

I know there will be a fair number of you reading this post.  If you live in the US, I would really appreciate it if you would comment on this:

Should Circuit City put educational info about new technologies (like HDMI 1.3) on their website even if they don’t carry the product.  It would be great if you explain your answer.  I will post the results in a week.


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