The Rise of Intolerance, Deal with It or Die

Man yelling at computer

Is it just me or has the world become a lot less tolerant with technology? Don’t get me wrong I think technology has been overly complex for years. Simple tasks like connecting to a wireless network or setting up a printer used to be excruciating. While these tasks are relatively simple now, I’ve noticed more and more people are getting upset over almost every snag or inconvenience these days.
Take for example Apple’s new mapping feature in iOS6. Consumers are ripping Apple apart because it lacks some of the features, and admittedly, doesn’t work as well as Google Maps did in iOS5. Things have gotten so bad for Apple that the CEO, Tim Cook, issued an official apology last week. Are these people wrong? I think not.
So why the change? Well I have a theory I would like to share with you. I remember when we got our first fax machine at work. I was thrilled I could communicate with our vendors in what seemed like near real-time. Or Windows 95 being lightyears ahead of Windows 3.1. Computers were new and fascinating so you were accepting of their deficiencies, and let’s face it, you really had no other choice.
Today anyone under 30 really has no concept of life without a computer or the internet. They inherently understand how the internet should work and have zero tolerance when a website doesn’t work the way they want it to. They expect it to be infinitely expandable, fast and of course never have any problems. What’s even more interesting is they expect it to be very reasonably priced or even free. Let’s face it, the tools they use daily such as Facebook, Gmail, Instagram and Pinterest all work this way!
So what can you do if you are providing services in this new age. You need to accept and adapt to it, or die. You need to realize customers don’t think about the 95% of things you do well. Instead, it is the 5% of the things you don’t do – or don’t do well – that will cause them to leave.
I wish I had some ingenious words of wisdom for you to help you keep these 5% of customers form leaving, but I don’t. Just like Apple, people are going to ditch your service because you don’t have the latest whiz-bang feature and there’s really nothing you can do about it. However, you do need to listen intently to your customers and truly understand their needs. Work hard to provide features they need and support them to the best of your abilities. Most customers will love you for it and that’s really all you can ask for.
 

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