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Where’s My Cheat Sheet?

It’s taken me a very long time, but I have finally upgraded my iPhone 4S to a newer iPhone 7 model, and my iPad 2 to a 6th Gen iPad. 

Yes, I know many of you are probably saying, “Why did it take you so long?”, and “I wouldn’t have thought a 4S still worked?” To which I would reply, “Yes, well, I concede both were very slow, and some apps stopped working including Facebook Live” Hence the need for the newer models.

There were a number of good reasons why it took me so long to upgrade, including that I loved my phone and iPad because they were little, looked lovely in my many different cases, and I knew how to use them.  But more importantly, updating technology is one of a few tasks I do put off until I absolutely have to do it, so I was dragged (metaphorically) to the Apple Store kicking and screaming.

So, after nearly three hours in the store (it took that long to transfer my data from both the iPad and iPhone), I walked out with two new devices, returned to the office, set up my email accounts, and then quickly got back into ‘what needed to be done today’.

I’m not someone who loves learning everything that technology can do,  so, it has been over a month, and I still haven’t explored what’s new on either device. I’m simply using them the same way I did with my previous models.

I’m sure I’m not the only customer who has bought a product and is only using the common functions or the bare minimum, rather than utilising it to its fullest capacity.

So why does this happen?

I believe there are two main reasons for this:

1. Time.

Who has the time these days to sit down and explore what’s new/different etc.? I know I don’t, so unless this is something which lights you up, it probably becomes another task, and you’ll get to it if you want to or as the need arises.

2. No manual.

In this age of everything ‘electronic’, it is rare to be provided with information written down. If you need help finding out things, the common answer is, “Look it up on Google” or simply in my case, go into the Apple Store and ask them any question you like. Although that’s helpful and great advice, you still have to look at the information on a screen rather than having a printed manual or spend time getting to and from the store, as well as the time in the store and suddenly a 15 minute task has turned into two hours!

For those of you who can remember the days long ago, when you got a new product did you spend the time learning what it did? Why did you spend the time then and maybe not now? My answer is simple; it was because a manual was included in the pack.

By no longer providing a printed manual, suppliers are forgetting that many people, like me, are both visual and kinesthetic learners. Which means we need to see the information and we need to feel it and be able to write our own notes on it so we can remember what to do.

A cheat sheet solution for your customers:

Develop a one to two-page cheat sheet outlining what’s changed, new or the common functions, etc., and show this to every customer when they buy your product. You can then give those who want it, a printed copy or provide your cheat sheet as a downloadable pdf on your website.

This means you are being helpful to all your customers by giving them the information they want, in the medium, they best learn and/or desire, rather than the ‘all or nothing’ approach which is happening now. This was the suggestion I provided on the Apple Customer Survey because if I had been given a cheat sheet showing me all the changes, or at least the common ones, from a 4S model to a 7, that would’ve been very helpful.

If you’re not sure what could be included on your cheat sheet, here are some suggestions:

  • New apps, buttons, shortcut keys.
  • Steps to do ‘X’ process.
  • Comparison benefits across multiple products.
  • FAQs.

Cheat sheets are simple systems which help your customers save time, as well as minimising questions and interruptions to you and your team which in turn increases performance, productivity and profitability. I don’t know of any business who doesn’t want that.

Now you may be thinking, ‘I don’t have time to do that’ or ‘I don’t think my business needs to do that’, then here’s my response:

“Isn’t our job as business owners to make our customers’ interaction with us as simple and as easy as possible?”  

So, are you helping your customers embrace and utilise your products to the fullest extent or are you just giving them another job to add to their ‘To Do List’?

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“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"



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