After all the commotion about a possible flaw in certain hand-helds, I wondered what went wrong and how Wouxun could do better in the future. I came up with a few thoughts (which aren’t necessarily feasible, please leave your comments).
Good things about Wouxun
- What Wouxun really wants, no doubt about that, is to become a big player. Their current range of ham radios and plans for future models are a good indication. Competition = good.
- The quality of their hand-helds is on par with the big four. Mobile radios are getting there.
- Pricing is still competitive (but only just.)
Bad things about Wouxun
- Becoming a big player is a two-edged sword. If you want to compete with Yaesu, Kenwood, Alinco and ICOM, you also need to look at their business models and how they treat dealers and customers. The big four all have professional distributions system of their own and don’t rely on, for example, a family business owner who wants to make a buck or two.
- Warranty. Even with a solid warranty in place, shipping costs prevent current dealers from sending back defective units. Again: set up subsidiary companies in the USA and Europe and let these handle it, or give heavy discounts to current dealers to compensate for losses when they place the next order.
- Hire seasoned hams to take a look at beta versions of new radios before shipping them out — if there are bugs or flaws, these nit pickers will surely find them. Don treat customers like they were guinea pigs.
- Online presence. Communicate with your customers on Google+, Twitter, ham radio forums or whatever other website. (*)
- Damage control. React swiftly if misinformation pops up on the Web. Bad news travels faster than good news.
- Current customers are more important than new ones. Investing time and money on attracting new customers is wasteful and one of the main reasons many companies fail. Little or no money is spent on engaging current customers, creating a high churn rate. Focus on the customers that matter – the customers you already have. If they’re happy, they will do the advertising for you – and for free.
(*) I intentionally left out Facebook: most if not all Google+ ham radio communities are public and can be read by anyone, while most on Facebook are not. Don’t force people to register somewhere just to be able to read something.