Do Your Online Tools Create Barriers for Customers?

digital

As you race to add more digital products and online services to engage your millennial clients beware that your efforts aren’t backfiring. While millennials are commonly identified as “tech savvy”, it is critical to understand that their attraction to tech resources is more a desire to find services that are easy, intuitive and convenient than a love of digital tools.

This means more will not generally equate to better; and often less will be the more attractive choice. The following are three of the most commonly digitized processes and how they can “make or break” a customer’s experience with your services.

Website

The evolution of interactive web features has moved websites from a central repository for your department’s information to the jumping off point for customer engagement. Customers are now looking for more than passive content on your site. They want current, evolving and actionable information. This requires regular attention from your staff to update and remove events and/or connections to your internal systems for calendaring, sales and program sign up. Additionally, your design team should work with groups of customers to determine the most intuitive locations for this information. Remember where a customer would intuitively look for swim lessons may be very different from where an aquatic director would think her program’s information should be housed.

Program Sign-Ups

Convenience has always been a concern when choosing facility locations and program hours. Now, that train of thought needs to be extended to the online processes that you have created to collect customer commitments. Count the number of clicks (or physical steps) required for a new customer to locate a product or service, register and pay to completion. Consider that every click or step creates a pause point when the customer may become distracted, frustrated or change their mind. If you want to increase commitments, decrease the clicks, steps and interaction time required by your customer.

Financial Collections

When there is money involved with a product or service, EASY is the key descriptor to evaluate. It is ideal to have everything payable through an easy digital tool, think Uber and online bill pay. This doesn’t mean you need an app for each of your programs or credit card swipe for each employee. Remember less can be more. Establishing a central online platform for your customers to complete payments builds their trust and familiarity with the platform and increases use. You may already have a tool within your department or on your campus that can conduct e-commerce, if so explore how to use it. While it may seem time consuming to get the system established, be motivated by decreases in accounts receivable calling, increases in cash flow and happier customers.

Millennials are the current generation of concern, but selecting intuitive tools that create convenience and are easy to explain to customers is a win for any generation. Using these criteria to evaluate your current and future digital tools will help you engage and retain more customers.

 

Pam Hightower is the new Director of Fusion University & Consultation Services at InnoSoft Canada Inc. She has 14 years of prior experience as a Campus Recreation Professional. 888.510.3827 ext. 720 pam.hightower@innosoft.ca

Emily Harbourne is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at emily@peakemedia.com.

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