Implement New Experience Technologies, But Don’t Leave Your Actual Customers Behind

Tom (my fiance) and I went to grab an iced coffee at Starbucks yesterday afternoon to beat the heat. I was taken aback by how many laptops were open. Starbucks has inherently changed forever – no more chatter of the European coffee houses as it was originally intended. Now, it has become a quiet haven of caffeine consumption and work/study.

As we were walking out, I said something to the effect of, “Man, I really wish Starbucks had free wifi when I was in college. I would have been here all the time.”

Often my voice of reason, Tom replied back with, “Did you even have a laptop in college?” And the answer to that is actually, no. I had an old Packard Bell desktop that my parents bought for me in 1995 that I used until it’s retirement in 2001.It actually looked pretty much like this. –>

And then it dawned on me – no, not that I’m old – but that the past 10 years of technology development has completely revolutionized everything about the way we interact with the world around us.

This sounds like a completely obvious statement, I know. But think about the average consumer, who is more risk-averse than not, and is most likely living on the back half of the Technology Adoption Lifecycle (Late Majority or Laggards).

Image borrowed from Best Practices Blog

With the increasing speed at which new technology is being brought to market, are they able to keep up with the changing times?  What about their comfort levels with new technology? Are we actually making it harder for these people to embrace newer technology over time?

As professionals who are delivering on a brand promise through the Customer Experience, are we doing right by our customers by implementing tools that we believe are differentiating, but in fact may be highlighting the fact that the Technology Gap amongst US generationals continues to grow?

I think the answer is yes, but will admit that it’s merely conjecture. I do hope however that the next time you and your team are discussing implementing a new tool that will be the end-all for a differentiating Customer Experience, you will consider WHO this tool will really benefit, and if that target market actually lives in your customer base.

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