Creating Human Value Online for “Old School” Customers

    By Florin Vasilian | Small Business

    Creating Human Value Online for “Old School” Customers image 273914 l srgb s gl1 300x206Creating Human Value Online for “Old School” CustomersFor those of us in the data industry that “live in the cloud” or have our whole lives including the very the concept of business tied to being online, it can be difficult to bridge the gap between efficient and precise deliverables and customers that distrust online business. Even for B2B clients, it can be a challenge to explain the importance of using tools to track data and pinpoint successes and failures. Some might call these “old school customers.”

    Bringing customers online has been a challenge that businesses have been trying to tackle for over a decade. Doing so means significant cost savings in both physical and human resources, but organizations have discovered just how difficult it can be to break a habit. Changing behaviors is difficult and many people need the tangible feeling of a physical document, or to actually hand-write a check as payment rather than using online resources.

    Businesses struggling to ditch the paper and go digital try everything from lowered fees to promotional giveaways and elevated returns to lure customers online. Fundamentally, these concepts are sound in that incentive is the most effective way to change an individual’s behavior. However, these ideas fail because businesses are attempting to incentivize customers in the wrong way.

    Granted, cheaper service for customers is the path of least resistance, but it has been proven over and over that it also struggles to gain any real traction.

    The organizations that are most effective at driving customers online are those that create an online environment that customers want to be a part of by providing an experience they can’t get through paper documents. This means featuring new and unique tools and functionality that makes customers’ lives better, easier, and more enjoyable. Most importantly, the transition should be a smooth and natural one with easy lessons. But let’s face it, as we here at Ecrion know from trial and error from one of our recent product launches, there’s a learning curve to getting systems right for your clients.

    We’ve found that all customer-facing tools should include:

    • Interactive statements that allow users to customize how information is displayed
    • Targeted messages that pertain to a customer’s specific lifestyle or situation
    • Features that are user friendly, even to the most novice computer user
    • Reassurance that all information is secure and private
    • Access to real-time information
    • Straightforward analysis functionality that makes it easy for users to understand their own habits
    • Ability to access their information across mediums with consistency
    • “Get help” features that make it easy to ask questions and receive prompt, accurate answers
    • The ability to click a button and create a custom report to print should they be nostalgic for the feel of paper in their hand

    The key to driving customers online is to make the transition smooth and easy. Create a community, create a relationship, and foster a new customer behavior. If you can create human value beyond numbers through your online offering, customers will follow.

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