Recently I ordered a new sofa for home and had a phone call confirming that it had arrived in the showroom and would be “delivered on Thursday” with a phone call on the Wednesday to confirm the time of delivery.
It got to about 4:30pm on the Wednesday and I hadn’t heard anything so I contacted the showroom to be told that they would have sent a text to my mobile. There were two problems with this idea :
It struck me that this was a case of using technology and forcing people to adapt to what, in the designers eyes was probably a good idea.
This is the same idea that I’ve seen before, for example I understand that farmers have to make returns online to the UK Government – speaking to some farmers locally I’ve heard many of them say that the broadband that they have isn’t fast enough to allow them to do this so they have to travel into the library in the local town. I’m sure there are many more examples that you can think of (even down to online forms insisting that you give a mobile phone number when not everyone has a mobile – think of people in rural areas or the elderly who may not either get a signal or want a mobile).
This really comes down to understanding your customer profiles and not assuming that everyone is the same as you. You may live in a major city or town but will all your customers? If you have an online shop why do you insist that before people can buy from you that they have to create an account. It’s more than possible that someone wants to make a one off purchase or even give you a try before they want to commit to giving you an email address/mobile phone number or whatever. It’s not unknown for me to get to that point in the checkout process and abandon the cart – and from ecommerce sites I’ve worked on where the owner insists on an account being created so they can “capture email addresses to send offers and newsletters to” I’m not the only one that feels like this.
So, please, think about all your customer profiles and make life easy for them, don’t assume that all your customers are the same as you.