RETHINK YOUR APPROACH TO END-USER COMPUTING

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COMPUTING

If you wish to enhance the quality of your end user experience, first, challenge yourself to rethink your approach to end-user computing. If you are not being successful, the trouble is not that your software or service do not work properly. It is that humans do not always know how to effectively utilize it.

Consider the classic scenario:

Your customers bring in their laptops, with Windows on the desktop, to perform some work. In some cases, the data they are seeking is stored on a secondary drive, on a hard drive that is located elsewhere in the office. Your end user has no idea how to access this data. However, he does know how to operate the laptop. Unless you plan to deploy new hardware to upgrade your infrastructure, your end user should have a simple, easy to use interface to retrieve this data, and store it in a secure location.

Consider the more complex example:

Your website, with WordPress on a shared server with a number of other websites. Your customer types in a set of text, in a plain-text editor, on his keyboard, and clicks the Enter key. What happens next? Does your website to display the requested data, or does it just disappear, without providing any visible indication that the data has even been accessed.

Even more distressing, consider the less obvious example:

Your company’s social media platform, with a few plug-ins, is suddenly inaccessible. No one knows where it is, and there is no obvious way for the end user to recreate it. What will he do? He won’t be able to log in. How scary!

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Rethink how you treat your users. Are you treating them as guests, or as members? This attitude can define how you build your online reputation. The worst thing you can do to a client is to provide a bad experience; this will cause severe backlash. If you don’t want your reputation damaged beyond repair, you must treat every contact from a potential customer as a potentially important contact, even if it’s an ‘ask’ to ask for help. Make sure your contact can see the importance of your work and be able to act upon it.

You have a responsibility to demonstrate that you are there for the end user, every step of the way. By default, WordPress provides the default blogging tools, which might not be exactly what you’re looking for, but they are certainly a good place to start. You can’t assume your client will know enough about computing to use the language you’re using for end user computing.

Rethink about your website design. As someone who works with end users every day, I see the impact bad website designs can have. A cluttered site, confusing navigation, poor visual cues and poor usage of whitespace can all lead to frustrating end user experiences. Avoid all these mistakes, and your website will begin to show your professionalism.

Rethink about the way you communicate with clients. This is one of the most powerful things you can do to ensure your success as an information product/service provider. You will know how you should be speaking to each person you talk to on your end-user client list. This knowledge should translate to your sales team, letting them tell potential clients exactly what they can expect to gain from their involvement.

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Rethink about your attitude toward customer feedback. Is your company willing to adapt? When things go wrong, are you willing to change course? A great attitude is one of the keys to success when it comes to selling or marketing to end users. If you don’t believe that your company is up to the task of meeting your customers’ needs, your reputation in the marketplace will suffer.

Rethink about your technical support team. Is your technical support team using proper call order management to track the orders that have been placed and resolved? Are they helping the end user in any way possible? Do they help the client find the problem or offer advice on how to fix it? A great support system is only as good as its members, and if you’re seeing your support staff ignoring calls from the end user, take the software away from them until they learn how to better support end users.

One of the keys to a successful e-commerce strategy is to provide end-user friendly websites and a great shopping cart to compliment the websites. If you’ve done your job correctly, you’ve created a great website for your customers to buy from. The checkout process is smooth, and they’re happy with their purchase. You’re not one of the eighty percent of companies that fail to reach the top of Google with their product or services. Rethink about your company and you’ll find that it’s moving in the right direction.

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