Death by a thousand paper cuts ….

In my last post, I discussed the benefits of doing an on-site customer visit where you get to observe customers/prospects use your product or competitive products to get their job done. In my experience doing these visits, I often discover what I call “death by a thousand paper cuts” issues. These issues are essentially annoyances that your users have to put up with when using your product. By itself, each of these issues will sound trivial. If your users call you up to complain about any one of these issues or to propose a solution, you could easily laugh it off as trivial.

But when you are on-site observing these customers, you will notice that these trivial issues quickly add up to cause significant loss of productivity for your users, especially when your users have to encounter them each and every time they use your product. But these to me are the slam dunk features – they are so trivial and hence are usually very easy to fix, but when you fix them you will be able to significantly improve the user experience. Your customers will notice these small improvements because they will reap significant benefits especially if these issues were in the way of a frequently performed task.

I have had many instances where such simple fixes have generated the loudest applause from the audience where as the big feature we were so proud of was met with very muted applause (to our chagrin, if I may add). Have you experienced something similar?

Thoughts?

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Customer Service Experience

How often have you called customer service at credit card companies, airlines, medical benefits and you have been asked to enter information such as your credit card number, your zip code, your social security number, your frequent flyer number etc. and then finally when you get to a live person, the first question is what is your XXXX – the same information that you had entered using the keypad …. Huh!!

Do these folks ever try out their own systems to check out the customer experience? Or is just a tactic to balance the call volume – benefit for them and none for the customer.

BTW, if you want to spare yourselves of this torture, check out gethuman.com