Monday, June 8, 2009

Why you should put the customer in control of their own experience

“People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves". A great insight from Seth Godin in his recent book Tribes.

I think the same applies to the way a customer experiences a product, service or website. Think about user manuals and help texts. Few people read these anymore, they just dive in and figure it out. You can try to tell them how best to use the product, or perhaps show them, but they don't really listen. They just say: "I'm sure I'll work it out, thanks".

If you are in control of your experience, then you choose the way you do things. You are telling yourself a story that convinces you that this is the best way to do things. And these stories stick.

So how much control do you give your customers and users with your product? Or your website? What stories do they tell themselves as they use it? And what stories do they tell their friends and colleagues?

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