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November 9, 2009 / jasonpinto

Make it easy for me. No, easier.

Thanks to SmartBrief, I stumbled upon this article the other day — “Study Finds Self-Conscious Self-Checkout Users“.

To me, self-checkout lines at supermarkets are a wonderful feature. They make a decent amount of my food shopping excursions easier and more enjoyable.

However, like some of the people in this study, I did not always feel that way. The first time I used it, I had all kinds of trouble!

The majority of my items weren’t scanning… It was my fault, but still… I kept trying, and the item just would not register. Then a line started forming behind me. I started sweating.. and finally, I scanned an item that registered, but I received the message: “Product requires 18+ authorization”.

Needless to say, it was a couple of months before I tried self-checkout lines again.

But I finally did, and have been reaping the benefits ever since.

When it comes to our product or service, we may have many ideas on features that could make life easier for our customers.

However, we must be willing to do more than just build and provide the feature. We must also ensure that our customers are comfortable trying out the new feature.

In some cases, this falls to our marketing efforts. Perhaps we need to create a video showing how to use the new feature… or print signs that clearly demonstrate the EASY steps involved in using it. Or promote the new feature in our print and electronic marketing materials – newsletters, blogs, etc.

If we can make it as comfortable as possible, chances are that people will be willing to try out new features. If we can provide confidence that they can handle what’s “new”, they may be more willing to try, and even work their way through a couple of initial stumbling blocks.

Make it easy…. make it comfortable. And customers may smile.

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