I was just at a conference at Earls Court, awful venue, but I did buy some boots down the road in Kensington High St so all was not lost.
Whist there, I was listening to an interesting chap talk about what makes a social learning environment successful. So far so interesting, then my heart sank. Not only did the chap presenting refer to his technologists as ‘the dreaded IT guys’ (for the record I think being referred to as IT is worse than being referred to as dreaded. Such a regressive description when technology is front and centre of most businesses I find.) He also said ‘you have to learn to talk in IT’s language as there is no way they will meet you half way and talk in your language’. As I said, my heart sank…
The eagle eyed amongst you will know this is a perennial theme of mine. IE how we all find ways of speaking each others language regardless of who we are or what we do.
It’s not just an issue between technologists and their customers. It’s an issue for all of us. I had a lovely work chat with a visionary big picture communicator yesterday, when in that instance all I wanted was the detail of what my delivery was going to be. I have to say I had to go quite a lot more than half way in changing my communication style to get what I needed to enable us both.
It’s the same when we are communicating and delivering new projects. Firstly we all need to be really clear about the perceived need of a project. I’ve known both small and big projects go belly up because the need was perceived rather than actually wanted.
Once the value of what is being proposed is confirmed, then people should flock to your product in their droves right?
Getting people to engage, use and adopt new behaviours, even if they say they want something is hard. (More on that in the next blog).
So I thought I would put the top 3 tips together to help with rolling out a new bit of technology. This really works, whether it’s a small website for a new business or an enterprise wide solution.
1. Test with the audience you intend to roll out to, rather than your peers. It’s better to test with a wireframe and some wonky fonts to get the customer journey right, rather than a full on design led front end. You’ll be far too committed by that stage both emotionally and financially to make any changes.
2. Make sure your customers know about your efforts. One burst of a communication initiative at launch is not enough. It needs to be a sustained campaign to really continue to deliver results.
The more personalised to your different customer segments the better.
You can even start with just one customer segment. And get them really onboard and engaged before you then turn your attention to your next customer segment.
If you take this approach, make sure you target your influencers first. Not the die hard change resistant folk.
I know it’s not sexy, and I know you will give me a 101 reasons not to do this….BUT use email to communicate some of your messages. If you get a generic email from IT (there I said the IT word too…) you’re going to hit delete right?
Well maybe not. Not if you create a visually slick, branded, valuable piece of content for your audience.
There’s a reason Facebook email the updates everyday to you. Even Twitter, who ensue email preferring 140 characters instead, have started to email us a weekly digest.
They’ve spent millions on research. And it has shown them that emailing works as a communication channel.
It needs to be valuable and useful however. So personalise a much as you can without ramping up the cost.
3. Make the password creation and retrieval process as easy as ABC. And if you haven’t got single sign on (SSO) then do not introduce another password into your customers world unless you need their transactions to be secure.
Really however it’s all about communication, communication communication which is where we started this blog.
If you want more help on this then do drop me a note.
As I am almost over saying, I’m always up for a cuppa to chat about these things. Especially if you’re buying…