The Sin of Inattention
This morning I dropped my car off at the dealer for what I hope to be service covered by a recall (now called product improvement campaigns) or as a fallback covered by the extended warranty that came with the car during its purchase.
The user experience was not great. Upon arriving, I had no idea if I should park or drive into an open bay. It was not clear where I should go next when finally told to pull into the bay (after parking and wandering into the shop). There should be an attendant there to guide me along with some simple signage playing backup.
I’ve observed or been the recipient of this same poor user experience a thousand times over standing in line at the BMV, milling about a gym as a new member, or upon entrance to a conference, to name a few examples. The problem remains the same. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do.
This type of poor user experience is not fun. It destroys the goodwill gained during the purchase, and all trust and momentum are slowly drained dry, leaving the user in a state of regret and frustration.
Boots on the ground care will ensure a good user experience. Sure, we can use technology, email, text, chat tools, automation, and all sorts of animated tips and tricks to guide a user along. But the actual experience is defined by how people treat you, talk to you, and come alongside you in your journey. Be it a trip to the service center, using your product online, or selling you something at the local store. This good user experience is wrapped up in two words: relationship and care.
One of the most basic sins in relationships is inattention. The best way to lose someone is to ignore and neglect them. I love the analogy of a garden. You till the soil, plant, and water the seeds. Fencing and electric wire are added to create a protective boundary from pests. The food this garden produces is your lifeline. So you preserve and nurture it with maximum effort.
The same should be true of how we treat others and treat those who have chosen to use our services or goods…with maximum effort. You never quit working. Sure, the tools are great, but you need to get dirty, be willing to get down on your hands and knees, and pull weeds. Inspect the leaves of each plant and remove the insects that can destroy a garden overnight.
Good user experience is dependent on boots-on-the-ground contact—constant attention and guidance. Never let a client wonder what’s next.