Make Their Lives Easier

“It doesn’t matter. People are lazy.”

Offer your customers an easy way, not the hard wayA friend of mine informed me of this last night when I tried to sell her on (what I think is) a cool new online tool. It was a powerful reminder that it doesn’t matter how cool something is – if it isn’t simple and easy then people just won’t use it.

I’m a busy guy. You’re probably in the same boat – you have 28 hours-worth of things to do in any 24-hour period.

In this context, the things that we’re likely to pay attention to – the things that we will try or buy – are the things that make our lives easier. For example:

  • I read a large number of websites every day; too many to keep track of them all manually. Google Reader (or any RSS reader) pulls them all into one place and streamlines my reading.
  • I’m always on the move. My BlackBerry, along with apps like UberTwitter and Facebook, let me stay connected and in-the-loop when I’m out and about.

Given this context, providers of online applications need to make them easy to use if they want our attention:

  • Give us a simple registration process and we’ll try it. Give us a difficult multi-stage process and we’ll drop off mid-way through.
  • Craft simple, plain-language communications and we’ll pay attention. Craft impenetrable corporate bureaubabble and we’ll ignore it.
  • Offer great customer service and we’ll rave about it. Silo your customer service along internal lines instead of customer needs and we’ll go elsewhere.

Make life easy for people, or you won’t have any people to deal with.
(Image: Shutterstock)

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  • As part of my “day job” I counsel our IT group about how to better communicate with the rest of the organization. If you haven’t worked with IT folks before, they talk in complete code. And, they tend to think the rest of the world does, too. They sometimes create processes and tools that aren’t the most user-friendly. And it’s my job to work with them to make sure they see the world through their customers eyes.

    On the external/PR/marketing side, it’s the same concept. As counselors/practitioners, it’s our job to make sure our clients see the world through their customers eyes. Not only to help us craft marketing strategies and messages, but to your point Dave, to make sure the client’s products and services are meeting a need and are easy to use.

    @arikhanson

  • Awe c’mon what’s the cool new online tool. Give us a hint. 😉

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  • Amazing how easy it seems to make us all happy right? Fewer opt-ins, less direct advertising and streamlining my experience=Very happy me.

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