How to keep 2015 from becoming a year of digital frustration
2014 was the year of digital dreams. We have all witnessed the potential and experienced the opportunities created by the ‘Internet of Things’, ‘drones’ and ‘mobile’. We are even starting to grasp the boundless possibilities of Artificial Intelligence. As a result, though, chances are 2015 will be remembered the year of digital frustration.
This video tells you the story:
Once you’ve had a taste, there’s no going back
Once you’ve glimpsed the possibilities, digital failure becomes unacceptable. You could compare it to how I feel about Disneyland Paris since experiencing the new MyMagic+ system in Disneyworld USA. Once you’ve had a taste of the new possibilities, Disneyland Paris feels like being stuck in the Middle Ages. Check out this video to learn more about the MyMagic+ system.
The following five guidelines should enable you to avoid digital frustration:
It does not have to be complete, it has to be intuitive
Consumers understand the possibilities of intuitive technology. Last year I bought a drone and a vacuum cleaning robot. I opened both packagings, plugged them in and… they just worked! I love that. The iPhone introduced us to the power of intuitive technology. When was the last time you used the ‘help’ function of your iPhone or iPad? The answer is never, as those devices simply do not have a help function or manual. We all grew up with manuals in 20 languages that only exacerbate. Today you don’t want a manual anymore but easy-to-use, self-guiding applications. If your company has to choose between investing in another feature or in user experience, the decision will really be a no-brainer: always go for the design and the user interface.
It doesn’t need to be perfect as long as it’s fast
It is not just about simplicity but about speed as well. People don’t want applications that can do everything. No, they prefer niche applications that are fast and that are constantly being modified and improved. The perfect digital solution does not exist. The perfect digital solution is in constant evolution.
Next to the continuous improvements, consumers expect a digital solution that thinks ahead. Faster-than-real-time solutions are becoming the norm. We are looking for solutions that will make our life easier.
Become an active listener AND a fast implementer of feedback
In today’s world, listening to consumers is easier than ever. Most companies have installed social listening platforms by now. While this is a great evolution, it is not enough. Using this knowledge to improve products and solutions on an ongoing basis, that is the real challenge. Getting the software is easy, implementing the feedback is the hard part.
This is a challenge you should really keep in mind this year. Every time someone has a new idea about a digital application, feature or solution, skip the meeting where you would normally guess what consumers will like and just execute the idea with limited resources. Conduct a live A-B test to see if people will appreciate the new approach. Use that real-time feedback to make decisions regarding future applications and solutions. Sometimes companies spend far too much time debating what consumers might want. Nowadays, it is much better to ‘DO’ it and be ready to implement the feedback.
4.Make it FUN
Consumers want intuitive technology, and they want faster-than-real-time technology, but technology should also be fun. We want to have fun while we go about our business. And fun implies many things: make it beautiful, make it funny, make it new. Google is an excellent example: it is easy to use, its search results are optimized every day but they also have an eye for fun applications. Google’s logo changes every day, which is a fun aspect. They also added the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button, which is a second fun aspect. I really appreciate those two fun aspects because even though Google is a very clean and functional site, they still manage to surprise customers. Don’t overlook the fun aspect in the digital world.
Of course, not everything can be perfect. And here’s the good news: communicate transparently about your plans, progress and mistakes, and people will go with the flow. On the other hand, if you claim something is perfect and reality bursts that bubble, the result will be a burst of digital frustration. Transparent, open and forward-looking communication about your digital plans is crucial. The marketing aspect regarding your customer experience becomes a key component of the total marketing plan.
I wish all of you a generous dose of digital WOW in 2015. And do everything in your power to avoid digital frustration.