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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
Cindy Lu <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 15 Nov 2005 13:52:26 -0800
Skot Nelson <[log in to unmask]>
Skot Nelson <[log in to unmask]>
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On Nov-15-2005, at 9:55 AM, Cindy Lu wrote:

> I plan to make the following suggestions to the company:
> 1) Find out why some customers (30%) prefer to use the offline  
> order process. Just call the customers and discuss the issue with  
> them.

This is always a Good Idea. I've always found the list of reasons why  
people will *not* use online services quite interesting. Finding  
informed, apolitical people in a customer service department can be a  
great help. By apolitical, I mean they need to not view the "online"  
service as a threat to their job (some do.)

> 2) Emphasize the benefits of the online system to encourage these  
> customers to use it

Probably ineffective, but sure. Unless your online system is  
providing features that aren't available offline (not a bad idea  
either, if they're non-core) people are probably to resistant to be  
converted by saying "please" nicely.

> 3) Increase fees for offline processing at some point if the  
> company really wants all customers to use the online service

I'd offer a discount for online instead. I realize this could be  
perceived as a semantic difference, but it's an important one. If  
you're charging me more for using offline services you're screwing  
me; if you're giving me a discount of using online tools, you're  
passing the savings along. (I'm sure you'd already considered this.)

> 4) Not to put the offline forms and instructions online but provide  
> contact information if the customers wish to order the service offline

In general, I'd take the approach of building new features/tools/ 
capabilities into an online tool rather than removing content. I'm  
not sure that we're ever going to see a world where 100% of customers  
move things online. I think kt's message hits this nail rather firmly  
on the head - you may lose those 30%.

This is not a bad thing all the time: it's possible that it's not  
profitable to service this 30%, perhaps somebody else needs to pick  
up that slack; there may be two entirely separate markets in some  
industries (high touch/low touch). It needs to be considered  
seriously though.
Scott Nelson
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skype. skot.nelson

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