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How Your Tech is Annoying Customers

How Your Tech is Annoying Customers

“Digital technology has transformed the way people communicate, socialize, work, shop, play, travel and more,” says Small Business Trends. “And this has increased their reliance on the technology, which makes it that much more frustrating when something goes wrong.”

Interestingly, a study by Asurion revealed that 80% of Americans experience one form of tech frustration or another every day.

If this frustration is directed at your business’s website, mobile app, or other digital presence, you might lose your customers because of it. That’s why it’s crucial that you do everything you can to keep the technology on your end running smoothly.

Keep in mind, too, that even if your tech is in optimal shape, it doesn’t resolve the tech frustration consumers face elsewhere, which will be added to any annoyance they experience with your technology.

 “No one wants to spend such a large part of their day trying to get their tech to work the way it should. After all, it’s the very thing that’s supposed to make our lives easier.”

~ Bettie Colombo, spokesperson for Asurion

Read on for 5 ways your tech might be frustrating your customers:

1.  Your Website is Clunky

You might think that your company’s website is pretty awesome, but what would your customers think of it? Features like Flash graphics and an artsy menu tree might look cool, but they also might be the same things that make your site difficult to navigate.

Ask yourself the following questions and make improvements accordingly:

  • Is it easy to find basic information, like contact details?
  • Is the navigation set up for easy searching/browsing?
  • Is the product information accurate?
  • Is the load time quick?
  • Is the checkout experience fast and easy?

“Usability is critical for the success of any website and should never be overlooked,” says Social Media Today. Usability is what gives you a competitive edge, drawing shoppers back to your site and increasing your revenue.

2. Your phone system is too complex

Customers don’t like navigating a never-ending phone tree for assistance. While most people understand that one or two questions might be necessary, anything beyond that can be annoying.

And when customers have a question or issue that can’t be resolved by a programmed response, it’s super frustrating to sit through a menu of options without access to a human operator.

According to information found on Manobyte, 75% of customers think it takes too long to reach a live agent. If you’re providing live service via phone, then you must make sure that a live person is available to callers within 2 minutes—any longer and you run the risk of an unhappy customer.

Listen to your phone system and evaluate where improvements can be made. How can you make your automated phone process a better experience for your customers?

3. Your In-store tech is glitchy

When stores are packed, it often results in long queues at the checkout. And no one wants to wait in long lines to buy—or return—something.

Self-service checkouts allow customers to skip the lines and purchase their items via do-it-yourself kiosks. Of course, when customers receive an ‘unexpected item in bagging area’ alert or a product SKU discrepancy, it can cause major frustration.

Make sure your system is intuitive and relatively easy-to-use. Also, assign an associate to monitor the scan-and-go area to help with any system hiccups.

BOPIS is another service that needs to be backed up by good technology. About 70% of online shoppers have used buy-online-pickup-in-store yet most BOPIS solutions are not ready to scale to 40% of transactions as predicted for coming years, according to Retail Wire.

BOPIS requires solid store operations, staffing, and product inventory systems in order to provide a seamless experience across the board.

Technology holds the power to transform the in-store experience, but how that experience is delivered must change significantly to keep up with consumers’ evolving expectations.

4. You haven’t optimized for mobile devices

Whether people use them to find a location, order food, or look up product information, smartphones play a central role in the way we live today.

So, as you can imagine, when connectivity is lost, or some other glitch occurs, annoyance is soon to follow. In fact, according to Small Business Trends, the smartphone is the number one source of tech frustration for 75% of Americans.

Are you adding to that frustration by not having a mobile friendly site?

A mobile-friendly responsive design adapts the display of your website to the size of the device screen being used. That way, your mobile users will be able to view your content to scale and easily navigate your site.

If you have a mobile app to help automate your business with things like payments or customer support, make sure you have the bandwidth to support it because things like slow and clunky load times, issues with logging into apps, etc. are a source of frustration for a whopping 71% of smartphone users.

5. You don’t have the IT Infrastructure to support your system

Now that you can offer products, services, and applications over cloud-based networks, it’s crucial that you have a solid IT infrastructure.

“When networks go down, companies are often left scrambling to deal with a wide range of costly consequences,” says VXCHNGE. “The lost time and money associated with downtime cause far more than an inconvenience; they can easily inflict a blow capable of driving a company out of business altogether.”

As Gartner research indicates, the average cost of 1 minute of system downtime is approximately $5,600. The real hourly cost of computer downtime—depending upon the size and scope of an organization—can actually reach between $140,000 and $540,000. 

“Make sure your business has a backup and recovery system in place so you can be up running as soon as possible,” advises Small Business Trends.

Conclusion

With 6 out of 10 American consumers turning to digital self-serve tools (such as a website, mobile app, phone, or online chat) for customer support, you can’t afford to have tech that isn’t streamlined.

Technology should enhance the customer experience by removing friction from things like customer support, making purchases, searching for product or business information, etc. If your tech is causing frustration—whether it be your business’s website, mobile app, or other digital presence—you risk losing customers.

Use the 5 points covered above to evaluate your technology and improve and/or adapt the business operations and processes necessary to keep customers happy.

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About The Author

Sherene Funk

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and the eBook The Small retailer's Ultimate Guide to Increasing In-Store Sales. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime (but that doesn't stop her from collecting more). A graduate of Brigham Young University, she has published several humorous non-fiction articles and worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current position as a writer on modern retailing at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with other small business owners through informative articles that address their unique needs.

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