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Users need your help to complain! And you need to listen

Here’s an important statement:

It’s not because you didn’t hear about the dissatisfaction of your users that it automatically means they are happy! Sometimes people need your help to complain.

Help customers expressing their dissatisfaction.

“If the world is supposed to be this way, we don’t need to be dissatisfied”

Says Adam Grant in a passage from his book Origninals were he’s writting about John Jost study.

John Jost worked for several years on a study about status quo and why people accept so easily a situation or categorically refuse it. He explains that a lot of people accept things as they are because “it’s like that” and when they are fed up with it, forget about it and focus on something else.

Based on my experience with users + this thoughts above and if I do a parallel with user experience design I get to that conclusion:

When a user is unhappy he will, at some point:

  • talk to you –> you improve the solution –> he stays (until another event impacts the status quo)
  • don’t talk to you –> you ignore the problem –> he leaves (at some point)

When a user is happy and a new competitor comes in with a better solution:

  • talk to you –> you here about the good idea –> you improve the solution –> user notice the improvement –> he stays (until another event impacts the status quo)
  • don’t talk to you –> you ignore this new idea –> he leaves (at some point)

When a user is happy and everything is okay:

  • talk to you –> you here about some new needs, needs you didn’t solve until now because it was not a priority –> solve the issue –> take some advance on your competitors by being innovative and increasing the gap between you and them.
  • don’t talk to you –> you ignore the new needs –> he leaves (at some point)

Stop waiting now!

Stop waiting for feedback to come back to you with no efforts.

As I wrote above, in all the possible configuration you NEED to talk to users. Talking to them is a goldmine for the evolution and strategy of your company.

Here’s a selection of few of my favorite excuses when it comes to talking to users:

  • “I don’t have time. It’s too complex”
  • “We don’t have the ressources”
  • “I know perfectly my customers”
  • “No, users don’t always know what they need”
  • “If our solution is not what users were waiting, we need to educate them”
  • “It’s not a “company wide” problem, this should be  handled by the customer service”
  • “We already know everything, we study the Analytics”
  • “I’m in the company since 20 years so I know better than users”
  • “We already know everything we need, we send a survey to our customer every 6 month”
  • “We will not be able to implement the feedbacks anyway, it’s too late”

Now! is the day you start solving real issues by listening