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Do you ask too much?

“Never ask your customers to do something that you, yourself, wouldn’t do”  GuyKawasaki.

A useful quote to remember when working on your business communications. It may sound really obvious and simple, but I know I have often come across businesses where they do ask more than I am willing to give.

Here are a couple of examples of businesses asking too much of customers:

  1. ask for excessive information in an online form.
    I recently waws looking for some quotes and used some online tools to obtain them as part of my descision making. Most sites took the basic information and gave me a price – I knew it may move a little once I gave more details but it was enough for comparisons and to get me started. One site not only asked a lot more questions, they wouldn’t even finish giving me a price without my mobile number so they could SMS me a code to then compete the online form! I don’t want to give out my mobile number so I left their site, never to return.
    Lesson – check your forms and check you only ask for relevant information people accept you need for the stated purpsoe of the form
  2. make people search your site for information
    Two examples that come to mind here are the business expo site that effectively hid the expo dates and the Government site linking to their own homepage
    lesson – put key information in multiple, obvious places and use deep links to make things easy to find
  3. force people to use another medium to get answers
    Hard to believe, but I was once in a bank asking for help and was directed to call their customer service line (and they had a phone in the bank for this purpose!) Surely bank staff could help me directly – or have called on my behalf to ensure I got the right answers!
    lesson – if someone is dealing with you in one way, keep the interaction that way whenever possible. Certainly don’t send people off to a phone or email program when they are standing in front of you asking for help!

Do you have any examples of being asked too much? How did you respond to those businesses?

Next time you are reviewing your website, brochures and other communications materials, ask yourself if you are asking more of your clients than is reasonable.

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