I remember it wasn’t that long ago that smartphones weren’t ubiquitous, and you actually had to use the Yellow Pages to find certain products and services, or look up some kind of web site or use some kind of search engine. It was hard to find good services in particular – word of mouth was about the only way to determine the level of service you received. Today, you can find and compare many services online, and read reviews, and get recommendations on social media, etc. Relieves a lot of wasted time. But, let’s think about the thing we (or at least I) hated the most about those “good ol’ days”: the telephone.
I don’t like talking on the telephone very much, especially not with businesses. I don’t like being on hold, or in an endless queue for customer service. And I really hate when unidentified people/businesses call me! If I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer. The mere sound of the phone ringing annoys me. The whole reason I interact with a business online is to avoid a phone call. If you can text or email me, that’s what I want. Anti-social? Not at all. It’s just that when you’re on the phone, you’re a captive audience. And that’s what I don’t like.
So why do so many service providers online lead to phone calls? I’m talking to you, Home Advisor. Why, if your app lets me schedule an appointment with a specific service provider, do I suddenly get inundated with phone calls and texts about other providers? I already have an appointment! I don’t need additional bids! I’m talking to you, private insurance portals: as someone self-employed and needing my own health insurance, I purchased a plan weeks ago, and still the phone rings and rings and texts and texts. Fix it! How? Reach out to me, and for a fee, I’m happy to provide you with analysis to meet your customers’ needs and maximize your profits. You just have to understand your customer; seems simple, isn’t really. If you want digital (and you do) it’s more than just lead generation quantity – you need to provide the actual service you claim to.
As a digital customer, I want to complete my interaction with you online, so that I don’t have to talk on the phone. That’s my user story, and I’m sticking to it!