“Bureaucracies are honed by the past and almost never can they deal with the future.” This quote, from biologist Leroy Hood, starts the first chapter of Paul Boag’s excellent book, Digital Adaptation.
There is a huge blind spot when it comes to the management of the time of knowledge workers. Basically, their time is not managed.
The essence of the Core Model design process is that you focus primarily on the top tasks of your customers. You make sure they can solve their problem, complete their task. You design inside-out, from the task outwards.
If search engine optimization brings the wrong customers to the wrong pages then everybody loses.
Until organizations introduce processes that prioritize findability, then site search will continue to fail miserably.
How much of your organization’s online world is made up of dead zones and how much is do zones? A dead zone is any space where there’s nothing to do. It’s a big pretty picture, or a huge graphic-heavy masthead, or a long-winded explanation of what you do or what the customer can do. The customer doesn’t want an explanation of what they can do. They just want to do.
Quality content plays a critical role in self-service design. Often a small change in a link, heading or sentence, can lead to dramatically higher task completion.
As an intranet professional, your career is about collaboration. Of systems and processes, not just people. The Web is a network and those who thrive on the Web network, connect and collaborate. It’s the same with the intra-net, where the lines are increasingly blurred between what is ‘internal’ and what is ‘external’.
The web is one of the most perfect feedback environments, where the creator and the consumer become intertwined in the network.
Self-service is for high volume, simple-to-do tasks. For less frequent, complex tasks, face-to-face is often the best option.
Search is just one part of the jigsaw puzzle of customer behavior. It needs to be considered in the context of the customer’s task.
At the crux of many management decisions today is the tradeoff between control and simplicity.
Brands like to boast about simplicity. ‘We’re really simple to use, simple to do business with.’ Nobody boasts about their complexity. ‘We’re really complex to use, complex to do business with.’
Simplicity should be to self-service as chocolate is to joy or sadness is to taxes. Human-to-human service (the ‘opposite’ of self-service) is rich in flexibility, cues and empathy (unless you’re dealing with an ignorant service professional). Human interaction oils the path towards successful task completion.
Self-service is the essence of the Web. People go online in order to solve problems and complete tasks on their own.
Customers are not as locked into services as they are to products. Therefore, we need a continuous process to ensure that the customer is satisfied.
The shift towards services continues. Almost 80% of the U.S. economy is already made up of services. Increasingly, products are becoming commodities. Service differentiates.